Skip to content

Travel Cancellation Insurance

Insurance if you have to cancel your holiday

Jake Edmonds
Written by  Jake Edmonds
7 min read
Updated: 01 May 2024

Can you get your money back if you have to cancel your holiday or if the company you booked with goes bust? Our guide explains what travel cancellation insurance covers and how it might be able to help.

Travelling is an exciting venture, filled with the promise of adventure and relaxation. However, sometimes life can throw a spanner in the works and your plans may be altered or cancelled altogether. This is where travel insurance cancellation cover becomes a safety net, offering peace of mind and financial protection.

Understanding cancellation cover

Cancellation cover is usually part of your holiday insurance policy that lets you claim for the cost of your holiday, up to a certain amount, if you have to cancel your plans.

It's a feature that responds to unforeseen events that could prevent you from embarking on your trip, such as accidents, emergencies, or even bereavement. While most travel insurance policies include some level of cancellation cover, the extent of this cover can vary significantly between different insurers.

suitcases in an airport

What does cancellation cover include?

When you're faced with the unfortunate event of having to cancel your trip, cancellation cover steps in to alleviate the financial strain. Here's what you can typically expect it to cover:

  • Pre-booked transport, such as plane or train tickets

  • Accommodation costs, including hotels, hostels, or campsites

  • Other non-refundable expenses, like tours or excursions

However, it's crucial to be aware of any excess fees that may apply when you make a claim. Additionally, if you're fortunate enough to receive a full refund from your travel providers, you won't be able to claim through your insurance.

Valid reasons for claiming

Your claim must be rooted in unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. Valid reasons for cancellation claims can include:

  • Sudden injury or illness preventing travel

  • Home emergencies, such as a fire or flood

  • Destinations becoming unsafe for travel

  • Jury duty or other legal obligations

  • Bereavement or serious illness in the family

  • Pregnancy complications

  • Redundancy or unexpected work commitments

  • Being a member of the armed forces and being ordered to return to duty

It's essential to check that your specific reason for cancellation is covered under your policy's terms and to contact your insurance provider if you're unsure.

What claims will be refused?

There are certain situations where cancellation claims will not be honoured, including:

  • Injuries related to alcohol or drug use

  • Cancellations due to pre-existing medical conditions

  • Airline cancellations, which are usually managed by the airline itself

  • Simply changing your mind about travelling

How much protection do I get with cancellation cover?

The level of protection provided by cancellation cover can vary, with policies offering different maximum claim amounts. It's important to choose a policy where the cancellation cover aligns with the total cost of your holiday. Policies available through MoneySuperMarket, for example, can offer anywhere from £750 to £12,000 in cancellation cover.

When should I buy travel insurance?

It's important that you invest in travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked. Our guide on when to buy travel insurance provides more information. The cover starts from the date specified in your policy, so having your insurance ready at the time of booking ensures you're covered for any pre-departure cancellations.

Claiming on your cancellation cover

If you need to claim, the process will typically require:

  • Proof of bookings and cancellations, such as receipts or invoices

  • Travel documents detailing your planned trip

  • Medical documentation for health-related claims

  • Official evidence for other valid cancellation reasons, like a jury duty letter

  • A signed medical note from your GP if claiming due to illness or injury

  • A signed copy of the death certificate if you had to cancel your trip because of a bereavement

  • Any other kind of evidence that you had to cancel, for example, a letter stating you must attend jury duty

Keeping all relevant documents and policy details at hand will streamline the claims process. If you've booked through a travel agent, they can often assist with the cancellation process. Otherwise, you may need to contact your travel providers directly.

Airline cancellations and your cover

If your airline cancels your flight, they are generally responsible for providing compensation or arranging alternative flights. However, if they fail to provide an alternative within 24 hours, or if your travel is disrupted by a strike that wasn't known when you booked your cover, your insurance may offer compensation.

Making the right choice with MoneySuperMarket

When it comes to choosing the right travel insurance, MoneySuperMarket provides a comprehensive platform to compare policies based on individual needs. You can filter options by cost, coverage, or claim excess, ensuring that you find not just the cheapest, but the most suitable cover for your trip.

Remember, the best deal is the one that gives you the right amount of cover at the lowest possible price.

Ensuring you have the right travel insurance in place is a crucial step in planning a worry-free vacation. With the right cancellation cover, you can book your next holiday with confidence, knowing that if the unexpected occurs, you're protected.

Looking for travel insurance?
Get a quote now