Travel Insurance Glossary
At Alpha Travel Insurance, we understand that travel insurance terms can be confusing at times. Therefore to make things easier, we have created a dedicated glossary page that features some of the most commonly used words and their definitions.
These terms are commonly used throughout our website, but you may also find them used in our travel tips and advice, blog or policy pages. To use the glossary, simply visit the corresponding section below.
- Accident - an unexpected and unfortunate incident that usually results in injury or damage.This can be anything from a fall in your hotel, to a serious wipe-out while snowboarding; the end results are the important part at the end of the day, from an insurance perspective. After all, if there's no resulting damage, you've got nothing to worry about!
- Activity travel insurance - travel insurance that includes the necessary cover for undertaking in sports and activities. Pretty much every conceivable holiday based sport or pastime can be covered by this variety of insurance when you purchase your travel insurance from Alpha. The most important thing is to ensure that you select the right level of activity insurance from our four available choices, so that all undertaken activities have adequate coverage.
- Age travel cover - travel insurance that is rated according to the age of the traveller. Generally speaking, extremes of age at either end of the spectrum will result in a higher premium; to offset the increased risk associated with either. One of the ways that we differentiate ourselves at Alpha Travel Insurance is by making sure that young travellers aren't unfairly overcharged based solely on their youth!
- Airport hotels - a hotel situated near an airport that is usually booked on a short stay basis before or after a flight. In order to make the booking of such short stay accommodation as easy as possible, we've partnered with Holiday Extras to offer a range of airport hotel packages; bookings such as these are the last thing that you want to be worrying about prior to travelling!
- Airport lounges - a paid-for facility within an airport that customers can use to rest and relax before their flight. Often this facility includes meeting rooms, food and drink services and complimentary items. Once again, we've partnered up with Holiday Extras to offer an easier means to book some time in an airport lounge prior to your flight, meaning that you can eat, drink, relax, and even have a shower, should the fancy take you prior to your journey.
- Airport parking - a designated place at or near an airport where an individual can safely leave their car whilst on holiday. There are a number of different parking options available to holidaymakers; depending on the amount of money said holidaymaker is willing to spend. Generally speaking, parking is more expensive the closer a car is parked to the airport, and further cost increments should be expected if options like meet-and-greet/valet parking.
- Annual travel insurance - travel insurance that provides cover for an unlimited amount of trips taken within a year. We offer annual cover through our Multi Trip travel insurance policy; covering as many trips as you need to take over a 12 month period of time. If you regularly take two or more trips in a year, this may work out considerably cheaper than the alternative policy options.
- Best rated travel insurance - a phrase used to describe a travel insurance product that is highly recommended. This can be determined through an aggregation of consumer ratings, or through independent assessment by expert bodies in the field of insurance.
- Cancellation - the decision to stop doing or going somewhere. This has two core meanings when it comes to travel insurance; either the cancellation of the insurance policy itself, or the cancellation of a specific trip or holiday, which could result in a pay-out from a travel insurance policy.
- Catastrophe - an unexpected event that causes great distress, damage or suffering. In regards to travel insurance, you may be able to claim for this on the insurance policy.
- Claims handler - a claims handler will assess and review a policyholder's claim to determine whether it will be successfully paid or not.
- Couples travel insurance - travel insurance for two individuals who are in a long term relationship and living together at the same address for six months or more. Our specific couples policy is designed for couples of many ages, and is available across any of our policies.
- Curtailment - the cutting short of your trip by your early return home or your repatriation to a hospital or nursing home in your home country. Payment will be made on the number of full days of your trip that are lost from the day you are brought home. If you need to make a curtailment claim, simply download your claim form to begin.
- Dangerous sports - any sporting activity that imposes a potential risk. While it's certainly feasible that you could sustain an injury playing a sport like football, the risk associated with it is far lower than with a sport like extreme snowboarding; football doesn't come with a constant risk of avalanche, falling into ravines, or high speed collisions with trees!
- Date of issue - the date that you purchase and are issued your travel insurance. Bear in mind that this can differ from the date when your cover begins, depending on what you have chosen to do and when your holiday is.
- Departure delay - when your pre-arranged flight fails to depart on time; insurance cover usually kicks in after delays of more than 12 hours. With our policies, for each period of 12 hours, a successful claim may include cover for the cost of staying comfortable, fed and watered for that duration of time.
- EHIC - the European Health Insurance Card issued to persons travelling within the European Union that allows the owner to reduced costs of prescriptions and limited elements of medical care as if they were a resident of the country they are visiting. An important fact that is often overlooked with the EHIC is that they only operate on an individual basis; you can't cover your entire family or group with a single EHIC, each member of your family or group must have their own, in order to have European health coverage.
