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 conditions are not covered by travel insurance? ›

Injuries or illnesses which occur during your trip are covered-unless they relate to a pre-existing injury or illness. However, some policies cover some pre-existing injuries or illnesses if you pay a higher premium. There may be exceptions to this such as terminal illnesses, mental disorders and heart conditions.

What is usually covered by travel insurance? ›

Comprehensive travel insurance

The comprehensive policy usually covers delays, cancellation due to sickness or death, lost luggage and some emergency medical costs.

What are two disadvantages travel insurance? ›

It can also be expensive, difficult to file claims, and not always cover the things you thought it would — or should.

What does travel insurance protect you against? ›

Travel insurance can protect you against the following things going wrong: cancelling or cutting short your trip for reasons beyond your control. missed transport or delayed departure for reasons beyond your control. medical and other emergencies.

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.

Can you claim Cancelled flights on travel insurance? ›

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.

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.

Does travel insurance usually pay out? ›

Trip cancellation

Cancellations can also be covered if a natural disaster, severe weather or airline strike prevents your carrier from getting you to your destination for at least 24 hours. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) plans provide a lot more flexibility and typically reimburse 50% to 75% of your expenses.

What is the average cost of travel insurance? ›

While travel insurance costs vary, the average is somewhere between 4-12% of your total trip cost*. If you're on the fence, then consider this: an emergency situation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the insurance plan might be a fraction of your trip cost.

Is it worth getting travel health insurance? ›

Travel insurance can pay for trip delays, lost personal items and medical emergencies. Plus, it might even reimburse prepaid expenses if you have to cancel altogether.

Is Allianz good travel insurance? ›

Allianz is a popular choice among business travelers due to its AllTrips Executive travel insurance policy with coverage for lost, stolen or damaged business equipment and rental car insurance. Earning 4.1 out of 5 stars, our expert reviewers think Allianz is a great choice for international travel insurance.

When should I buy travel insurance? ›

In general, you can buy coverage any time before the date of your trip. That said, it's always best to buy coverage as soon as you make your reservations. The sooner you buy travel insurance, the sooner you'll be protected and the more benefits you may be eligible to receive.

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.)

Does travel insurance cover non-refundable hotels? ›

The benefit is designed to protect prepaid, nonrefundable reservations, including flights, hotel reservations and other bookings if the trip is canceled due to an extraordinary circ*mstance. Each policy will state exactly which events are considered valid reasons for cancellations.

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 condition 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.

What counts as pre-existing medical conditions? ›

What are pre-existing medical conditions? A pre-existing medical condition (PEMC) is an illness or injury you had before your policy began or was renewed. Examples of pre-existing medical conditions include, diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol or a long-term back condition.

Does travel insurance cover all medical expenses? ›

If you travel within the U.S., your health insurance should cover any illness or injury you sustain. If you're traveling abroad, though, your plan may provide little or no coverage. The right travel insurance should cover doctors' fees and hospital bills, Durazo said.

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