I have an annual travel insurance policy that expires at the end of July but I’m going on holiday to Spain with my family for two weeks in August.
Will we still be covered under the insurance if we need to cancel before our holiday date even though it technically will have expired by the time we go away?
If not do we need to buy a separate insurance policy to provide extra cover?
Am I covered for my August family holiday to Spain if my travel insurance expires in July?
Rebecca Rutt, of This is Money, replies: Travel insurance is designed to protect you not just while you’re on holiday but also if anything goes wrong beforehand.
This depends on the policy but generally if someone is too ill to travel, or there has been a death – either of one of the travellers or one of their family members – you can cancel your holiday and the insurance will pay out so you’re not out of pocket.
You can buy either a single policy, which just covers you for one trip, or an annual policy which will last for a year and cover any trips you make within that time.
If you’re going away a few times an annual policy generally often works out cheaper as long as it covers you for all the countries you visit.
However in your case you are going on a family holiday in August but by then your annual insurance policy will have expired. Therefore you’ve asked if you are still covered if you need to cancel the trip before you go away.
We checked with a few of the major insurers to see what their policy was on this.
Insurance is designed to pay out if you need to cancel your trip before you set off
Aviva told us its policy states that: ‘We will cover trips booked during one period of insurance but not taking place until the next period of insurance if your annual multi trip policy with us is still in force at the time of an incident resulting in a claim.’
While LV said: ‘If the trip had to be cancelled and the policy was in force at the point the event occurred that led to cancellation of the holiday, we would cover it.
‘However, with recent research showing that around three million people failed to buy travel insurance for their last trip, yet one in five travellers had to make a claim, we would urge travellers to always have adequate travel insurance before going away.’
A spokesperson from Direct Line said: ‘The holidaymaker would be covered for an event that occurred before the annual policy runs out. However, it wouldn’t cover events after the policy expires related to this holiday.
‘If a customer has reason to believe they need to cancel, they should speak to their travel agent and insurer as soon as possible. We would also recommend renewing their travel insurance to ensure they are covered up until departure for the policy benefits and whilst they are in Spain.’
In these three examples you would be covered until the annual policy has expired and if you needed to cancel the trip before July, and your policy was still in place, you would be able to use it.
This tends to be standard across the insurance industry for both annual and single policies, although it’s always worth checking your individual policy.
However it’s important you make sure you have insurance while you’re actually away to cover you in case something goes wrong with your holiday or someone falls ill.
This can be with your current insurer, if you choose to renew with it, or with a different insurer if you find a better deal elsewhere.