What Does Travel Insurance NOT cover? (2024)

What travel insurance does and does not cover are some of the most common questions we get, and the details are important to understand. The last thing you want is to buy travel insurance, file a claim and not get paid. We don’t want that to happen either. The best way to prevent that is to understand what is explicitly not covered and set the right expectations.

There can be some fine lines between what travel insurance does not cover and what it does. The best advice is to take a deep dive into your travel insurance plan documents and read everything, including the fine print.

What you’ll find most travel insurance plans won’t cover –including those from Generali Global Assistance – are things like these:

  • Reasonably foreseeable events
  • Known storms, epidemics, acts of war
  • Travel restrictions imposed by government authorities
  • Pre-existing conditions, unless the Premium plan is bought within the window for coverage
  • Dangerous activities

Let’s look at these one-by-one.

Disease Outbreaks

If you know there’s an epidemic or a pandemic in an area and you choose to travel there anyway, travel insurance won’t cover you if you cancel or interrupt your trip out of fear to travel –unless you bought“cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage.*

Pandemics and epidemics are listed as excluded for coverage in our plan documents. This means claims for losses caused by or resulting from those events won’t be paid. However, we can provide coverage if you, a family member, or a traveling companion contract COVID-19 and plan requirements are met. You can be covered for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Travel Delay, Medical & Dental, and Emergency Assistance & Transportation, in addition to our 24-Hour Emergency Assistance services.

Read exactly how our plans can help with COVID-19 illness


Storms are one of the most common areas of confusion over what’s covered and what’s not. But, it really just falls under the “reasonably foreseeable events” umbrella.

If there’s a known storm coming and you choose to book a vacation regardless, travel insurance probably won’t cover you. If you booked your trip far in advance of the storm, before it was predicted, you could be covered.

In other words, if you book a trip to Cancun and buy travel insurance in February for a July vacation, and several days away from departure Cancun issues a mandatory evacuation order for a coming hurricane, travel insurance can cover your trip cancellation if the terms are met in the plan documents.

But, if you hear about the storm and then decide to book a trip to Cancun anyway or buy a travel insurance plan after the storm has been forecasted, travel insurance won’t cover you.

Once a storm is named, any subsequent travel bookings won’t be covered under travel insurance.

What is a foreseeable event?

Foreseeable simply means reasonably known beforehand. Once it is reasonable that people traveling to an area would know about an event, it becomes foreseeable. For example, if employees of the airline you are flying announce that they are going on strike, the event becomes foreseeable once they make the announcement.

Read more about hurricane and storm coverage

Pre-Existing Conditions (in many cases)

Pre-existing medical conditions can be tricky in regard to what travel insurance doesn’t cover. Some travel insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions, but put some sort of prerequisite around the coverage.

If you purchase ourPremium planyou can qualify for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, as long as the travel protection plan is purchased prior to or within 24 hours of your final trip payment, you are medically able to travel at the time the plan is purchased, and all prepaid trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions have been insured.

Under that scenario, someone could buy the same travel insurance policy for two identical trips and have pre-existing conditions covered under one policy and not the other –all because of when they bought the policy. Timing is everything.

Also read:5 Things to Know About Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Travel Insurance

Dangerous Activities

Many things fall under the heading of dangerous activities, including:

  • Mountain climbing
  • Bungee cord jumping
  • Skydiving
  • Parachuting
  • Hang gliding
  • Parasailing
  • Caving
  • Extreme skiing or heli-skiing
  • Boxing
  • Full contact martial arts
  • Scuba diving below 120 feet (40 meters) or without a dive master
  • Operating or learning to operate an aircraft, as pilot or crew
  • Participation in professional athletics
  • Riding or driving in any motor competition

If you get injured while doing any of these things, travel insurance probably won’t pay your medical bills or pay other coverages, such as Trip Interruption.

Again, this is an area where travel insurance policies can differ, so read yours to make sure.

Other Things Not Covered

Depending on the plan, some of the other things that travel insurance won’t usually cover include:

  • Any unlawful acts
  • Participation in organized amateur and interscholastic athletic or sports competition events
  • Being under the influence of drugs or intoxicants, unless prescribed by a Physician

Another area of some confusion involves frequent-flyer miles. If you have to cancel a trip you paid for with frequent-flyer miles because of a covered reason you may be reimbursed for the cost to reinstate the miles to your account. This is only available with Trip Cancellation coverage.

Also, if frequent-flyer miles were used to arrange anything other than air transportation –like lodging, for instance –most plans don’t cover those situations.

Understanding what travel insurance does and doesn’t cover can be tricky, but when you start by reading your plan documents, things become much clearer. And if you still have questions, calling your travel insurance company can help clear up any confusion.

