Travel insurance explained

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Below, we’ve broken down the A-Z of key terms you’ll need to know when it comes to understanding your travel insurance better.

Check your policy book for full terms and conditions.


A sudden and unexpected incident that results in damage or an injury.

Annual travel insurance

Annual travel insurance is sometimes known as annual multi-trip insurance. It covers individual holidays up to 31 days at a time over a 12-month period.

Associated condition

A medical condition that you’re more likely to contract if you have a particular pre-existing medical condition. 

You’re only covered for claims caused by an associated condition if you disclose your pre-existing condition when buying travel insurance.

Baggage and belongings

All the suitcases and bags you take on holiday, including their contents, as well as any items you might wear or carry when travelling. This includes:

  • mobility aids (wheelchairs, walking stick, etc)
  • sports equipment (golf clubs, etc) – we only cover sports equipment when it is not in use
  • equipment for adventure activities (diving equipment, etc)

Read our article on what to do if you if your baggage is lost.

Cancellation and curtailment

Cancellation is when you cancel your trip entirely because of sudden and unexpected illness of you or a travelling companion, changes in FCDO advice, complications of pregnancy or other reasons specifically listed in your policy wording. 

You’re not covered for cancelling a holiday because you don’t want to go.

Curtailment is when you have gone on your trip but have been forced to come home early. This could be because of the same reasons as above. 

Read our guide on holiday cancellation cover.


A sudden, and normally large-scale, event that causes lots of damage or suffering. We cover the following catastrophes: fire, storm, lightning, avalanche, landslide, explosion, hurricane, earthquake, volcanic activity (including ash cloud), flood, tidal wave, tsunami, medical epidemic, or pandemic. 

Cooling-off period

The time you have to change your mind when buying an insurance policy. Our cooling-off period is 14 days, but insurance providers vary. 

Cruise Cover

If you’re going on a cruise holiday, you need specific insurance that covers you for events like being confined to your cabin if you’re ill and for compensation if your cruise itinerary changes (meaning you miss pre-planned ports on your trip). 

If you don’t get cruise insurance, you won’t be covered for any of the trip. 


We define a delay (of a pre-booked aircraft, ship or train) as more than 12 hours.

Emergency medical expenses

The costs of emergency medical treatment and can also include the costs needed to get you home if you’re too ill or injured to continue your trip (repatriation). 


The amount of money you have to pay to your insurance provider if you have to make a claim. This applies to each insured person, for each type of claim you make. 


Exclusions are circumstances or things that aren’t covered under your insurance policy. We won’t pay out for any claim caused by or resulting from an exclusion.

These will be covered in your policy book and covers things like drug misuse or deliberate harmful or reckless acts.

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

The FCDO are responsible for setting official travel advice and protecting the interests of British citizens whilst abroad.

Whichever policy you buy with us, you won’t be covered if you travel somewhere the FCDO advises against. Head here to check out their travel guidelines by country.

Geographical limit

The area that your insurance policy covers you to travel to. For example, if the geographical limit is Canada, that’s the only country you’d be covered for on that trip. 

If you’re travelling to multiple countries, you’ll need to let us know each destination for full cover.

Hazardous activities

Activities involving an increased risk of injury, either to yourself or others, like bungee jumping or shark diving. 

Please check your policy book before booking any hazardous activities on holiday to see what’s covered and what’s not. If the activity you’d like to do isn’t mentioned in the policy booklet, you need to contact us to check if we can cover you for it. 

We won’t cover you if you don’t wear the right safety equipment, like a helmet or harness. 

Permanent total disability

A medical condition which has lasted more than 12 consecutive months, with confirmation from a registered medical practitioner that it’s likely to last for the rest of your life and stops you from working.

Personal liability cover

If you injure someone else while you’re on holiday, personal liability cover covers the damages if they claim against you. 

Pre-existing medical condition

Any disease, illness or injury that you, or anyone on your policy, has before you either arrange or renew your policy, or when you book a trip (whichever is later). 

Some conditions need to be declared if you’ve ever had them in your life, but some are only relevant if you’ve had them in the past two years. Read the medical questions carefully when completing your declaration.

Pre-existing medical conditions of anyone your trip might depend on, like a close relative, aren’t covered unless that person is named on your policy and you’ve declared the conditions to us.

Read our guide on travel insurance for people with medical conditions.


When you’re ill or injured badly enough that your insurer arranges to bring you home for treatment.

Single-trip insurance

Single Trip Insurance covers a one-off holiday for up to 365 days.

Undiagnosed condition

Any medical condition you might have which hasn’t been diagnosed yet. We don’t cover you for an undiagnosed condition.


Personal items of value which belong to you. This includes things like jewellery, watches, any kind of tech like mobile phones or laptops, or any items made of gold or silver.  

Winter sports

This term covers skiing, snowboarding, glacier trekking, ice hockey, sledging, snowmobiling and tobogganing. If you’re going on a trip to do any of these activities, you need to buy winter sports insurance

If you don’t add this cover to your policy you wouldn’t be covered for any of the trip, not just while taking part in the actual sport. 

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