[Summary: Most people don't bother to look at the fine print when they sign up for travel insurance. Here are a few common exclusions you should remember before you purchase travel insurance.]
Some travel insurance companies refuse to pay medical or any other expenses associated with particular activities. Exclusions are common in the case of any type of insurance. The company refuses to provide travel insurance coverage for certain situations. You have an option to insure these by paying an additional premium, but you need to make sure you know what your policy covers before purchasing travel insurance.
Tour Operator Cancellation: When it comes to trip cancellation, tour operators cancelling is not covered under travel insurance policies. In this case, it is the tour operator and not you who cancels the trip.
Acts of war/local protests: Although terrorism is covered by most travel insurance policies, acts of war or civil unrest are common policy exclusions. So even if ongoing protests or sporadic outbreaks in international locations might force you to change your plans, most travel insurance policies won't help.
Pre-existing medical conditions: This is a common exclusion in many travel insurance policies. It refers to any medical condition that has required attention prior to travel or initiation of the travel insurance policy.
Baggage delayed for less than 24 hours: Most travel insurance policies will not reimburse necessary expenditures for baggage delayed less than 24 hours.
Death or illness of a pet: Many of us have beloved animals in our homes, and you'd certainly not want to go on that family trip if your pet was terribly sick. Even service animals, such as seeing-eye dogs, aren't covered, although that may change as the industry wakes up to the need for such coverage.
Loss or damage to keys, money, documents, tickets, or credit cards: These items are commonly listed under the exclusions to Baggage and Personal Items Coverage in your travel insurance policy. Be sure to keep these and other valuables with you at all times.
Sports injuries: Many travel insurance policies don't cover injuries from certain adventure sports like bungee jumping, paragliding, mountain climbing, or white water rafting.
Pregnancy and childbirth: Travel insurance policies specify the conditions under which pregnancy complications or childbirth is covered. Some travel insurance policies insure in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Psychological illness or self-inflicted injuries: Coverage for emotional and mental illnesses or emergencies is often excluded. If you suffer a nervous breakdown, your travel insurance won't let you cancel your trip without penalty.
Your spouse files for divorce before the trip: Increasingly, travel insurance companies are adding coverage for this situation. However, some policies do not include divorce or legal separation as valid reasons for cancelling or interrupting a trip.
Some travel insurance policies may exclude all coverage in certain countries or regions within countries. This is usually due to danger or serious health issues. Be sure to check the fine print of your policy.