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Travel insurance and cancellation cover

What happens when you need to cancel or curtail your holiday

Departures board

When you've looked forward to your holiday all year, the last thing you want to do is cancel it, but sometimes it's unavoidable. That's why you should make sure your travel insurance includes cancellation cover.

What is cancellation cover?

If you need to cancel or cut short your holiday because something unexpected happens, cancellation cover allows you to reclaim some or all of the money you've already paid out.

So, if you suddenly become seriously ill before you go and can't go on holiday because you need treatment, you can make a claim on your travel insurance policy.

Similarly, if your spouse becomes ill while you're on holiday and the best thing is for them to come home to get treatment, you can claim some lost costs because your holiday was cut short.

cover must be in place before you know that you may not be able to travel

When can I claim cancellation cover?

There are quite specific circumstances when you can claim cancellation cover. The main thing to remember is that your cover must be in place before you know that you may not be able to travel.

That's why we advise that you take out travel insurance as soon as you book a holiday. That way you're already covered if you need to cancel before you go.

The main circumstances you're covered for include:

  • If you, a close relative or someone travelling with you becomes ill or dies
  • If someone you're planning to stay with becomes ill or dies
  • If you or your travelling companion become pregnant and is advised not to travel
  • If you're called for jury service. If there's a burglary, fire or flood at your home
  • If you're made redundant
  • If leave is cancelled or you get called up as a member of the armed forces or emergency services
  • If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travel to your holiday destination

What can I expect back?

You can usually claim back the cost of your tickets to travel, plus accommodation for the time you should have been on holiday.

So if you were unable to travel at all, you can claim back the entire cost of your portion of the holiday, less the excess on your policy, up to a certain amount. With LV= Premier cover you can claim up to £10,000 for each person insured on the policy.

If you had to cut short your holiday, you can claim for any unused accommodation costs, transport charges (unless we cover the cost of getting you home) and other trip expenses that you've already paid for.

Policies like LV= will also allow you to claim for excursions or activities that you've already paid for that you can no longer go on. This includes lift passes and tuition fees for winter sports holidays.

What's not covered by cancellation cover?

If you knew that you or your travelling companion wouldn't be able to travel after you booked the holiday, but before you took out the insurance, then you won't be covered.

For example, if you are unable to travel because you need treatment for a condition that you were having tests for before you booked your holiday it's unlikely that you'll be able to claim on your cancellation cover. This is because the reason the trip is cancelled is not sudden or unexpected.

Also, if you knew about industrial action that could affect your holiday or there was a severe weather forecast at the destination before you booked your holiday, you probably won't be able to make a claim.

And if you took voluntary redundancy or were dismissed from your job, you also won't be able to claim on your cancellation cover.

How do I make a claim?

To make a cancellation cover claim with LV= we'll need to see:

  • Your original trip booking invoices
  • Travel documents showing dates and times of travel
  • A medical certificate from a doctor if you're unable to travel due to illness or injury
  • A signed copy of the death certificate if the trip is cancelled because of bereavement
  • Evidence of your circumstances if a trip was cancelled or cut short for other reasons

It's a good idea to make a note of our claims telephone number 0800 707 6967 and have your policy number to hand when you call us. If you need emergency assistance when outside the UK call +44 1243 621 537.

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