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What your travel insurance does (and doesn’t) cover

Travelers are preparing for another stressful summer. But this year, it’s not just Covid that’s causing complications, but also staff shortages, flight cancellations and strike action that threaten to ruin the holidays.

In this uncertain climate, solid travel insurance is necessary. Unfortunately, new research from Which? found that approximately 40 percent of policies do not cover cancellations due to industrial action. The investigation reviewed 200 different policies and found that 78 did not pay if your vacation was ruined by the strikes.

Commenting on the findings, Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, said: “With so many airlines warning of widespread disruption this summer, and the Covid cases, travelers should make sure they get adequate insurance to cover any losses or unexpected costs that they can face. “

Many insurance companies have also quietly reduced their Covid cover and auto -incorporations. And in general, there are various things that you may be surprised when you find out not covered by most policies.

Here we discuss what to look out for when booking travel insurance this summer and highlight the most reliable providers.

What to look out for when booking insurance policies this summer

The first rule of booking travel insurance is to read the small print on your chosen policy as many have an alarming number of exclusions such as strike action or relatively common sporting activities.

Since the end of March, most large companies have significantly reduced their Covid cover and usually only reimburse you if you are declared too ill to travel to a doctor.

In general, most do not cover passport issues such as delays in the arrival of a new document, or problems verifying your vaccination status. A lost luggage cover usually requires an add-on, as well as a trip that has been canceled due to airspace closure. Cancellation for such jury service or a sudden change in circumstances (such as redundancy) may also be excluded.

In terms of ground activities, all policies must include a list of sports and activities that are automatically covered, and those that require an additional premium to be added. While it is expected that extreme sports are worth the extra, often straightforward activities such as simple trekking are not automatically included.

It is important to declare any existing health issues. If you fall ill due to a condition that you did not declare when you purchased the insurance, your claim will not be paid.

You should also look at age limits because insurance for travelers over 65 is becoming more expensive.

How can I save money on my travel insurance?

To save money on insurance, frequent travelers should consider booking a multi-trip or annual policy, which will often be cheaper if they take more than three or four vacations a year. Buying a family policy is often more economical than individual cover.

How do I complain about my travel insurer if they refuse to pay?

If you think your insurer has treated you unfairly you can complain to the free Financial Ombudsman Services.

Remember that before claiming with your insurer, you should check what cover is offered from your tour operator as you may need to ask for compensation from them first.

Five of the best insurance policies to book for this summer


Recently rated as the top travel insurance policy by Which ?, Barclays ’Travel Pack Worldwide Travel Insurance package is one of the few that still offers comprehensive Covid cover. It also includes extensive coverage for unforeseen events, including those such as industrial strikes, volcanic ash clouds, terrorism, civil unrest and plane crashes. Also includes comprehensive RAC breakdown cover in the UK and Europe. A small note is that it has a relatively low fee for missing luggage/personal belongings, at £ 1,500.

Cover is offered for those aged up to 79 and is available from £ 12.50 per month if you open a current bank account.

Post Office

The Post Office’s Premier insurance policy covers delays caused by industrial action or staff shortages, something that is increasingly becoming associated with UK travelers. Other key selling points include the bankruptcy of a holiday supplier or airline, along with missed departure cover of up to £ 1,500. The policy has an upper age limit of 75 for annual cover and a generous 110 for single trips.


StaySure Comprehensive is another policy that covers delays caused by strike action. It also offers unlimited medical expenses, decent Covid cover, and no higher age limit. Single trip coverage costs from £ 12.99.

Travel Insured

With the ongoing transport turmoil in the UK, the Insured to Travel’s missed departure range of £ 1,500 is an important selling point, as well as the fact it’s available for show, connecting, or return travel. However, its Covid cover is somewhat limited. Silver and gold options have a higher age limit of 89 for a trip and these are the best buying policies. Policies can be booked through some tour operators or travel agents.


Another highly recommended product of Which ?, HSBC travel insurance offers a high level of Covid cover and insures against events such as civil unrest and airline losses. The maximum age limit is 69 and the policy is available for HSBC current accounts, savings accounts, mortgage and credit card customers.

What is the best travel insurance policy you have found? Please share your tips in the comments below

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