Travel Insurance FAQs

Travel Insurance FAQs

Before you travel

Our travel insurance offers different levels, with optional cover for winter sports (for example) to give you the cover to meet your needs. You'll find out everything you need to know about your policy and the claims process here

What is covered?

The main sections of cover offered by our travel insurance are:

Cover level




Up to £3,000 per person

Up to £5,000 per person

Emergency medical expenses

Up to £5,000,000

Up to £10,000,000

Daily hospital benefit

Up to £450

Up to £600

Repatriation/funeral costs

Up to £7,000

Up to £7,000

Baggage and personal possessions

Up to £1,500 per person

Up to £2,000 per person

Delayed luggage

Up to £250

Up to £250

Kennel/cattery fees if delayed return

Up to £200

Up to £300

Personal accident

Up to £10,000

Up to £25,000

Personal liability

Up to £1,500,000

Up to £2,000,000

Our cover also extends to delayed departure, missed departure, certain additional travel costs, loss of passport/driving license, loss of money, legal expenses, hijacking, muggings and air rage, and £500 of legal costs should you be arrested because of your sexuality.

All sections of your policy have limits on the amount you're covered for. There are also specific limits under the personal effects and baggage section for single items, valuables, and items for which there is an original receipt, proof of purchase or an insurance valuation.

Under some sections of your policy, claims will be subject to an excess. The excess will be applied per person, per section and per incident under which a claim is made. This means that you will be responsible for the first part of the claim. The amount you have to pay is the excess.

What is not covered?

For a full breakdown of what's not excluded in your travel insurance, read the policy in full – but, in a nutshell, you're not covered for:

  • medical conditions that you did not tell us about
  • claims where you should not have been travelling (for example, against doctor’s orders)
  • war or terrorism, or travelling to a country when advised not to by the Foreign Office
  • your own criminal or illegal action, unless specifically covered elsewhere
  • your failure to take reasonable care of yourself or your possessions

What additional cover can I buy?

By paying an additional premium, you can add any of the following to your policy:

  • Annual policy continuous days extension – increase your number of maximum continuous days abroad from 31 to 45
  • Winter sports cover – covering loss of ski equipment or ski pass, piste closure, avalanche and landslide cover
  • Adventure cover – for scuba-diving, horse-riding holidays, and other adventure sports and activities
  • Golf cover – for loss of equipment, extra hire cover, closure of course, and even a hole-in-one bar bill!

What is the maximum age you insure up to?

For trips to Europe, the maximum age we can insure is 74.

Can you insure non-UK residents?

At Emerald, we only offer travel insurance for permanent UK residents – meaning you must have lived in the UK or Channel Islands for at least 6 months of the last year, and be registered with a local UK medical practitioner.

Do you offer travel insurance for pre-existing conditions?

It depends on the condition. When you take out your policy, we'll ask you about pre-existing medical conditions. If you have one, we'll ask you a few more questions about it and see if we can offer you cover. If we can, your premium may be increased, so we'll offer you two prices – one with cover for the condition, and one without.

Note that, at the moment, our medical screening is done by calling our call centre and this incurs a charge of £20. We are shortly moving our screening online, and this charge will then disappear.

If you choose to have pre-existing medical condition cover, you will of course be covered for this while abroad – but you must let us know if your condition changes between taking out your policy and the start of your travels.

If you don't disclose a pre-existing medical condition when you take out your policy, you won't be covered for any claims relating to that condition.

I have a pre-existing medical condition. Do I need to discuss this with a call centre representative?

No, not always. We do offer travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions, but we know talking to a stranger about your condition can be difficult. So sometimes, there may need to be a phonecall with a member of our specially-trained team to find out about the current state of your condition. And of course, if you would like to speak to one of your team, you can get them on 0343 658 0300.

There is a question asking if I have any ‘pre-existing medical conditions’. How do I answer that question if I am transgender?

The purpose of this question is to clarify if you have any conditions that might need to be declared and/or which might (only might) result in increased premiums. Not all conditions increase the risk of falling ill while you are travelling but some might. 

There is a help note beside the “pre-existing medical conditions” question (click on the “?” hover button beside the question), clarifying that if you are trans you should answer ‘yes’ to this question. This leads to three more questions to understand if a more detailed online medical screening process is needed. One of the questions asks if you have seen a specialist, consultant or doctor in the last 12 months. If the answer to this question is yes, you will proceed to the medical screening process.

In the medical screening process, you are asked to type in pre-existing medical conditions and procedures. To be clear, there is no ‘condition’ of being trans and this will not come up if you type it in. If you are trans, there may be certain specific procedures you have had as part of transitioning which may increase your risk of falling ill while travelling, and which therefore should be disclosed as part of the application process. Pre-existing conditions or procedures will not necessarily mean that your premium will increase, but they must be disclosed to allow us to accurately calculate the correct premium.

If you go through the medical screening process and list specific conditions and procedures, then you have met the requirements of the screening process even though you have not stated that you are trans. Claims will not be declined simply because you are trans and this was not disclosed in the application process. For example, if you have entered ‘vaginal reconstruction’ as a procedure in the last 12 months, there is no question about the purpose or reason behind the procedure. Similarly, if you have entered ‘mastectomy’, then there will be a question on incidence of breast cancer but otherwise no question about the purpose or reason behind the procedure.

