Travel insurance - what isn't usually covered as standard?

Travel insurance - what isn't usually covered as standard?

Before you book your holiday or head off on your trip, it’s worth taking note of the things that aren’t usually covered by a standard travel insurance policy.


In an ideal world, insurers would cover everything that could happen to you as a matter of course. But the reality is that if we covered every possible eventuality under a standard policy, premiums would shoot up – making insurance unaffordable for some.

Here are seven of the main things that usually aren’t covered…

1.    Hazardous sports

Adventure sports, winter sports and any ‘hazardous’ activities are often not covered by standard policies. So check what’s covered before you buy, especially as your idea of ‘hazardous’ might be different from your insurer’s. With Aviva, for example, you’ll be covered if you go jogging, but you won’t if you run a marathon or take part in other forms of competitive running. Winter sports are also rarely covered by standard policies, but you can often add cover as an optional extra – as you can with us.

RELATED: Travel insurance extras – what do they cover you for?


2.    Incidents caused by alcohol or drugs

We all like to let our hair down on holiday. But it’s worth checking what your insurer’s policy is on the matter of drugs and alcohol, as some insurers have a stricter policy than others. At Aviva, for instance, you won’t be covered if you drink to an extent that causes you “immediate or long-term physical or mental harm” or where your judgement is affected causing you to “take actions you wouldn’t usually take”.

3.    Jumping over a wall or balcony

It may sound surprising, but few insurers will cover you if you hurt yourself jumping or falling from a ledge or wall – no matter what their height. The same also applies to balcony railings. Injure yourself or worse by sitting on, jumping from or climbing on or over one and your cover will be invalidated.

4.    Pre-existing conditions you haven’t disclosed

You might think there’s no need to mention certain medical conditions when you’re buying your insurance. But if it ends up causing you problems while you’re away, you may not be covered for any claim arising directly or indirectly from your pre-existing condition. So however insignificant you might think it, it’s always best to check if your insurer needs to know.

5.    Terrorism

It’s an unfortunate fact that terrorism is an increasing concern for many holidaymakers these days. And some standard travel insurance policies won’t cover you if you cancel or abandon your holiday for this reason. However, you may be able to add an optional extra to your policy which would cover you for the cancellation or abandonment of your trip if there’s a terrorist incident and the FCO advises against all travel (or all but essential travel) to your destination.

6.    Tropical diseases if you haven’t been immunised

Heading somewhere exotic for your holidays? Make sure you get the recommended inoculations or take the recommended medication. Otherwise your travel insurance policy won’t cover you if you’re unfortunate enough to contract a tropical disease – which could prove tremendously costly if you need medical treatment for it and/or have to be repatriated back to the UK.

7.    Trips to danger zones

It’s best to check the website for guidance before you book your insurance, as some insurers won’t cover trips to certain countries or regions. If you’re concerned about this at all, you may want to add Travel Disruption cover to your policy as an optional extra. This gives you up to £5,000 cover if you need to cancel or abandon your holiday because of FCO advice against travelling, a strike, severe snowfall or a pandemic.

However, if you book a trip to a destination when the FCO is advising against travel there, you won’t be covered if you later want to cancel the trip because of their advice.


Get a quote and get covered in minutes with Aviva travel insurance – rated 5 Star by Defaqto. More about Aviva travel insurance

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