Frequently Asked Questions
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Your policy may cover you for permitted business travel (see government advice on permitted travel as this is subject to ongoing review and may be different depending on where you live). A business trip can be defined as a journey specifically taken for work purposes and doesn’t include daily commutes, leisure trips or holidays. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you be in any doubt.
Advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) with respect to specific countries and regions may refers to “advice against all but essential travel”. The FCDO however does not define what is Essential travel. If the FCDO advises against all travel or non-essential travel to a particular country, island(s) or region, and you decide to travel anyway, this policy will not cover you for any issue that may arise, and any subsequent claim will be rejected. If you believe your travel is essential please email us at email@example.com so we can determine if your policy can cover you.
If you do not contact us and travel anyway your policy will not cover you for any peril that may arise, and any subsequent claim under any section of cover in the policy will be rejected.
Please call our Medical Assistance company as soon as possible.
If you are anywhere except the USA, Canada or Mexico call:
If you are in the USA or Canada call:
If you are in Mexico call:
They will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be able to advise you of the next steps to take and if any costs involved can be authorised. If this is not possible immediately due to the seriousness of the condition, you must contact the Assistance Company as soon as you can after admission to hospital.
Please contact our Claims Department as soon as possible o 0330 0200 134 or obtain a claim form from www.starttravel.co.uk/claims. We encourage you to submit your claim as soon as possible after the event.
Additionally, the Money and Pensions Services (MaPS) have now developed a directory of specialist travel insurance providers who can cater to your needs and requirements. You can contact them for details of these providers here.
Unfortunately, we are only able to cover UK residents and only trips that start and end in the UK.
When you buy a single trip policy, you will be covered for cancellation as soon as you have paid for it and cover for all policy benefits will commence on the travel date you select.
With annual multi-trip policies, you can choose when you would like the policy to start and all cover, including cancellation cover, will commence on the date you have selected.
If have purchased our 3, 4 or 5 Star products there is a maximum age limit of 80 for Annual multi-trip policies and no age limit for Single Trip policies.
If purchased our Essential, Classic or Premier products there is a maximum age limit of 75 for Annual multi-trip policies, 85 for Single Trip policies and 65 for Backpacker policies.
Unfortunately, if you have already left for your trip, we are unable to issue a policy to you due to the cover having to start and end in the United Kingdom. If you are already away, we cannot set up a new policy for you.
The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. You may not be able to use the card in some parts of the European Economic Area as state-provided healthcare may not be available.
Please note that travel insurance is not Private Medical Insurance and you should always seek permission from our Medical Assistance company before incurring Private Medical Costs in excess of £500.00 as there may be adequate/superior State Hospital Facilities nearby where you will be treated under the EHIC.
If you have purchased our 3, 4 or 5 Star product:
For annual multi-trips you are covered up to 62 days per trip under our 3&4 Star policies and up to 92 days under our 5 Star policies. Single trip can be covered up to 183 days.
If you have purchased our Essential, Classic or Premier product:
For Annual multi-trips you are covered up to 22 days under our Essential product, 32 days under our Classic product and 45 days under our Premier product. Single Trip can be purchased for trips up to 63 days and Backpacker policies can be purchased for trips u to 543 days.
Yes, we strongly recommend that you take your policy documents away with you so that you have the important telephone numbers and details to hand if the worst should occur.
Ideally we recommend you keep a copy of the wording on your smart phone or mobile device for ease of access.
No, unfortunately, the policy does not cover you if you are involved in acts of terrorism or associated circumstances.
If you are travelling once over the next year, it may be better for you to have a single trip policy but if you intend to go on more than one trip, it is likely that it will be better value for you to purchase an annual multi-trip. The cover lasts an entire year, allowing you to simply enjoy your holidays without having to think about travel insurance each time you travel, but please ensure that you travel within the geographical area that applies to the policy you have purchased. With regards to policy type, please check the cover limits carefully to ensure that it suits your requirements.
You are automatically covered for some activities under the policy and refer to your policy wording for our list of covered activities. Please read this carefully as some activities may exclude Personal Accident and Personal Liability cover. If you will be participating in an activity that is not listed, please contact us on +44 (0)333 320 1240. Opening hours are Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:30.
There is no cover for winter sports as standard under the policy but you have the option to add this for a small charge. This is available for individuals up to the age of 64 years and duration available will depend on the policy you purchase, details are clearly defined in the winter sports section of your policy wording.
Unfortunately, we are unable to cover you if your flight is delayed or cancelled due to volcanic ash affecting air space.
Yes, you can upgrade your policy to include extra cover such as adding Winter sports but please contact our enquiries team to advise them of this before you travel. We are unable to amend details once you have left for your trip.
Provided that you have not yet travelled and have not claimed under the policy, we are able to cancel your policy and provide you with a full refund within 14 days from when the policy was purchased.
If you see something that needs to be amended, please get in touch as soon as possible by ringing +44 (0) 333 320 1240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours are Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:30.
In the first instance, you should contact your airline, tour operator, accommodation provider, or other carriers to enquire about refunds, or about changing travel dates.