- Emergency repatriation - the necessary actions taken to get a person back to their home country in an emergency, usually for medical reasons. Every insurance policy available from Alpha Travel Insurance provides cover for the cost of emergency repatriation should the worst take place while abroad.
- European travel insurance - an insurance policy that allows the insured party to travel within European destinations. Even with an EHIC, European travel insurance is still very much necessary; as the EHIC does not cover the full cost of medical care. Emergency repatriation, as well as loss or damage of possessions, require more comprehensive coverage!
- Excess - the initial contribution outlined in the policy wording that should be paid upfront in the event of a potential claim. When dealing with insurance, it's generally safe to assume that, the higher the excess, the lower the premium, and vice versa.
- Excess waiver - often on payment of an additional premium, the policy excess is reduced to nil. See above for more on the 'cost versus risk' relationship between premium and excess. Alpha policies do not have an excess waiver option, instead we have a nil excess policy!
- Exclusions - the term to define something that is not included on the policy. For example, in the context of travel insurance, some particularly dangerous sports and activities may be excluded from the standard insurance policy, due to the increased likelihood of injury that partaking in that activity would cause. These activities can be added on for an extra premium.
- Family holiday insurance - a holiday insurance policy that provides travel cover for two adults and one or more children under 18 who are in full time education. The family holiday insurance policies that we offer at Alpha Travel Insurance can be tailored to cover a wide range of budgets and varieties of holiday, providing maximum value.
- Gadget travel cover - travel insurance that offers protection against lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones, iPods, iPads, tablet computers, e-readers, MP3 players, satellite navigation equipment, portable cassette players, portable CD players, computer games machines, and any equipment used with them, such as CDs, games, tapes, cassettes or cartridges. Many gadget related insurance policies or extensions, including those offered by us, include coverage for unauthorised calls made from mobile phones; for an extra level of confidence when abroad.
- Gap year insurance - travel insurance that can be bought for longer durations of time and is suited to gap years and student holidays. This kind of policy often includes provisions for free trips home, in case of family emergencies and similar occurrences, as well as automatic cover for many of the sports and activities that you are likely to partake in while abroad.
- Hazardous activity - an activity that includes an element of risk. This can be anything that is classed as a particularly hazardous sport such as sky-diving, bungee jumping or winter sports.
- Holiday abandonment - the decision made to not go on holiday due to the outbound flight being delayed by more than 24 hours. Many travel insurance policies have provisions in place to provide remuneration in the case of holiday abandonment; ensuring that you're not left out of pocket should the worst happen.
- Holiday extras - essential items including airport hotels, lounges and parking that that be purchased as an add-on to your travel insurance policy. While optional, many of these are highly recommended features, ensuring that you are covered for all circumstances.
- Hospitalisation benefit - a pre-agreed allowance that is issued per day whilst you are hospitalised in a state hospital to cover the costs of small items including newspapers, telephone calls and food. This way you should be able to remain more comfortable and relaxed during your stay, aiding recovery.
- Incidental basis - an activity taking place on the holiday that is not the specific reason for the trip. For example going scuba diving whilst on holiday would be different to going on a specialist scuba diving holiday.
- Indemnity - a legal term which means putting someone in the same financial position after a claim as before it. Indemnity is specifically the act of making an injured party 'whole' again.
- Insured persons - a person who is covered under a policy. This will be any person named on the insurance policy.
- Insurers - an individual or company that underwrites the potential risk involved and issues insurance policies in return for a premium.
- Journey - this means the period of time that you are covered for; commencing from the time you leave home and ceasing at the moment you arrive back home.
- Level of cover - the different elements of cover and protection per section that make up an insurance policy.
- Long stay travel insurance - a travel policy that allows the insured to travel for a long period of time at once usually up to an 18 month duration.
- Luggage and personal effects - also sometimes referred to as 'baggage', see 'personal effects' below.
- Medical expenses - a specified amount outlined in the policy wording to cover the costs of emergency medical care whilst on holiday in the event of injury or illness. This can extend to extra accommodation if you are unable to return home on your original return date or for someone to travel to you and accompany you home.
- Medical condition travel insurance - a type of insurance policy that provides cover for pre-existing medical conditions, sometimes specialist. This can cover conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Medical travel insurance - an insurance policy that provides cover for medical related expenses.
- Missed departure - when an individual does not arrive in time at the airport and consequently misses their outbound flight, usually due to a mechanical breakdown or delayed public transport.
- Multi trip travel policy - a travel insurance policy that allows the insured to make an unlimited number of trips during a twelve month period in exchange for one single premium.
