Insure my travels
Travel Insurance Frequently asked questions
- Check that you and your travel partners' passports are in-date. Some immigration authorities will require that your passport has at least 6 months left to run. New passports and even renewals can take several weeks to arrive so leave plenty of time to allow for unexpected delays.
- Check that you have the required visas to travel. In some cases these can be quickly applied electronically, but others will take more time to arrange.
- It is advisable to check with your GP what vaccinations you might need at least 6 weeks before you travel.
- You can visit www.dh.gov.uk/travellers for general medical advice for travellers.
- Pick Travel Insurance with adequate cover and benefit levels to give you peace of mind while you are away. American Express is a trusted global brand; travel the world with peace of mind.
- Cancel any regular deliveries such as newspapers, milk and online shopping orders.
- Make sure that you have left enough time to book any pets into kennels.
- Check with the airline what the luggage restrictions and weight limit are for your flight. Excess baggage costs can be high, and it is often easy to forget when packing about restricted items such as spray deodorant and nail scissors. Do your research in advance to avoid having to sort through your bags in public to remove the offending items!
- It is wise to check the UK weather report before you go away. In cold weather, water pipes may burst without the usual warmth from the indoor heating. You may consider leaving the thermostat on a very low heat to prevent the expense and inconvenience that this could cause.
- Leave a spare key and your contact details with a family member or neighbour so that they can check your home while you are away.
- Pack all medication in your hand luggage. Be careful of what you pack - some medication is illegal in some countries! Check before you travel, and don't carry unmarked pills that could be mistaken for illegal substances.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaces the former E111 form. UK residents carrying the new EHIC are entitled to free or reduced cost healthcare, depending on the country they are visiting. American Express will offer a discount on your Travel Insurance premium to all EHIC card holders. Visit www.ehic.org.uk to apply for your EHIC card, free of charge.
Completing a LS01 form will not “also order you a replacement passport”. You still need to submit an application in addition to completing a LS01.
From gov.uk website:
Replacing your passport
You can apply for a replacement at the same time if you’re a British national and in the UK.
Follow the same process as renewing a passport but you must send a completed form LS01 with your application (if you haven’t already reported it as lost).
- Post Office
- Police Stations
- www.passport.gov.uk - the UKPS website
- UKPS offices
- The Passport Advice Line - 0300 222 0000
If you are abroad, the first thing that you should do is report it to the local police. Then contact the nearest British Foreign and Commonwealth Consulate, Embassy or High Commission. They will help you to report the loss of your passport to the UK passport service, and arrange for replacement travel documentation.
- It's always a good idea to take some local currency with you. You may need it on arrival for taxis, bottled water while you travel or for small purchases while you are shopping.
- Make use of the hotel safety deposit box wherever it's available and keep any money that you carry in a discreet secure place - you can buy money belts which are small and easy to carry.
- Take the remainder of the money in Travellers Cheques - visit www.americanexpress.co.uk/travellerscheques so that they can be replaced quickly if they are lost or stolen.
- Most destinations will accept credit cards, so these are a good option to have when you are away from home. Alternatively, some banks offer their customers access to their cash while abroad via their debit card (although charges and commission can be very high so be careful!).
American Express have a global network of experienced staff on hand, should you require emergency assistance. You can call our helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0203 126 4134 or from abroad on +44 203 126 4134. Please quote your policy reference number when you phone us.
Why is Cuba different to other destinations?
On the 1st May 2010, a new law was passed by the Cuban government which requires all foreign travellers entering the country to have coverage for medical emergency care. Travellers may be expected to show proof that they have coverage for medical expenses through a recognised Travel Insurance or assistance program.
Do I need to take specific proof of insurance when I travel?
It is strongly advised that anybody travelling to Cuba has clear documentation in their possession indicating the coverage that they have arranged. A copy of the policy Terms and Conditions and Certificate of Insurance is the most suitable and thorough documentation for this purpose. The Policy Terms and Conditions booklet also contains emergency and assistance telephone numbers so is an invaluable document to accompany you on your travels.