Our policies do not cover persons entering an area against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This will not apply if you have purchased our Enhanced COVID-19 Protect cover (where it is available*) and you are travelling to a European destination and the restriction is against “all but essential travel” solely related to COVID-19.
*Available only on products purchased directly from us and not via a price comparison website.
If you or any other traveller on this policy contract COVID-19 and have chosen not to have the recommended vaccination(s) you will not be covered for any COVID-19 related claims under this policy.
The UK Government has recommended that all eligible persons have a booster vaccination. If you have not had the booster vaccine you may not be covered under our policy.
Discretion may be applied if you are medically exempt to have the recommended vaccination(s) and this is shown on your medical records.
There is no cover under our insurance policies for costs to quarantine in the UK or your destination country or any other consequential costs such as loss of earnings.
As of February 2022, the traffic light system which dictated quarantine requirements when returning to the UK has been repealed, however this may change quickly depending on the UK Governments response to the pandemic. Please continue to monitor the UK Governments website for further updates, or your local government website if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as the rules may differ.
It is also important to check the government website of the country you are travelling to, to ensure you are up to date on their latest requirements.
If you are travelling to Europe we now offer Enhanced Covid-19 Protect Cover add-on to policies purchased directly from us and not through a price comparison website, giving greater protection against a wider range of COVID-19 related issues.
You can easily add this to your policy, when choosing your policy type, prior to purchase. Alternatively, if you already have a policy with us and require the benefits of the add-on please call our customer service team who can assist you in adding it to an existing policy.
The key benefit is the add on will cover you if you choose to travel against FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) advice in relation to COVID-19, as long as the advice is against “all but essential travel” solely as a result of COVID-19.
You should contact your Travel Agent, Tour Operator, airline or accommodation or credit card provider for a refund in the first instance.
Booked through a Travel Agent or Tour Operator
If you booked with a Travel Agent or Tour Operator, you should contact them first to see if you can make any changes to your trip, or if they are able to offer you a refund. You can make a claim under the Package Travel Regulations if any travel intermediary booked two or more parts of your holiday together and they are then unable to deliver the full package.
You should not pay any additional payments to your Tour Operator or Travel Agent without confirmation that any additional payment is fully refundable should the trip be cancelled for any reason by the operator (for example the balance of the holiday cost where you have only paid a deposit so far).
Booked flights only or accommodation only
If you booked your travel independently, you should still approach the travel provider (airline, accommodation provider etc) in the first instance to rebook or for a refund.
If you have alternative dates to travel after contacting your Travel Agent or Tour Operator, airline and/or accommodation provider, please contact our team who will update your policy. Please note, any change to your policy may result in a change of premium.
There is no cover for any curtailment costs if the UK Government changes the ‘traffic light’ status of your destination. As of February 2022, the traffic light system has been repealed, however this may change quickly depending on the UK governments response to the pandemic. Please continue to monitor the UK Governments website for further updates, or your local government website if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as the rules may differ.
If you have tested positive while on your trip and have been asked to self-isolate, you will be covered for any emergency medical expenses in treating your illness. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply - please check the policy wording for full details.
If you have not tested positive and have been asked to self-isolate as you have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive, there would be no cover under the insurance policy.
There is no cover for the cost of obtaining evidence to support your claim.
Please check what the entry requirements are for your destination. If you do not meet the vaccination requirements set by your destination, there is no cover under the insurance policy for your accommodation / travel costs.
If your children or anyone else on the policy have chosen not to have the recommended vaccination(s) you will not be covered for any COVID-19 related claims under this policy.
The UK Government has recommended that all eligible persons have a booster vaccination. If you have not had the booster vaccine you may not be covered under our policy. Discretion may be applied if you are medically exempt to have the recommended vaccination(s) and this is shown on your medical records.
If the person that tests positive is under the age of 18 or if medically necessary our assistance team may allow you to stay past your pre-booked return date. Please contact our assistance team as soon as possible to ensure they are able to support you with your claim.
If you have been given alternative dates to travel by your airline and/or accommodation provider, please contact our customer service team who will be able to assist you by updating your policy.
Please note, any change on your policy may result in a change of premium.
You should contact your Tour Operator or Travel agent to check that any additional payment is fully refundable should the trip be cancelled for any reason by the operator (for example the balance of the holiday cost where you have only paid a deposit so far).
It is very important that you do check and get clarity from the Airline or Tour Operator as if your trip is cancelled you should expect a full refund of the whole cost of the trip once you have paid the full amount. It may sound counter-intuitive to pay out more money to guarantee either a holiday or your money back, but that is the way some operators' policies work.
Deciding not to pay the balance and not getting clarity from your Airline or Tour Operator could mean that you lose the deposit or even if the trip is subsequently cancelled, you may not get the money back.
Disinclination to travel is not covered under the travel insurance policy.
There is no cover under your policy if you are not allowed entry to a country which has:
- closed its borders; or
- placed restrictions on entry to its country to nationals from certain countries; or
- placed restrictions to nationals who have travelled to countries affected by an outbreak of Coronavirus
If you are refused entry at passport/border control, you should contact your airline or transport provider to arrange changing your return ticket to allow you to come home early.
