What does travel insurance cover?

7 minute read

All of our content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts

Whether you’re going on holiday to relax on a sunny beach or enjoy some winter sports, there’s a travel insurance policy for you.

  • Understand what’s covered by different levels of travel insurance
  • Avoid invalidating a claim by knowing what’s not included
  • Specialist travel insurance is required in specific cases

Coronavirus and travel insurance

As we’re all aware, the impact that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having globally has meant the cancellation of multiple flights, holidays and events.
Any new policy won’t cover certain claims caused by coronavirus. It’s important to know what cover is included on your policy before you book a trip. Find out more. 

If you’re an existing customer, any trips you booked before your first renewal after 14 September 2020, are unaffected.

You can get in touch the normal way if you need to make a claim or renew but please bear in mind that our contact centres are extremely busy right now. As the FCDO can change at any time and airlines and tour providers need to be contacted first we are only looking at claims for trips which are due to depart within the next 14 days. In the meantime check out our step by step make a claim guide. 

Here's a reminder of how our travel insurance works:

What travel insurance covers

Travel insurance is designed to keep travellers safe and protect them against a wide variety of events that can cost money before or during a trip.

You can arrange cover for a single trip or, if you’re a real jetsetter with multiple holidays planned, annual multi-trip policies will insure you for any holiday up to 90 days - though age restrictions apply. 

Travel insurance covers events that are out of your control. However, there are different levels of cover with travel insurance. With LV=, essential cover protects against some of the common things that can go wrong, while premier cover also includes some useful extras. 


Essential cover

Essential cover includes protection worth up to £5,000 should you have to cancel your trip, certain activities or cut it short due to reasons that aren’t your fault.

Eligible reasons for a cancelled trip can include:

  • Serious illness, injury or death of you, a family member or travelling companion
  • Terrorist incident at the destination city or airport
  • Being called up for jury duty

According to European Regulations, you can claim compensation when flights are cancelled for 3 or more hours and it’s the airline’s fault.

You also have medical and repatriation cover worth up to £10 million (with a £75 excess) and personal liability up to £2 million. You’ll also get personal accident cover plus legal advice and expenses worth up to £25,000 with no excess to pay.

Premier cover

On top of essential cover, you’re protected if you have to cancel or abandon your trip because of delays up to £10,000. Plus, you receive up to £1,000 for extra transport and accommodation costs if travel is cancelled or delayed, and up to £10,000 if your provider goes bankrupt.

Cruise cover

If you’re going on a cruise, there’s travel insurance to suit the specific situations you may be in. This is also split into essential and premier policies.

There’s no excess to pay and you can get cover if you’re confined to your cabin, need to rejoin the ship if you’re taken ill, and port cancellations.

This cover is included as standard in our annual multi-trip policies or if you’re planning a cruise and have a single trip policy with us, you must add it as an extra.

Don’t get tripped up

It pays to know what your travel insurance does and doesn’t cover. There are instances where people have tried to make a claim  but find that it was never part of their policy. Travel insurance and alcohol is a good example, as it invalidates injuries and illness claims.

Other common areas that are often excluded include:

  • Certain activities - skydiving, bungee jumping more than once, cliff jumping
  • Baggage - an optional extra (except when stated)
  • Pre-existing medical conditions - unless an agreement to cover is made
  • Claims relating to a pandemic (including COVID-19), except where cover has been expressly stated. Find out more.

For these reasons it’s important that you check your travel insurance carefully and add any extras you may need. This could be organising travel insurance that covers cycling if you’re planning a few weeks mountain biking across Europe.

Destinations that your insurer hasn’t agreed to cover, general delays and refreshment costs for short delays are rarely covered too. Most travel insurance policies won’t pay out if you cancel a trip simply because you change your mind either.

Dental treatment (except to alleviate sudden pain) and natural damage to luggage (wear and tear due to weather, for example) aren’t normally insured either.

Specialist travel insurance

Whatever type of travelling you’re planning, there’s an insurance policy available that will have you covered.

When heading off to the Alps for some winter sports, travel insurance usually increases as skiing and snowboarding pose a higher risk than laying on the beach. The same is true for other sports, including horse riding or hiking at high altitudes. This is why you might need a specialist policy.

Aside from extreme sports travel insurance, you can also find tailored options that enable you to still go on holiday safely whatever your age or with a pre-existing medical condition. During the application process you just need to declare this and the insurer will assess your risk. Sometimes, cover may not be possible but we’ll always explain what your options are or what limitations would be in place.

To stay safe on your next trip, check that everything you need is covered before you leave. Find out more about LV= travel insurance today.

This article contains links to other sites, and we're not responsible for the contents of any of these websites.

All content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts.