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Travel insurer is refusing to pay in full for cancelled accommodation because my wife wasn’t on the policy


On 28 August 2023, my now wife and I got married. I’d booked a surprise honeymoon the next day to Lake Como. 

It was a surprise as we really could not afford it whilst planning the wedding, so we agreed to not have one initially.

I wanted my wife to have a honeymoon as the wedding planning had been a tough time for us. I managed to work extra shifts on the weekends to pay for this trip.

Unfortunately, due to air traffic control issues our flight was first delayed for an extended period of time before eventually being cancelled.

Failing to take out a travel insurance policy could see you lose thousands in the event of flight cancellations - pictured, Lake Como

Failing to take out a travel insurance policy could see you lose thousands in the event of flight cancellations – pictured, Lake Como

My insurance company Admiral, with whom I have been making a claim, have only agreed to pay half the accommodation costs for our trip. 

It states it’s because it only covers the cost of the person insured. 

But the accommodation was booked solely by me and I would have needed the same accommodation (one room) even if I was staying alone (the hotel only had double rooms available at the time).

We are unable to book or plan the honeymoon as we were waiting for our money back.

It’s really unfair as the entire situation was out of our control and all we ask for is our money back so I can take my wife on our first holiday/honeymoon. S.T via email

Harvey Dorset of This is Money replies: You were very unfortunate in that you had no choice but to cancel your trip, even more so that it happened to be your honeymoon.

When taking out an insurance policy, it is important to be aware of the details in the terms and conditions, especially when it comes to travelling with a partner. 

However, often travel insurance is an afterthought – and T&Cs rarely completely combed over. 

In 2021, only 14 per cent of people who took trips abroad had single trip travel insurance. Of those that didn’t, a quarter said they didn’t think they would need it, and 16 per cent forgot.

Unlike car insurance, insuring your trip abroad is not a legal requirement, but the costs of failing to do so can be sky high.

In your case, you had the forethought to take out a policy before travelling, but your wife was not named on your insurance policy, meaning that although you only booked one room, your insurance provider was only willing to pay out on your share of the accommodation cost.

However, your wife did have her own travel insurance – but the fact she was not named in your accommodation booking means that she was not able to claim her share of the accommodation via her provider.

I spoke to Admiral on your behalf, but unfortunately in this case This is Money was unable to get the result you were looking for, with Admiral refusing to pay out in full as your partner was not named on your insurance policy.

I spoke to consumer expert Scott Dixon, to find out what you should do next.

Scott Dixon, a consumer and motoring disputes expert who runs the website The Complaints Resolver, told This is Money: It’s important that you read the T&Cs on insurance policies, as this forms part of your contract with the insurance provider.

Consumer expert Scott Dixon recommends seeking the advice of the Financial Ombudsman Service

Consumer expert Scott Dixon recommends seeking the advice of the Financial Ombudsman Service

Insurance companies will go through your claim with a fine tooth-comb to see if there is a reason to decline your claim. 

In this instance, Admiral have treated their customer fairly and have honoured their contractual obligations.

If you are unhappy with the outcome from an insurance claim, request a deadlock letter. 

This is a final response from the insurance company, which allows you to refer your claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service for consideration.

Insurance providers do not like claims being referred to the FOS as it costs them money.

Key Terms need to be fair, bold, transparent and balanced in-line with S62 and S68 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Insurance providers cannot rely on small print buried in their Terms and Conditions to decline a claim.

Stick to your guns if you believe that you have been unfairly treated by an insurance provider, as they often rely on spurious Terms & Conditions to decline a claim.

Perseverance breaks resistance every time.

A spokesman for Admiral said: We’re sorry to hear that Mr T’s holiday was unable to go ahead because of air traffic control issues on the day they were due to travel. 

We understand from Mr T that he’s received a full refund from the airline, and we hope that they get to enjoy the trip together at a later date.

We have looked into Mr T’s claim and can see that he bought one travel insurance policy with us online for himself only and selected a start date of 10 August 2023. 

As Mr T’s partner did not take out travel insurance with us, the claim has been settled to cover his proportion of the accommodation costs only.

Our policy book wording advises customers we won’t cover costs for anyone not named on the policy:

General Exclusions – page 27, 30. Paying costs for others

Any costs where you have paid for anyone not named or insured on this policy. This applies even where, for example, you have paid for another person’s travel or accommodation costs.

We strongly advise all customers to ensure that they take out travel insurance for everyone who is due to travel before starting their holiday. 

A summary of cover can be found on our website along with full terms and conditions for all of our insurance policies.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.



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