If a Medical Practitioner has advised you not to travel because test results show you or a family member has contracted COVID-19 within 14 days of your pre-booked departure date you may be able to submit a claim for cancellation.
If a Medical Practitioner has advised you not to travel because you, a travelling companion or a family member has been instructed to self-isolate which prevents you from starting your insured journey and you have purchased the Enhanced COVID-19 Protect cover option you may be able to submit a claim for cancellation.
Your policy covers you if a number of things happen to stop you from travelling, which are listed in your policy wording. There is no cover for not wanting to go on holiday because of the fear or risk of contracting Coronavirus.
You may be able to arrange alternative dates to travel by contacting your Travel Agent or Tour Operator, airline and/or accommodation provider. Once this is agreed please contact our customer services team who will update your policy. Please note, any change on your policy may result in a change of premium.
Yes, provided this is a PCR test undertaken by an approved NHS site and processed through an approved NHS laboratory then this meets the criteria of being certified by a Medical Practitioner
No, there is no cover for you cancelling your trip if a relative is diagnosed with COVID-19 and you chose not to travel.
Yes, provided the friend or relatives’ diagnosis is confirmed by a medically approved test and validated by a Medical Practitioner then the policy provides cover for this scenario.
Yes, provided you have written confirmation from your scheduled Public Transport operator (or their handling agents) confirming the exact reason for which You were denied boarding, together with details of any alternative transport offered.
Yes, provided you take a medically approved COVID-19 test certified by a Medical Practitioner which shows a positive diagnosis you will be covered for Emergency Medical and Repatriation expenses should they be required including reasonable additional travel and accommodation expenses. Please contact the Emergency Assistance team as soon possible if required.
Yes, depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim for reasonable additional travel and accommodation costs till you are able to return home. Please contact the Emergency Assistance team as soon as possible if required.
Yes, if your relative or member of your household dies following a medically approved test showing a positive result for COVID-19 or is hospitalised for treatment requiring mechanical ventilation, you will be covered for cutting your trip short and returning to the UK.
Once we receive your claim we will pass it to the necessary team for processing. A claim handler will assess the nature of your claim and ensure that they have the necessary documentation to process a settlement. If the nature of your claim is not covered or is not within the conditions of your policy your claim will be rejected and passed back to our administration team. They will endeavour to contact you to discuss your options. If we don’t receive the necessary documentation to support your claim it will be passed back to our administration team who will get in touch to support you with your claim.
We will endeavour to get in touch will all claimants within 21 days of receipt of their claim. Due to COVID-19 we have extended our response time from 10 to 21 days. The response time could be extended if additional supporting evidence is requested
Unfortunately we are unable to offer a receipt of your claim. We will endeavour to get in touch will all claimants within 21 days of receipt of their claim with a settlement, request for further information or rejection of their claim. Due to COVID-19 we have extended our response time from 10 to 21 days. If you do not hear from us immediately after you have sent your claim do not worry, it can take time to assess the nature of your claim, and endeavour to cover any losses you may have incurred.
When an airline cancels a flight you are entitled to certain refunds and compensation from the airline.
We ask that before you contact us in relation to costs arising from the recent spate of flight cancellations that you first directly approach your airline, tour operator or packaged holiday organiser.
If you are unable to get a refund or compensation from any of the above companies and you paid for your trip with a credit card you may also be able to recover your costs through section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act or via a 'chargeback claim'.
If you have alternative dates to travel after contacting your Travel Agent or Tour Operator, airline and/or accommodation provider, please contact our customer service team who will update your policy. Please note, any change on your policy may result in a change of premium.
Please be aware that our claims team is currently handling a large volume of calls and cases and we would appreciate your patience as there may be a delay in responding to calls or claims submitted.
Our 24-hour medical emergency helpline remains open and operating as normal, but we would politely remind customers that this line should only be used for medical emergencies when travelling.
We can extend your cover for an initial period of 72 hours, but this only applies if you accept the first return flight that you are offered. Please also be aware that an additional premium may be payable.
Should you find that you need to extend your cover for more than 72 hours please contact our team on 0330 320 1240 as soon as possible.
If you wish to claim for any additional expenses that you have incurred because you are stranded overseas due to your flight being cancelled, in the first instance you must contact your airline, tour operator or other carrier to obtain compensation to cover these additional costs.
This is covered by the EU Regulation No. 261/2004 and more information on it can be found at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/eur/2004/261/contents
If you paid for your trip by credit card you may also be able to recover your costs through section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act or via a 'chargeback claim'.
More information about consumer rights can be found by visiting the Citizens Advice Bureau website or the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO): www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Yes, you should ideally buy travel insurance straight after booking your trip. This means from the policy start date, if you need to cancel your trip for any reason covered by the policy, you’ll be able to make a claim.
Buying annual travel insurance every year is a good idea for frequent travellers because you’ll know you’re always covered if you need to cancel ahead of your trip.
Your current annual travel insurance policy will need to be valid at the time of booking your trip to ensure you are covered for cancellation. If purchasing a new annual travel insurance policy, remember to set the start date from the date of booking your trip.