What shall I do if I encounter difficulty with the Cuban authorities?
If you encounter difficulty from Cuban authorities when attempting to gain entry to the country, AXA Assistance, who are the travel assistance provider for American Express, have emergency operators who will be available on a 24 hour basis to answer questions and assist American Express policy holders. The emergency assistance number for this instance is 0203 126 4134. This can also be found in the back of any American Express Travel Insurance policy Terms and Conditions.
The Travel Delay and Cancellation/Curtailment sections of American Express Travel Insurance policies contain an exclusion for claims:
'resulting from the withdrawal from service of any public transport, on the orders or recommendation of any regulatory authority in any country'
As such the Insurer will not cover claims for disruption caused by any withdrawal of transport on the orders of any regulatory authority following volcanic ash incidents.
American Express provided assistance to customers caught up in the first volcanic ash event by making ex-gratia payments to customers as a gesture of goodwill only. However, American Express does not guarantee that exceptional payments of this nature will continue in response to the new period (or future periods) of volcanic related disruption and you should be aware that the policy will not provide cover.
Due to the increase in the standard rate of VAT there are also changes in the rates of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) which applies to Travel Insurance. From 4th January 2011 IPT will increase from 17.5% to 20%.
In the event that your luggage is lost, i-TRAK utilises a unique identification code that links your luggage to the airline industry's internal messaging system. i-TRAK was created by airline lost luggage experts, so if your suitcase goes astray, these labels can trace your luggage in an instant. A unique personal barcode enables finders to contact you easily - online, by text or email, or via the airline's own Telex system.
- Your details are securely held on i-TRAKs system, saving you from the risk of displaying personal information such as home addresses and phone number on the outside of the luggage
- You will receive a full year's subscription to the service
- If your details change, you can simply update your details any time through your personal account page at the i-TRAK website
- Register your details - It only takes a minute to visit www.i-TRAK.com and register your details, which are kept secure but allow i-TRAK to contact you as soon as they receive information about your found item.
- Attaching your labels - Fix your external labels to a clean, flat surface on your luggage. Locate and affix the internal labels to an area inside your luggage that is highly visible should it be opened when fully packed.
If you are eligible for i-TRAK included with your Travel Insurance policy, you will be sent one i-TRAK per policy purchased.
Can I take a policy that excludes baggage as this is covered under my home contents cover?
Yes, we include baggage cover as standard within our policies, although you can reduce your premium by removing this cover if you do not require it. This discount option can be taken on all policies, excluding our Annual Core level of cover.
Is my luggage covered new for old?
Our travel policy is a policy of indemnity. This means that costs for damaged or lost items will be the new item cost less a deduction for wear and tear, and subject to an excess. (The excess can be waived by the purchase of an Excess Waiver Option)
Is there a valuables limit?
The valuable limit varies for each policy:
Will my laptop/very expensive camera be covered?
Travel insurance policies are not designed to cover very expensive items -cover for this type of item is often found under the All Risks section of household insurance. We do offer a Business Travel option, which covers laptops and communications devices, such as PDAs and mobile phones.
Are business trips covered?
Your American Express Travel Insurance Policy provides you with cover for leisure or business trips. If you are travelling for business purposes you may also wish to purchase the Business option which provides you with cover for business equipment such as laptop computers, business money and the arrangement of a replacement business associate in the event of your illness or injury.
What is cancellation cover?
If you have booked a trip within your period of insurance, and are forced to cancel it before you leave because of one of the following:
- Unforeseen illness, injury or death of you, somebody you are travelling or staying with, or whom your trip depends on
- Unforeseen illness, injury or death or a close relative
- You or anybody your trip depends upon being called up for jury service
- You are made redundant
- Accidental damage, burglary, flooding or fire affecting your home where the loss exceeds £1500 and you presence is required by the police.
