Travel Insurance Jargon Buster

Travel Insurance Jargon Buster

Helping You Understand Travel Insurance Terms & Phrases...

Travel insurance terminology can be a bit confusing, so we have put together this guide to clarify common terms and definitions to help you cut through the jargon! Do however, make sure to read your own travel insurance policy wording carefully. The information we detail below is only a guide and you may find that some travel insurers have slightly different interpretations. If you have any questions, feel free to message us on Facebook or Twitter.


 A person over the age of 18

Annual Multi Trip

A travel insurance policy that will extend for one year (365 days) from the date of issue. These policies normally have a limit of how long you can be away for per trip i.e. 17 days, 31 days, and 45 days. Trips must start and end in the UK. If any new medical conditions develop during the life of the policy, you will be required to contact the insurer and confirm that insurance cover can continue.


If you have to cancel your trip/ holiday due to unforeseen circumstances, such as injury or illness, you may be able to claim on your policy.


A person under the age of 18. Do check with your travel insurance provider as in some cases a child may also constitute as a person under the age of 21 years in permanent education/ or be living at home with parents.

Claims Handler

Appointed by the insurance company, and named on the policy documentation, to handle claims arising under the terms of the travel insurance policy which you purchase.

Close Family Relative

Mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, civil partner, 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.

Cooling Off Period

Within 14 days of receipt of your documents, provided travel has not taken place and no claims have been made, you can return your policy in order to receive a full refund.


A couple (including same sex) in a common law or married relationship who cohabit at the same address.


If you need to cut your holiday short and return home earlier than planned, you may be able to claim on your policy. Normally, travel insurance cover will provide a pro-rata reimbursement of the unused portion of the trip/ holiday cost.

Date of Issue

The date the premium was paid and the insurance issued. This will be shown on the policy documentation and is not to be confused with the date of travel.


The part of the insurance claim YOU have to pay. An excess applies to most sections of a travel insurance policy and the amounts can vary.


A single parent or two parents travelling together with their child or children (normally under 18 years) for whom they are the legal guardians and who all reside together.

General Exclusions

Things that are not covered by the insurance policy and related to every section of the policy. A list of general exclusions tends to be located at the back or front of the policy documentation/ booklet. It’s important that you pay close attention to this small print!

Geographical Limit/ Area

Areas of the world where the insurance covers you to travel. The countries/ area that you have purchased cover for will be detailed on your policy documentation. Please note, claims arising from countries that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against visiting will not be covered.

Hazardous Activities

Any sport or activity where there is an increased risk of injury or accident. Certain sections of the policy will have will have specific exclusions in relation to hazardous activities. Before participating in any activities, you should check your policy wording to find out if you are covered. Normally, an additional premium will be required to cover winter sports.


Your permanent residence in the UK.

Limits/ Level of Cover

The maximum limit that will be paid out in the event of a claim. Most sections of a travel insurance policy will specify a limit. You are advised to check the limit/ level of cover is enough to meet your needs. For example, that the cancellation limit is enough to cover the cost of your holiday if you had to cancel.

Medical Assistance Company

A company that has been appointed by the travel insurer to provide services including making suitable medical arrangements and the transmission of emergency messages. They should be your first port of call when in an emergency medical situation and their telephone number should be included in the policy documents. They normally operate on 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year basis.

Period of Insurance

The period of insurance for all sections, except for Cancellation, commences when you leave our home in the UK to start your trip and ends when you have returned to your home in the UK. The period of insurance for cancellation commences when the premium has been paid and ends when you depart the UK on your outbound journey.

Personal Liability

Legal liability for accidental injury to a third party, and/ or accidental damage to property belonging to a third party.

Pre Existing Medical Condition

Medical conditions that existed before applying for travel insurance. Most insurers require you to inform them if you take prescribed medication for any medical conditions, have required medical treatment in the last two years and have EVER been treated or diagnosed with any heart, circulatory, respiratory, stoke or cancerous conditions.

Reasonable Care

You need to take reasonable care to protect yourself and your property in the same way you would when on holiday or travelling abroad, as if you were not covered by travel insurance.


This is when you have to be returned home as a result of illness or injury. This would be agreed in advance and arranged by the Medical Assistance Company appointed by the travel insurance company.

Travelling Companions

People you have arranged to travel/ go on holiday with.

Undiagnosed Condition

A medical condition that has not received a diagnosis by a medical practitioner. Travel insurer cannot offer cover for medical conditions that are under investigation or have not been diagnosed.

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How Medical Travel Compared works

We’re a specialist comparison website that provides people with pre-existing medical conditions an easy way to find suitable travel insurance. You’ll find a range of guides, articles and tips across our site. Whilst we always aim to provide the most accurate information and guidance, we can’t always guarantee that the information contained in the pages of our website is correct. Because of this, we can’t accept liability if things go wrong and you use the information at your own risk.

  • This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. You should always consult a medical professional to ensure you are healthy and fit enough to travel.
  • The information on our site does not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research for your specific circumstances as the information contained within this site is built to offer generic, not bespoke guidance.
  • We always endeavour to provide accurate product and price information, but products and rates issued by our panel of providers are live and subject to changes outside of our control and without warning.
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