In summary, it may be that a travel premium is higher because you have had recent medical procedures, but it is not higher because you are trans.  However, we are unable to give advice in this FAQ for specific cases, so if you require further support please call us on 0330 131 9950 or email at

When does my insurance start?

Cancellation is covered from the moment you purchase your travel insurance policy but most of the cover offered by our policies is only relevant once you've started your journey. Our annual travel insurance policy runs for one year, while single trip cover is flexible – from 3 days to 45 days, so you only pay for what you need. Your cover runs up until you return home (right to your front door) on the last day of your policy.

How long can I be away for if I have an annual multi-trip policy?

The longest you can be away on any one holiday is 31 days, unless you've chosen to purchase additional cover for up to 45 days. If you've taken out our winter sports cover, then the maximum length of time you can be on the piste is 17 days, per trip.

Should I take my policy with me on holiday?

Yes, as you will need our contact details in the event of the claim.  There are clearly set out on the second page of your policy. If you can print out a copy of your travel insurance policy or save it to your mobile, it could prove very helpful if you need to make a claim while abroad.

What happens when my annual travel insurance multi-trip policy expires?

We'll notify you by email when your multi-trip cover is about to expire, and you can choose to renew it for another year. If you want to renew your Emerald policy, don't wait until you're on holiday, as you can't renew a policy once you're already travelling.

Do you offer a discount on family travel policies for single parent families?

Unlike some insurers, we allow a specific single parent option. We know that families come in all shapes and sizes, and increasing to not match the two-parent 2.2 children model! If you're a single parent taking the kids away, we'll give you a discount so you can spend more on the kids – or more on yourself!

How many children can I insure on my travel insurance policy?

With our family travel insurance, you can insure up to six children – up to the age of 17, or 21 if they're in full-time education. This includes grandchildren and foster children, of course – and travelling with children under 3 years of age won't increase your premiums.

If we have an annual family travel insurance policy, can we all travel independently?

All insured adults can travel independently, but any children need to travel with an adult who's insured under the policy. Children are defined as up to 17 years of age, or 21 if in full-time education – and this includes grandchildren and foster children too.

What are Reciprocal Heath Agreements? What is an EHIC?

If you are travelling to European Union countries you should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You can apply either online through or by telephoning 0300 330 1350. This will entitle you to benefit from the reciprocal health agreements, which exist between certain European countries. In the event of a claim being accepted for medical expenses which has been reduced by the use of an EHIC, or Private Health Insurance, the deduction of the excess under the medical section will not apply. 

What is Medicare?

When you are travelling to Australia and you have to go to hospital, you must register for and make use of the treatment offered under the national Medicare scheme.  If you know you need treatment, you can enrol for Medicare at a DHS Service Centre. If you receive treatment before you enrol, Medicare benefits will be back-paid for eligible visitors.

Which vaccinations do I need?

You'll be able to find the information you need on vaccinations by checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website and the NHS' travel health page. Please remember that we won't cover any claim that arises from you not getting the vaccinations you should have before travelling.

While you're away

What do I do if I suffer a medical emergency?

If you're admitted to hospital, you need to contact Global Response or Healthwatch S.A. immediately, on one of the numbers below. If you don't do this, it might mean we're unable to cover you, or that the amount paid for medical expenses is reduced.

For inpatient treatment anywhere in the world

Global Response

Tel: +44 113 3180 197

Fax: +44 113 3180 198


For outpatient treatment, anywhere in the world, excluding North America and the United Kingdom

Healthwatch S.A.

Tel: +44 113 3180 124

Fax: +44 113 3180 125


For outpatient treatment in North America and the United Kingdom 

Global Response

Tel: +44 113 3180 197

Fax: +44 113 3180 198



When speaking to Global Response or Healthwatch S.A., state that your insurance is provided by UK General Insurance LTD, and quote your Emerald Life travel insurance policy number.

Remember, you must keep your receipts for any medical and additional costs incurred, and you're responsible for any policy excess, which should be paid by you at the time of treatment.


I don't have my policy documents. How do I retrieve them?

It's easy to find your policy document online – just log in to your account with Emerald Life here. If you'd like a paper copy, please call us on 0330 131 9950. Please be aware that there's a £10 service charge to cover printing and postage.

The holiday company that I booked with has gone into administration. What should I do?

Please get in touch with us on 0330 131 9950, and we'll talk you through your options.

What do I do if my passport is lost or stolen abroad?

Report any loss or theft to the nearest police station right away. They'll give you a reference number, which you'll need to complete the LS01 (Lost or Stole Passport Notification form).

After that, you must report the loss or theft to the UK embassy, high commission, or consulate closest to where you're staying. You can find the location of your nearest embassy outpost here or by calling +44 20 7008 1500.

The FCO will then issue you with temporary travel documents so you can travel back to the UK.

I've left the UK and forgotten to get insurance. Can I still get cover with you?

No. To get our travel insurance, you still need to be in the UK.