We will reimburse you up to the limits shown on your certificate of insurance for the financial loss you suffer for travel, pre paid excursions and accommodation costs.
Why would I want to remove this?
If you are certain that you will not cancel your trip for any reason, the cancellation option allows you to discount your policy premium to reflect the removal of cover. This means you won’t pay for cover you won’t use.
When taking out the Cancellation option all elements of cancellation cover, regardless of reason, are removed.
Can I reinstate cancellation cover on my policy after purchase?
You can reinstate cancellation cover on your policy within 15 days of purchase and at the time of your next renewal.
What happens if I need to return home from my trip in an emergency?
Emergency return home is covered by the curtailment section of your policy. While many insurers remove curtailment cover when a cancellation option is purchased; at American Express we recognise that providing you with help, financial assistance and peace of mind while you are away from home are the most important features of your Travel insurance policy. That’s why you will always have cover for trip curtailment, regardless of whether you have cancellation cover.
I need to make a claim, what do I do?
In the event of an emergency you should first call our 24 hour Emergency Helpline
+ 44 (0) 203 126 4134.
This number is also featured in your Terms & Conditions booklet.
For all other claims and to obtain a claim form please telephone our Claims Helpline on
0203 126 4135 (Monday – Friday 8am to 8pm Saturday 8am – 5pm).
You will need to give:
- Your name,
- Your Policy Number which can be found at the top of your Certificate of Insurance,
- Brief details of your claim.
You can complete your non-emergency Travel Insurance claim Online
(by clicking here you will be taken to our online Claims pages hosted by AXA Travel Insurance who will use the information that you supply to assess your claim).
Alternatively you can email our Claims Helpline on
You will need to provide:
- Your name,
- Your Policy Number found at the top of your Certificate of Insurance,
- Your address including the postcode,
- The section under which you wish to make a claim.
In any instance we ask that you notify us within 28 days of you becoming aware of an incident or loss leading to a claim and you return your completed claim form and any additional information to us as soon as possible.
How can I save time when submitting a claim?
Our Teleclaims process can help you save time and effort. Simply call 0203 126 4135, where our claims handler will take you through the details of your claim and complete all necessary forms on your behalf. If you do not have all necessary information to hand, you will be advised of the required documentation and we will arrange a call back, at a time convenient for you.
In many cases, Teleclaims can be settled during the initial call and closed within 10 working days of being submitted.
Things that may delay your claim
The length of time taken to settle a claim depends on each individual case. However settlement of your claim can be delayed for several reasons, most commonly:
- Incorrect information being provided during any stage of the claim call. Full and accurate details of your claim need to be provided when calling the claims helpline.
- As with every insurance policy, there are limits and exclusions or situations which are not covered. To avoid unnecessary disappointment and delays in processing eligible claims please take time to understand what cover is provided by your Travel Insurance policy before you travel and before you make a claim. The appropriate section in your Policy Terms and Conditions booklet will show you what is, and is not covered, and any conditions, limitations and exclusions.
- Certain aspects of your Travel Insurance cover may require documentation to substantiate your claim. You should check the section under which you are claiming for any specific conditions and details of any supporting evidence you need to provide to us. We require original documentation; photocopies will not be accepted and can lead to a delay in the settlement of your claim. If requested by the claims handler, please send original documentation together with your claim reference number to:
AXA Assistance Claims Service
P.O Box 54098
It is always advisable to keep copies of all the documents that you send to us.
Top 5 tips to help you submit your claim
- If an item of your property is lost or stolen while you are on holiday please remember that you must always obtain a police report. If this is not feasible try your hotel management, your travel representative, your villa owner/ management - someone in authority who can vouch for the incident and put it in writing for you.
- If your baggage does not appear on the carousel, ensure you go directly to the Airside Airline desk, or their representative to report your loss. You will then need to obtain a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) to submit to us with your claim. You will not be able to get a PIR once you have left the airport so please report it as soon as possible and before leaving the airport building.