Tired of learning what travel insurance won't cover? Read these to see what can be covered:

  • Top 5 Reasons to Get Travel Insurance
  • Surprising Travel Insurance Coverages and Features
  • Buying Travel Insurance During a Pandemic
  • Is Travel Insurance Worth It? 3 Examples Where it Pays Off

Enjoy your travels and -- we can’t stress this enough --read your policy!

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*This coverage is not available to residents of New York.

What Does Travel Insurance NOT cover? (2024)


What does travel insurance not cover? ›

Most travel insurance policies won't pay out if you're negligent while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and have an accident or have property stolen.

What conditions are not covered by travel insurance? ›

Conditions which may not be covered

Conditions like terminal illness, the need for oxygen, pending surgery, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, specific types of cancer, congestive heart failure, and recurring pain are generally excluded from coverage.

What does travel insurance cover me for? ›

The main categories of travel insurance include trip cancellation or interruption coverage, baggage and personal effects coverage, rental property and rental car coverage, medical coverage, and accidental death coverage.

Does travel insurance ask for proof? ›

If your trip is cancelled or disrupted, and the incident is covered under your travel insurance plan, you file a claim with your insurer. You may be asked to submit documentation so your losses can be verified and your benefits can be approved.

Does travel insurance cover all medical expenses? ›

Coverage is temporary and basically covers major medical services, such as hospitalization, urgent care, and emergency room visits if they result in you getting admitted to the hospital. It does not cover medical services such as doctor visits, prescriptions, preventive services, or pre-existing conditions.

Is anxiety covered by travel insurance? ›

Yes, you will need to tell us about any mental health-related conditions that you or, any travellers on your policy, have been diagnosed with. As part of your quote, you'll be able to declare anxiety as a pre-existing health condition. In doing so, it's likely that you'll be asked a few questions about your condition.

What pre-existing conditions are not covered? ›

Health insurers can no longer charge more or deny coverage to you or your child because of a pre-existing health condition like asthma, diabetes, or cancer, as well as pregnancy. They cannot limit benefits for that condition either.

What is considered pre-existing conditions for travel insurance? ›

You may have a pre-existing condition if you've sought treatment, had symptoms or taken medication within a few months before your trip for an injury, illness or medical situation. For example, say you see your doctor for an annual physical two months before your trip to Spain.

Is high blood pressure a pre-existing condition for travel insurance? ›

Holidaymakers often ask: 'Is high blood pressure a pre-existing medical condition for travel insurance? ' The answer is simple – high blood pressure is classed as a pre-existing medical condition, so you do need to tell your insurance provider when applying for a policy.

Does travel insurance cover cancelled trip? ›

When you buy travel insurance, comprehensive plans typically reimburse you the costs of canceled and delayed flights through travel delay coverage and trip cancellation insurance. Depending on the plan you choose, you can get reimbursed full refunds or prepaid costs once you qualify during the claims process.

What is not covered by Allianz travel insurance? ›

Claims due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories or fear of travel are generally not covered (coverage can vary by state.)

Is it worth claiming on travel insurance? ›

Travel insurance can give you extra protection if your holiday doesn't go as planned. This is very important if you are travelling independently because you may find yourself stranded with no way to get home and no rep to help sort out your holiday problem.

What is the most common travel insurance claim? ›

By far, the most common and often most significant travel insurance claim is for medical emergencies. A sudden illness or injury during your trip can not only ruin your plans but also cause a severe financial strain.

What questions do they ask for travel insurance? ›

The questions will vary depending on your condition. We may ask about your treatment, if you've been prescribed any medication, and any recent medical appointments. We will not need to know the name of the medications that you take. We may also ask you about what treatment you are expecting in the future, if any.

Can a travel insurance claim be denied? ›

Sometimes, a travel insurance company will list the reason for the denial. For example, you may need to provide more documentation for your claim. Those types of claim rejections are relatively easy to deal with as long as you have the right documentation.

Does travel insurance cover doctors visit? ›

While traveling abroad, it is common to get a minor illness such as a cold, the flu, a fever, diarrhea, stomach upset, etc. Such illnesses usually require you to visit a doctor's office. All U.S.-based travel medical insurance plans provide coverage for outpatient services such as doctor's office visits.

Does travel insurance cover cancelled flights? ›

Cancellation cover is a common inclusion with most standard travel insurance policies, but you can take it out separately if it doesn't offer enough cover. Alternatively, if you only want cancellation cover to protect you against cancelled flights rather than baggage protection, you can get it for that.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation? ›

Travel insurance cancellation can help you reclaim all or some of your costs should you need to cancel your holiday plans. Cancellation cover is included as part of most travel insurance policies. Therefore, you should expect to get the money back.

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