From lost baggage to medical details: Travel insurance myths busted

From lost baggage to medical details: Travel insurance myths busted

As summer holidays approach, sorting travel insurance is no doubt on your to-do list. But with common myths about what you are and aren’t protected against while you’re away, it can become confusing.
We spoke our travel product development team to help bust 10 of the most popular travel insurance myths, and find out what you’re really covered for!

Myth 1: “It’s fine to buy travel insurance at the last minute”
Although you can buy insurance at the last minute, the best time to get is as soon as you book your holiday. It’s not just intended to protect you while you’re away, but also to cover you against anything that might stop you from getting there – from illnesses to cancelled flights.

Myth 2: “I only need to give my medical details once”
Whether you’re buying a policy, renewing, or booking a trip under an annual policy, you should always update your insurer with your most recent medical information. This includes any investigations, diagnosis or hospital stays within the last 12 months. If in doubt, always call your insurer.

Myth 3: “I’m covered if I have to cancel because my relative is unwell”
As with your own medical cover, insurance will not be valid if your trip is jeapordised by a relative or travelling companion’s poor health, if the illness caused by a prior-known or on-going condition. You must declare all medical conditions beforehand and check with your insurer in exactly what circumstances you are covered.

Myth 4: “If I list my fear of flying as medical condition I’m covered if I choose not to fly”
A phobia or anxiety over flying is rarely covered by insurers as a reason for cancelling your holiday. There are lots of resources available online to help beat your anxiety, and some airlines even offer courses in overcoming fear of flying.

Myth 5:  “My belongings are always protected against theft from a vehicle”
Your belongings are only covered if the vehicle is locked and your belongings are placed out of view in a storage compartment or boot. On holiday you’re especially vulnerable when you’re loading or unloading baggage, so always keep your valuables on you.

Myth 6: “I can claim for items I accidentally left in my hotel room”
Policies rarely cover items that you leave in your hotel room after check out, or baggage that is left in a luggage storage room. So always do a full check of your room before you leave, and keep your valuables on you when you put luggage in storage.

Myth 7: “I can report stolen items on my return to the UK”
You should report any lost or stolen items to the police and your insurance company within 24 hours, or as soon as reasonably possible, to be eligible for a claim. You’ll also need to get a written police report or if that’s not possible written proof of loss from an independent party, such as your hotel.

Myth 8: “My luggage is covered while it’s on the plane”
Luggage in the hold is covered for loss or accidental damage, but loss, accidental damage or theft of valuables not carried in your hand baggage and fully accessible to you while you are travelling is not.

Myth 9: “I have travel insurance with my bank so I don’t need to worry about it”
Travel insurance offered alongside your bank account may not be as as comprehensive as separate travel insurance policies. So check thoroughly that everything you need is covered to a good level. If not, you may be able to add on extra cover, or it may be just as cheap for you to take out a separate policy.

Myth 10: “My medical cover is valid regardless of how I get injured”
Injuries resulting from some activities are often excluded from standard medical cover, but can be insured against with added extras - for example by taking out winter sports cover for skiing. Other activities are only covered under the supervision of a qualified guide and some are never insured against, so always check your policy before you go.

With Aviva travel Insurance you can tailor your policy to suit you with extras like baggage cover, and our expert team are on hand to help seven days a week. To find out more and save up to 20% when you buy online, visit


NFPZZA0420 - April 2015

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