AllClear’s Travel Insurance Jargon Buster

March 2011

Last year AllClear did some research and asked you what you really hate about travel insurance. One of the key winners was jargon and so we have put this guide together to help you get through that travel insurance jargon and understand more about your policy.

Some of the terms are words we use everyday, but they have a very specific definition when used in travel insurance documentation. Other words are more unusual, and you will probably only hear them used in relation to medical travel insurance.

This Jargon Buster is only a guide. You should of course make sure you read your own travel insurance carefully and if you have any questions telephone your travel insurance provider.

Adult: A person aged 18 or over

Annual Multi-Trip: Means the cover shall extend for a period of one year from the issue date of the Certificate and not the date of the first holiday/trip. If any new medical conditions occur during the period of your travel insurance you will be required to contact the insurance company for confirmation that your travel insurance cover can continue. Most policies have a restriction on the maximum trip length per holiday.

Assistance Services: Services offered by the medical Assistance company including making suitable medical arrangements and transmission of emergency messages.

Cancellation: Cancellation of the trip resulting from an unforeseen circumstances, such as injury or illness.

Child: A person up to and including the age of 17.

Claims Handler: Named on your travel insurance policy documentation. They are appointed by the Insurance Company to handle all claims arising under the terms of the travel insurance which you purchase.

Cooling Off Period: All travel insurance policies will offer a cooling off period during which you can return your policy within 14 days from receipt of documents in order to receive a full refund of premium provided no claim has occurred and travel has not taken place.

Curtail/Curtailment – Return home from your holiday earlier than the date planned. Travel insurance cover normally provides only a pro-rata reimbursement of the unused portion of the journey/holiday cost. Often this term is used in conjunction with Abandonment.

Date of Issue: Date shown on the policy documentation as to when the premium was paid and the insurance was issued.

Excess: The portion of a claim which must be paid by you, the policy holder. Remember to check the excesses in the policy booklet before you actually buy the policy.

General Exclusion: Something which is not covered by the insurance and relates to every section of the policy. Usually found listed at the beginning of your policy documentation. Read this small print carefully!!

Geographical Limits: Geographical areas shown on the policy documentation. Note that most travel insurance policies do not cover claims arising from travel to countries that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against visiting.

Hazardous Activities: If you are going to take part in a dangerous activity where there is a high risk of injury, check that your insurance covers you. Certain sections of the policy will have specific exclusions in this regard. You will normally need additional travel insurance cover for winter sports.

Health: Your travel insurance will contain restrictions regarding pre-existing medical conditions concerning the health of the people travelling AND of other people upon whose health the trip may depend. You are advised to read the document carefully and declare all pre-existing medical conditions and problems when applying for travel insurance. AllClear can provide comprehensive travel insurance that includes your pre-existing medical conditions.

Immediate relative: Mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, partner, (same or different sex), son, daughter, (including fostered/adopted son or daughter), grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, son–in–law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, step-parent, step-child, step-brother, step-sister or legal guardian.

Limits/Level of Cover: Most sections of your travel insurance will have limits on the amount the Insurer will pay under that section. You are advised to check your travel insurance levels of cover if you intend taking expensive items with you.

Missed Departure: Arriving at the British Isles departure point too late to commence the trip as booked.

Pre-existing medical condition: This definition may vary depending on the insurance provider. At AllClear, if you have taken any prescribed medication or required medical treatment with the last two years, or been a registered in or out-patient in the last two years, this is classified a pre-existing medical condition.

Reasonable Care: You need to take all reasonable care to protect yourself and your property in the same way that you would when on holiday or travelling abroad if you were not covered by a travel insurance policy.

Reciprocal Health Agreement: If you intend travelling to Europe you should either obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This will entitle you to certain free health arrangements. You should take the EHIC with you and make sure that any medical treatment is provided at hospitals or by doctors working within the terms of the Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement unless the Medical Assistance Company agrees otherwise.

Repatriation: Returning Home as a result of accidental injury or illness. This would usually be agreed in advance and arranged by the Medical Assistance Company who are appointed by the travel insurance company and operate on a 24-hours a day/365 days a year basis.

Travel Delay: The delay of a flight, English Channel crossing or other pre-booked transportation.

Travelling Companion: People you have arranged or booked to travel with.

Travelling companion cancellation cover: Cover for travelling companions insured under another travel insurance provider, for cancellation and curtailment, due to your pre-existing medical condition that AllClear have agreed to cover in writing, providing the additional premium has been paid.

Undiagnosed Condition: A condition where the cause has not been diagnosed by a medical practitioner. Travel insurers cannot provide a quote or offer cover until your condition has been diagnosed.

United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Scilly Isles, the Isle of Man, and Channel Islands.

These are the main phrases, but there are lots of others. If you have any other travel insurance questions, please feel free to ask AllClear – either on Facebook, or Twitter, or our online help, or UK call centre.