- In addition to this, when your baggage is delayed try to obtain written confirmation of when it is delivered back to you to show the length of your baggage delay, allowing us to correctly reimburse you.
- In the unfortunate event that you have to cancel a trip, you are entitled to a refund of taxes from Airlines. You will need to specifically request this from the airline otherwise they may not proactively offer to refund this to you. You should also obtain confirmation of the amount of refund given.
- Make sure that you keep a copy of your booking invoice or E-Ticket for your trip as you will need to submit this when making a claim.
Who is your Emergency Assistance company?
AXA Assistance GmbH, Garmischer Straße 8-10, D-80339, Munich, Germany. Registered Number: HRB81954.
UK residents carrying the new European Health Insurance Card (EHIC - formally the E111 form) are entitled to free or reduced cost healthcare, depending on the country they are visiting. American Express will offer a discount on your Travel Insurance premium to all EHIC card holders
Personal Baggage Exclusion Discount
If your baggage is covered elsewhere, or you do not require cover for your belongings, this section can be removed, reducing the cost of your policy. This option is available on all policies, excluding our Annual Core level of cover.
Who can a couple policy cover?
A couple policy will cover you and your partner (if you are and have been living at the same address for the past 6 months).
Who can a single parent family policy cover?
A single parent family policy will cover you and your children who are under 18 years old (21 for Prestige policies), who are living with you and are in full time education.
Who can a family policy cover?
A family policy will cover you and your partner (if you are and have been living together for the past 6 months) and your or their children who are under 18 years old (21 for Prestige policies), who are living with you and are in full time education.
Can I travel independently on my annual policy?
If you have purchased a Select or Prestige family policy, you or your family as named on the Certificate of Insurance, will be covered when travelling together or independently.
How many children are covered under family policies?
Any number of your and/or your partner's children can be covered.
Up to what ages are children covered on the family policy?
Under 18 on Annual Essential, Select and Single Trip policies on the first day of cover and under 21 on the first day of cover under our Annual Prestige Policy.
Can grandparents be added on to a family policy?
Cover for a "family" premium is for an individual and partner, and their immediate children under 18 on the first day of cover, for our Annual Essential, Select, and our Single Trip Policies, and under 21 on the first day of cover for our Annual Prestige policy. We can arrange policy cover separately for grand-parents. It is possible to arrange Annual European policies up to age 79 and Annual Worldwide policies up to age 69. Single Trip Cover is available up to age 79 but cover for trips to North America or the Caribbean is limited to age 69 years inclusive. Please call 0800 028 7573 for more information and confirmation of price.
Can I have Travel Insurance for working abroad?
We have policies to cover both business and leisure trips. Please note certain types of manual work are not covered. We offer a Business Travel option, covering laptops and business equipment and if you are unable to complete your trip due to illness or injury, we can cover some of the travel costs of having a colleague replace you. This option is available on our Single Trip, Select and Prestige Policies.
Do you cover cruises?
Yes, all American Express Travel insurance policies provide cover for cruises. The Cancellation and Curtailment cover limit for Prestige policies is £12,500, particularly suitable for expensive cruise trips.
What happens if the foreign office advises against travel to my destinations?
Whilst travelling against the advice of the foreign office is not advised, this would be reviewed on an individual case basis. For further information please call 0800 700737.
Policy documentation says:
If this insurance does not meet your needs, we will cancel your Policy providing you return it to us within 15 days of issue. Below it says 14 days.
What is 'excess'?
An excess is the amount for which you are personally, financially responsible in the event of a claim. Some sections of our policies have a £50 per person excess - this can be waived by purchasing an Excess Waiver Option (not available on Gap Cover). A higher excess of £200 will apply to any claim under the Medical Emergency and Repatriation Service section, where you have been taking part in Special Sports and Activities, this higher excess cannot be removed or reduced by use of the EHIC, or by purchasing the Excess Waiver Option. Under our Annual Prestige Policy the £50 excess only applies to the Personal Baggage and Money sections.
