A short guide to travel insurance: What do the sections cover?

Travel insurance is one of the most extensive types of insurance you can buy, covering many different risks including emergency medical costs, cancellation, legal expenses and personal property.

If you've ever looked at your travel insurance schedule of cover and not been quite sure what all the different sections are actually for this guide will help you.

Please be aware that this is a brief guide and not necessarily specific to your policy; you should read your policy wording for the full terms and conditions of your own travel insurance cover.

Medical and Repatriation Expenses

This is the most important section of your travel insurance policy; it covers the cost of emergency medical treatment whilst you are abroad and repatriation back to the UK if medically necessary. It also includes access to our 24 hour medical emergency support team who are there to help you get the treatment you need quickly.

To ensure that you are properly covered by your travel insurance for medical expenses you need to declare all pre-existing medical conditions.

Hospital Benefit

Not to be confused with the cover for medical bills provided by the Medical Expenses section, hospital benefit is an extra benefit which you can claim if you have to stay in hospital as an inpatient.

Hospital benefit is designed to cover additional expenses that you may incur as a result of you being hospitalised, such as books, magazine and telephone calls.

Mobility Aids

Provides cover if your mobility aids, including wheelchairs, walking frames and sticks are lost, stolen or damaged whilst you are on holiday.

Cancellation and Curtailment

The cancellation and curtailment section of your travel insurance policy provides cover if you need to cancel your holiday before you depart, or curtail (cut short) your holiday whilst you are away due to various reasons which are specified in the policy wording and include; your illness, the illness of a close relative, redundancy or your home becoming uninhabitable.

Travel Delay

The Travel Delay section of your travel insurance kicks in if your outbound or inbound international journey is delayed, due to strike or industrial action, adverse weather or mechanical breakdown.

Travel delay provides a fixed benefit for every 12 hours that you are delayed, it is designed to cover the cost of additional expenses such as food and drink whilst you wait at the airport.


If you are delayed by more than 12 hours Abandonment cover gives you the option to abandon your holiday and make a claim for any unrecoverable costs up to the amount specified in the Cancellation section of the policy. This should enable you rebook your holiday for another time.

Missed Departure

The missed departure section of your travel insurance provides cover for the cost of additional travel expenses to reach your holiday destination or return home if you missed the international departure of your outward or return journey, due to the vehicle you are travelling in breaking down or being involved in an accident, public transport being delayed, or you being delayed as a result of a major accident on a motorway.

Personal Property

Provides cover for the accidental loss, damage or theft of your baggage and personal possessions, up to the amount specified in the schedule of benefits.

Please be aware that there are single article and valuables limits within this cover. If you are travelling with valuable items you may want to consider covering them on your home contents insurance or buying separate gadget insurance.

Personal Money

The personal money section of a travel insurance policy provides cover for the accidental loss or theft of your personal money whilst you are on holiday. Please note there is a cash limit within this section.

Delayed Baggage

Delayed baggage provides cover in the event that your luggage is delayed by more than 12 hours on your outbound journey. It is designed to cover the cost of purchasing replacement essentials such as clothes and toiletries to keep you going until your possessions arrive. You will need receipts for your purchases in order to make a claim.

Loss of Passport

This section of a travel insurance policy provides cover for the reasonable costs of replacing your passport or travel documents to allow you to return to the UK following accidental loss or theft.

Personal Accident Cover

If you have an accident whilst you are on holiday, which directly results in your death or permanent disablement, you will be entitled to claim a benefit payment as specified in the policy terms and conditions.

Personal Public Liability

Personal Public Liability provides insurance cover up to the amount specified, if you are found legally liable for costs relating to you accidentally injuring someone, or damaging or losing their property whilst you are on holiday.

Legal Expenses

The legal expenses section of a travel insurance policy provides cover for your legal expenses up to the amount specified, if you have to claim compensation or damages from another person due to something that happened during the period of your insurance (whilst you were away on holiday).

Catastrophe Cover

This section of your travel insurance is designed to cover additional accommodation and/or travel expenses if you are forced to move from your pre-booked accommodation as a result of a catastrophe such as hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake or medical epidemic. It is designed to enable you to continue your holiday or if your trip cannot be continued or return to the UK early.


Hijack cover provides a daily benefit in the event that the aircraft or ship you are travelling in is hijacked, and you are delayed in reaching your destination. It takes the form of a fixed amount for every 24 hours that you are delayed.

Scheduled Airline Failure

Provides cover for the insolvency of a holiday supplier if your holiday is not protected by ATOL or another form of bonding i.e. you have booked elements of your holiday separately, or booked a flight and/or accommodation direct with an airline.

If the insolvency occurs before you leave on your holiday you can make a claim for the cost of the element which failed, enabling you to rebook with an alternative provider and take your holiday as planned.

If the insolvency occurs whilst you are away, cover is provided to replace that element of your holiday to a similar standard or if necessary for transport back to the UK.

This is a very brief overview of the cover travel insurance can provide whilst you are away and before you leave - for full details you should read the policy wording.

Get a travel insurance quote for your next holiday today.