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Date: 29/05/2019

What's covered if you need to cancel

Cancellation cover on travel insurance is for a wide range of unforeseen events, making it an essential purchase at the time you buy your holiday.

 A third of insurance claims are for cancellation, curtailment or trip interruption.

  • Cancellation reasons could include bereavement, pregnancy or court appearance.
  • New Foreign Office travel advice after Sri Lanka attacks highlights importance of cover.

Taking out travel insurance as early as possible means you're covered if the worst happens and you are forced to cancel your holiday.

At and our insurance partners, more than a third of claims in 2018 were the result of cancellation, curtailment or trip interruption. Based on the most recent industry figures, £145 million is paid out every year on 174,000 cancelled holidays.

And yet too many travellers wait until the last moment to buy their insurance, assuming that a policy is just needed to cover medical expenses or repatriation if they are ill during the trip.


Foreign Office advice

A death in the family, redundancy or a change in Foreign Office travel advice are all reasons why it may be necessary to claim on your travel insurance before you leave.

For example, the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka recently prompted the Foreign Office to advise against all but essential travel to a country visited by 110,000 British nationals every year.

In this case, cancellation cover under your travel insurance will pay for additional costs that cannot be refunded by your travel provider. It's important to remember that policies vary.


Buy insurance early

Other circumstances likely to be covered by travel insurance include pregnancy or the need to go to court as a witness or for jury service. A fire, flood or burglary at your home within 48 hours of the departure date or while away is another potential reason.

Notable airline disruption and restrictive bad weather at home and abroad has also driven up the industry-wide value of pay-outs for cancellation — up by 11% on an annual basis.

A spokesperson for said: “The wide range of circumstances in which it may be possible to claim on your insurance highlight the benefit of buying a policy as early as possible.”