April 26, 2019


Travel insurance is a means to safeguard oneself against any unforeseen and unwanted eventuality during one’s journey. It provides financial support or compensation for any loss incurred when the insured person is traveling from one place to another or is away from his or her home. The travel insurance cover includes both medical and non-medical (travel related) assistance such as hospitalization or baggage loss.

However, like all other types of insurance, it is a contract that is governed by terms and conditions of the agreement between the insurer and the insured. Other than benefits, these terms and conditions include certain exclusions whose purpose is to narrow down the applicability of insurance cover and thereby limit the liability of the insurance service provider.

In this blog, Student Cover brings you a list of such common exclusions which are explicitly mentioned in almost every travel insurance agreement. When the buyer of the agreement signs the document, he or she gives consent to abide by the terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement paper, including the exclusions.

  1. Pre-existing diseases – Travel insurance provides cover during medical emergencies that arise during travel. These emergencies could be due to travel induced sickness. However, it does not provide medical cover in case of ill health or sickness caused by any pre-existing disease. These may include diseases like cancer, HIV and, at times, even kidney stone and appendicitis.
  2. Injury due to dangerous sports – There are certain travel insurance plans that provide insurance cover not only during the journey but also for medical emergencies during all the days of travel period mentioned in the travel policy. Those plans that provide insurance cover during a holiday or leisure trip exclude medical expenses for injuries caused due to the involvement in dangerous sports such as bungee jumping or paragliding. However, injuries caused due to sports such as beach volleyball etc. are covered by travel insurance.
  3. Self-inflicted injuries – While most travel insurance plans have provision for compensation in case of accidental death, they do not provide cover in case of incidents like attempted suicide where a person tries to cause bodily harm to oneself. This provision also extends to incidents where the individual has deliberately put oneself in harm’s way such as intentionally breaking road safety rules in order to harm oneself.
  4. Natural calamities – Incidents that are classified as ‘act of god’ are not covered by travel insurance companies. These include earthquakes, hurricanes and cyclones. If a person is killed, injured or suffers loss during natural calamities, insurance provider is not liable to compensate him or her. This is because neither the insured nor the insurer has any control over such forces of nature which lead to catastrophic consequences.
  5. Visiting regions marked as dangerous – These days, several travel insurance plans provide cover against terrorist attacks. However, their coverage is limited to areas deemed as peaceful. If a person visits an area or region which has been expressly declared as disturbed or dangerous, he or she is unlikely to receive any compensation for the loss suffered while in that area. These exclusions usually apply in regions that are facing a civil war, insurgency or have history of terrorism related incidents. Every Embassy or High Commission has a list of such regions and areas. At times, governments also issue travel advisory to its citizens asking them to stay away from such places.
  6. War or military action – If a war breaks out in a region that a traveller is visiting, then any damage caused to the person or to his or her belongings by such a war or military action is not covered by the travel insurance provider. This also includes injury or damage caused by any nuclear explosion.
  7. Baggage delay for less than 24 hours – Compensation for loss of checked-in baggage is covered by almost every travel insurance plan. However, that doesn’t mean that the travel insurance company would compensate the customer immediately. If the baggage is found within 24 hours since the time the baggage loss report was made, the customer will not be provided any compensation for the lost baggage. To avail the insurance benefit, the baggage would have to be lost indefinitely. Click here to know about how to claim insurance for lost baggage.
  8. Loss due to negligence – Travel insurance plans compensate for any theft of baggage or passport but they do not provide cover if it is found that the theft took place due to the negligence of the individual. Whether at the airport, hotel or in the street, if the said items were stolen because they were left unattended by the customer, then the travel insurance company is not bound to compensate the customer for such a theft.
  9. Involvement in reckless or unlawful activity – If a loss or injury is caused to the customer due to his or her involvement in activities which are deemed as unlawful, travel insurance company does not provide cover to the customer. Such unlawful activity may include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; being involved in violence and any other such activity deemed illegal as per the law.
  10. Invalid reason for trip cancellation – If a traveler cancels the trip or is unable to undertake the trip due to any reason, he or she should intimate the insurance service provider and give valid and genuine reason for the cancellation of the trip. If the individual fails to provide sufficient proof to the insurance provider regarding the reason for the cancellation of the trip, he or she would not be reimbursed or compensated for cancellation of the trip. Just deciding not to travel is not a sufficient and valid reason to seek reimbursement or compensation from the travel insurance provider.

We hope that readers will find the content of this blog informative and useful while buying or filing a claim with the travel insurance provider.

Disclaimer: The exclusions mentioned in this blog are not exhaustive. Readers are advised to seek the list of exclusions from their respective travel insurance provider before buying a travel insurance policy.

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