What Your Travel Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Travel insurance does not cover everything people assume it does. For this reason, people should read up on what things certain policies may or may not cover. To make an informed decision on what travel insurance policy to get before traveling, people should compare travel insurance policies to see what is offered. Travel insurance policies can be compared using a comparison service, such as iSelect, in order for someone to determine which policy is best for them.

Covered Circumstances

For some travelers, it is convenient to pay for plane tickets, hotel rooms, and other expenses ahead of time. However, unforeseen events and emergencies can prevent anyone from traveling, no matter how much preparation, time, and money they put into planning a trip. For this reason, travelers should invest in trip cancellation coverage. If a trip is cancelled for reasons such as illness or injury, death, a traveler may be reimbursed for non-refundable expenses depending on their coverage options.

Most people fear losing their luggage or having it stolen, especially in instances where they are traveling with items of high sentimental and monetary value. The odds of luggage being lost or stolen are actually quite slim: just seven percent of cases of lost luggage are truly lost cases. Luggage is deemed a total loss after two to three weeks. In other cases, the luggage may be delayed, and delivered to the rightful owner within one or two days.

As a precautionary measure, travelers should consider investing in coverage for baggage delays and travel delays. Some insurance companies that provide baggage and delay coverage may reimburse personal items in the event of lost, stolen, or damaged luggage. Additionally, some travel insurance plans provide money for necessities such as toiletries and changing clothes in cases of delayed luggage, as well as provides reimbursement for extended hotel stays and extra meals when flights are delayed.

Some circumstances for cancelling a trip, such as getting laid off from work, having to report to work after scheduling a vacation, or being called for jury duty may or may not be covered by travel insurance depending on the policy. People should research insurance policies to confirm if these circumstances are covered and determine which coverage option they will choose.


Nobody counts on getting sick or being injured when traveling, nor do they even want to think about it, however, people should be prepared in case they do become ill or have an accident overseas. People should make sure they have coverage for accidents and medical emergencies that happen away from home and overseas. Something important to consider is that most policies do not cover pre-existing physical or mental conditions. Additionally, some travel insurance policies do not cover pregnancy-related complications or giving birth while traveling. Women who are expecting multiples, and/or have used an assisted reproductive program are not typically covered by some travel insurance plans.

Other circumstances that are typically excluded from travel insurance policy coverage are natural disasters, bad weather conditions, and risky behaviors. The timing of a planned vacation is crucial, especially if the trip is scheduled to take place during hurricane season, for example. The National Hurricane Center and other weather authorities predict and track storms, treating them as foreseeable events. For this reason, if someone chooses to travel during this season, and plans their trip and buys travel insurance after a hurricane is named and announced, they will not receive coverage for any storm-related losses they incur.

As far as risky behaviors are concerned, travel insurance does not provide coverage for accidents and injuries caused by a traveler’s willing participation in adventurous activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, or even drug and alcohol consumption.

People should read up on what is included in and excluded from travel insurance policies. Travel insurance is practical and necessary, especially for people who travel often. Getting travel insurance is as important as getting health insurance or life insurance, so people should make sure they make an informed decision on what kind of travel insurance policy to get. When considering buying travel insurance, people should keep in mind factors such as, but not limited to, the location they are traveling to, the itinerary of their trip, what items they are taking with them, and their health.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.