Holiday cancellation cover and travel insurance

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Image of a black woman after a cancelled holiday

We all know that feeling you get when you’ve booked a holiday and start counting the sleep. But unfortunately, life happens and sometimes you have to cancel.

Make sure you’re protected by adding holiday cancellation cover to your travel insurance. Here's how it works.

What is holiday cancellation cover?

Holiday cancellation cover is a type of insurance that protects you against something unexpected happening, either before you set off or during your trip.

It’s included as standard with some travel insurance policies, but not all. As always, check before you take out cover and check your policy documents.

The level of cover provided and the excess you might have to pay also varies widely between insurers and between policies.

For example, we offer:

 AdmiralAdmiral GoldAdmiral Platinum
Cancellation cover£1,500£3,000£5,000


Also, the higher the level of cover you have, the more the excess reduces too.

We pay up to the policy limits for:

  • deposits or package holiday cancellation charges
  • accommodation and travel costs
  • car hire
  • excursions and activities
  • reasonable cancellation charges for kennel, cattery or professional pet sitter costs
  • car parking fees

Any successful claim is paid as a lump sum if your trip is cancelled or curtailed (cut short). If it’s the latter, the sum will reflect the remaining days of your holiday that you miss, not the whole holiday.

Why should I buy holiday cancellation cover?

Things can change at any point between booking and you starting your journey

Some common examples include:

  • change in FCDO advice
  • you or a travel companion becoming too ill to travel
  • a close family member (usually a parent, sibling or child) becoming seriously ill or dying
  • being advised against travelling due to complications of pregnancy
  • called to court as a witness or to do jury service
  • you or a travel companion are a member of the British Armed Forces or emergency services, and your leave is postponed

Our holiday cancellation cover also protects you if:

  • you’re made involuntarily redundant from a job you’ve had for more than two years
  • your home is seriously damaged by fire, storm or flood
  • your home is burgled in the seven days before your trip departure
  • your passport or visa is stolen in a burglary at home in the seven days before your trip departure and you can’t replace it in time

You may also need to cut your holiday short if you need to come home because:

  • you or a travel companion become seriously ill
  • a close member of your family has been taken ill or passed away

You can’t claim for these if they happened before you took out travel insurance, so we recommend buying holiday cancellation cover soon after you’ve booked your trip.

When can I make a claim if my holiday is cancelled?

Our single trip insurance cover begins from the date the policy was issued.

Our annual multi-trip travel insurance cover begins from the date the policy begins.

If you contact us to make a claim, make sure you have evidence of costs incurred, such as unused tickets and receipts. All documents must be sent to us at your own expense.

Here are some things you’ll need for specific cancellation reasons:

  • Serious illness, pregnancy complications or an accident - medical certificate from the doctor or hospital
  • Jury service - supporting evidence from the court or other relevant authorities

If you book a trip that starts after your annual travel insurance policy ends, your only covered up to the policy end date unless you renew the policy on or before the expiry date.

What isn’t included with holiday cancellation cover?

Your policy document will highlight what is and isn’t covered when you book holiday cancellation cover. If you’re unsure of anything, you can contact us.

You can’t claim on holiday cancellation cover if:

  • you or anyone travelling with you doesn’t declare a pre-existing medical condition present at the start of your policy or when you booked your trip, and your holiday is cancelled or cut short because of it
  • you change your mind and don’t want to go
  • you knew your trip might be cancelled, postponed or cut short when you booked it
  • you knew you would be made redundant when you booked your trip or you became unemployed because of misconduct, resignation or voluntary redundancy
  • you don’t have the correct passport or visa
  • you travel against a doctor’s advice
  • the Foreign Office has advised against ‘all travel’ or ‘all but essential travel’ before you booked or bought the insurance

Your holiday cancellation cover also might not pay for things like airport taxis and air passenger duty.

And finally, holiday cancellation insurance isn’t the same as cancelling travel insurance. When you take out any insurance policy, you have a ‘cooling off’ period, which lets you change your mind if you decide you no longer need it.

Your rights are in the policy documents we’ll send you.

Read our travel insurance jargon buster to get a better understanding of terms like 'cooling off' which will be in your policy book.

5 Star Defaqto rated Platinum Level Travel Insurance