Our Annual Prestige, Gap and Select policies will cover involuntary denial of boarding on scheduled flights. This means that in the event you have checked-in, or attempted to check-in, and you are involuntarily denied boarding as a result of overbooking, we will pay your costs incurred between the original scheduled flight departure time and your actual departure time, in respect of restaurant meals and refreshments consumed up to £350.
Involuntary denial of boarding:
The benefit limits do not correspond to that in the T&Cs Prestige, Select, GAP, Single). It’s up to £50 for the first six hours, and then £75 for each additional full twelve hour period (up to a maximum of £300 – therefore this is accurate). However, believe "up to £100" is inaccurate and should be “£50”. This answer implies total cover of up to £400, when it is in fact £350.
Does American Express provide Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?
We are able to provide cover for many pre-existing medical conditions, subject to medical screening. Medical screening can be completed online as part of the quote process.
We are able to provide cover for many pre-existing medical conditions, subject to medical screening. Medical screening can be completed online as part of the renewal process.
You will be asked to enter your medical condition into the search facility and will then be prompted to answer a series of questions relating to your pre-existing medical condition. When all questions are completed the decision as to whether cover can be provided is instant.
Alternatively you may wish to speak to one of our American Express Travel Insurance representatives who can complete the medical screening process with you over the telephone and provide clarification for any questions you may have.
To discuss insurance for pre-existing medical conditions please call direct on 0800 028 7573
What is a Pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is defined as any condition for which you:
- Any past or current medical condition that has given rise to symptoms or for which any form of treatment or prescribed medication, medical consultation, investigation or follow-up/check-up has been required or received during the 2 years prior to the commencement of cover under this Policy and/or prior to any trip: and
- Any cardiovascular or circulatory condition (e.g. heart condition, hypertension, blood clots, raised cholesterol, stroke, aneurysm) that has occurred at any time prior to the commencement of cover under this Policy and/or prior to any trip.
If any of the above statements are applicable to you, or anybody travelling in your party, you may be considered as having a pre-existing medical condition, and will need to complete medical screening for this condition.
Do I have to declare my pre-existing medical condition?
If you have a pre-existing medical condition you must make a medical health declaration. In addition, if there are any changes in your health or prescribed medication you must notify us and update your medical health declaration prior to booking any trip or departing on any trip.
All changes must be declared to us and accepted in writing before cover can continue. Failure to declare pre-existing medical conditions may invalidate your claim.
Does your policy cover me for medical emergency and repatriation?
All American Express Travel Insurance policies provide excellent levels of cover for Medical Emergency and Repatriation whilst you are on your trip.
All Travel Insurance policies include Personal Assistance Services which provide the following benefits:
- Tracing lost personal baggage and delivering it to you if it has been lost by your transport provider.
- Transferring emergency funds to you if your normal financial or banking arrangements are unavailable.
- Drug replacement services for essential drugs, prescription glasses or contact lenses that have been lost, stolen or broken and you cannot purchase replacements outside of the UK.
- Informing all relevant companies on your behalf if your credit, debit or charge cards are lost or stolen while you are abroad.
Prestige policy holders also receive the following additional Personal Assistance Services
- Homecare Assistance - we will arrange for one of our approved tradesmen to contact you to make emergency repairs to your domestic plumbing system, gas or electricity supply, heating system, roofing, or external doors and windows if any of them have suffered damage during, and up to seven days after, your trip.
- Concierge Services such as pre-booking restaurants, arranging gifts or champagne upon arrival.
Can any of my friends and family discuss / amend my policy?
Family and friends can discuss or amend a policy if the policy holder has completed the Third Party Authorisation within the policy disclosure form.