- Natural disaster - this is any event caused by nature and not human activity that may affect travel plans. This can include earthquakes, storms, floods, bushfires or volcanic eruptions.
- One way travel - travel insurance that covers you for travelling to a destination on a non-returning basis. This type of cover is perfect for travellers who are emigrating, returning to their country of origin or leaving indefinitely. This is currently not available on Alpha and requires specialist insurance.
- Online travel insurance - travel insurance that is quoted and purchased via the internet.
- Personal accident - loss of limb, sight or permanent disability following an unfortunate accident whilst on holiday, usually compensated with a lump sum payment.
- Personal effects and baggage - privately owned items that are used regularly in everyday life often carried on your person, but not always. These items include jewellery, watches, currency cards, clothes and even toiletries.
- Personal liability - the legal obligation of an individual to meet a monetary claim caused by their own personal negligence that they are responsible for, usually injury or damage. Personal liability cover is able to protect you if, for instance, you injure someone on the ski slopes and they make a claim against you.
- Personal money - sterling or foreign currency in note or coin form that belongs to you. This can also include travellers cheques.
- Personal possessions - each of your suitcases and containers of a similar nature and their contents and articles you are wearing or carrying. Cover for this could protect you if, for example, you lose your bag and contents on holiday.
- Piste closure - the closure of a marked ski run or piste, which prohibits skiing for a prolonged period, usually a full day. This usually occurs often due to weather or safety reasons.
- Policy document - the main document received upon purchasing travel insurance that details what is and isn't covered on your policy.
- Pre-existing medical condition - any serious or recurring medical condition which has been previously diagnosed or been investigated or treated in any way, at any time prior to travel, even if this condition is currently considered to be stable and under control. This can cover conditions such as diabetes or cancer.
- Reasonable care - the care and attention that a reasonable person would take to look after themselves, others or their belongings to prevent loss, theft or danger.
- Single item - means any single item that is not part of a pair or set.
- Single trip travel insurance - travel insurance taken out to cover a one off trip, usually a short break or family holiday.
- Ski equipment - any equipment that is required to partake in skiing. This can include items such as skis, boots, ski sticks, snowboards and bindings.
- Ski hire - the exchange of currency between the insured and another individual or company in order to borrow ski equipment that must be returned after use. Insurance may cover for loss or breakage of said equipment.
- Ski pack - the term used to describe elements of a pre-booked ski package that includes lift passes, ski/board hire and ski tuition.
- Ski trip travel insurance - a type of travel insurance that allows the insured to partake in skiing, often with specialist cover.
- Snowboarding insurance - a holiday insurance policy that provides cover for the insured to snowboard, often including specialist cover.
- Specialist travel cover - a travel insurance policy that provides a higher or extended range of cover that is tailored to a certain individual or type of trip.
- Sports equipment - any item that is required to partake directly in a sport or activity. These items are usually worn, carried or used during participation and may include tennis rackets, hockey helmets or climbing gear.
- Territorial limits - a group of countries that define a particular geographical area of land and/or water under an insurance policy.
- Travel delay - the failure of a scheduled transport; whether plane, ship or train to leave the international departure point in the UK within 12 or 24 hours of the specified time.
- Travel documents - any document required to travel or needed whilst travelling. This can include passports, travel insurance documents, accommodation bookings, car hire bookings, boarding passes or receipts.
- Travel insurance assistance services - the assistance team of a travel insurance company that can be contacted in the case of an emergency whilst abroad, usually medical.
- Travel premium - the total amount payable for a travel insurance policy.
- Travelling companion - a person or group of persons who are travelling together with you.
- Underwriter - the person responsible for assessing the financial risk of insuring an individual and determining their eligibility based on a range of factors.
- Unforseen circumstance - an event that was out of your control and affected your trip. This can include an accident, illness, cancelled flight or natural disaster.
- Vaccinations - medication needed prior to some overseas trips to protect the traveller from contracting tropical diseases such as polio, TB and malaria.
- Water sports - activities which take place on or in water; this can include sports such as scuba diving and jet skiing.
- Winter sports travel insurance - a travel insurance policy that provides cover for winter based sporting activities including skiing, snowboarding and ice skating.
- Wintersports - skiing, snowboarding and ice skating, although this may also extend to snow mobiling, snowshoeing and tobogganing.
- Withdrawal of services - usually the loss of water and/or electricity supplies at your hotel for a period of 60 hours or more. This is not able to be covered on Alpha.
- Young person's travel insurance - this is usually for young people who are under 18 years old and travelling abroad, either with family, school or alone.