We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Consumer Rights.

Updated: 4 Mar 2021

I’m having problems claiming on my travel insurance

Travel insurance gives extra protection if your trip doesn't go as planned. Find out what you need to do if you have problems claiming on your travel insurance policy.
Which?Editorial team

Making a travel insurance claim

If you have a problem with your travel insurance claim it's important to check the small print in your policy to make sure that you're covered.

An insurer may refuse to pay out some, or all of your claim, because of the following:

  • There is an excess The excess is the amount of the claim that the insurer won't pay at all.  It is typically between £50 and £100.
  • There are exclusions Exclusions are things you’re not covered for and usually found in the small print. They can vary between policies.
  • You’ve been overcharged  An insurer will only refund reasonable costs and won't pay out if you've been overcharged for what you're claiming for.
  • You didn't take reasonable care  For example, if you left bags unattended or gave them to someone you didn't know and they go missing, the insurer may refuse to pay out.
  • Cover doesn't replace new for old  Insurers may pay out less than you're claiming for to allow for wear and tear of your belongings.
  • Valuables in checked luggage  An insurer may view this as you not taking reasonable care and my refuse to pay out.
  • A pre-existing medical condition  If you didn't tell the insurer about a pre-existing medical condition when you bought the policy, you're insurer probably won't pay out.

Key Information

Top Travel insurance tips

  • Before complaining to your insurer, check your policy to make sure you have a right to complain
  • You must first complain to your insurer using their internal complaints process
  • Keep copies of all correspondence in case you need to take your complaint further
  • Keep all receipts and send copies unless you're asked to provide the originals

Get insured and travel safely with our Travel insurance advice.

Making a travel insurance complaint

If you think you're covered and your insurer is acting unfairly, you can make a complaint.

The first thing to do is to put your complaint in writing and tell the insurer how you want it resolved.

If you're not happy with their response, you can make a formal complaint using the company's internal complaints procedure. 

All insurers are covered by the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have to deal with complaints in a certain way.

Complaining to the ombudsman

You should give the insurer up to eight weeks to reply to your complaint. 

If they don't come back to you or you don't agree with their response, you can ask for a letter of deadlock.

A letter of deadlock confirms that you and your insurer have been unable to reach an agreement.  

You can then take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS will look into your complaint and make a decision. 

The insurer will have to follow the decision reached by the FOS, but you don't have to. 

If you don't agree and want to take your complaint further, you can take your insurer to court but this should only be considered as a last resort. 

Key Information

Travel insurance claim denied

Think twice before paying a complaints company to make your complaint. You can refer your complaint for free to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Travel agent or operator insurance

In the first instance, put your complaint in writing and tell your tour operator or travel agent how you want it resolved. 

As with a separate travel insurance provider, you can make a formal complaint using the company's internal complaints procedure if you're not happy with their initial response. 

If you're still not happy, you can then go to the FOS - as long as your complaint is about your travel insurance claim.

If your complaint is about the way you were sold the insurance policy, you can still complain to the FOS, as this would be viewed as a financial product that may have been mis-sold.