European Cover: The following countries are included within the definition of Europe: Albania; Andorra; Austria; Azores; Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey; Balearics; Belarus; Belgium; Bulgaria; Canary Islands; Corsica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Israel; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Madeira; Malta; Moldova; Monaco; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Republic of Ireland; Romania; Russia west of the Ural Mountains; San Marino; Sardinia; Sicily; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; and the United Kingdom area*.
Worldwide Cover*: All countries including the United Kingdom area**
Worldwide Cover excluding North America and the Caribbean*: All countries worldwide including the United Kingdom area** but excluding North America and the Caribbean
*In all instances please first refer to your policy terms and conditions for destination definitions.
** Please refer to - Important Notes about your Policy - for limitations which apply to trips solely within the United Kingdom area.
The United Kingdom area is not included in the geographical limits for the Gap policy.
Do I need to take any travel documents away with me / Will I get a copy of my documents in the post?
It is advisable to take policy documents on your trip with you and these will be sent to you within 3-5 working days. You can also request that a copy of these be sent to your e-mail address. However, if this is not feasible making a note of your policy number and the emergency telephone number will suffice.
What is a policy disclosure form?
Your policy disclosure form will be sent out with your policy documents, terms and conditions and certificate of insurance. This form will allow you to authorise a third party (family member or friend) to discuss your policy on your behalf.
How many days can I travel on a single trip policy?
Single trip policies are available from 1 day to a maximum of 93 days.
What are your age limits / restrictions?
Essential Policies have European cover for 18 – 65 years of age. Select Policies are available for European cover 18 – 79 years, and Worldwide Cover 18 – 69 years of age. Prestige Policies are available for Europe 18 – 79 years, and Worldwide – 18 – 69 years of age. Our Gap policies are available for 18 – 49 years of age.
Do you have a Travel Insurance policy for over 60's?
Annual Select and Prestige Policies will cover European Trips up to age 79 and Worldwide trips up to age 69. Single Trip Cover is available up to age 79 but cover for trips to North America or the Caribbean is limited to 69 years inclusive.
Will it cover us if we have to cancel or curtail our trip due to a relative being ill?
Travel Insurance covers emergency and unforeseen circumstances only. You are covered for cancellation or curtailment during your period of insurance if, after you have booked your trip, a close relative (as defined in our terms and conditions) suffers unforeseen (not pre-existing) serious illness or injury, death or imminent demise.
Do you cover off piste skiing?
Policy holders will be covered for off piste skiing with the purchase of the Winter sports option. Inexperienced skiers or snowboarders are only covered for off piste activities while accompanied by a guide.
Is my ski equipment covered for loss or damage?
If you have paid for the Winter Sports Option, your skis or ski equipment (belonging to or hired by you) is covered if it is lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed during the course of your trip. Delayed ski equipment is also covered.
Am I covered for scuba diving?
You are covered automatically for scuba diving to a depth of 18 metres. If you are scuba diving deeper than 18 metres then special limitations and an increased excess applies. See the Terms and Conditions for details, or call 0800 028 7573 for more information.
When you purchase Annual Travel Insurance you pay a one off fee that will cover your insurance needs for the whole year. The price you pay for an annual policy will usually be less than purchasing multiple single trip policies, therefore saving you money, time and providing you with peace of mind all year round.
In the case of your travel plans being impacted by adverse weather, you should:
- Contact your airline/transport provider or the airport/transport terminal you are due to be flying/travelling from to check the latest information about your travel arrangements.
- In the event of travel disruption caused by the weather the airlines should offer you either a full refund of your unused ticket or an alternative flight. EU based airlines are required to offer you accommodation and meals if you are delayed getting home.
- Holidaymakers who experience delays, cancellations and costs will need to contact the airline/transport provider in the first instance. They will offer alternative flights/transport and, where cancellations have occurred, alternative dates for your trip.
Passengers should keep a watchful eye on these situations as they may change rapidly.
If you are in an affected area exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities.
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