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Travel excess cap

When taking out travel insurance, many people worry about how much excess they’ll have to pay if they have to make a claim.

John Brady, Head of Commercial at John Lewis Insurance, answers your questions on travel insurance excesses.

Q & A with John Brady

Q. What’s your background and what experience do you have in providing advice about Travel Insurance?

A. I've worked in financial services for 20 years, including banking, credit cards and insurance. The last five have been spent at the John Lewis Partnership, where I’ve helped to launch and develop John Lewis Insurance, including our personal insurance cover for cars, weddings, pets, homes, events and of course, travel. I love travelling and know how important it is to feel happy that any potential problems are covered by travel insurance.

Quotation MarksThere’s nothing worse than going on holiday, only to have your relaxing getaway spoiled by delays, accidents
or a natural disaster.Quotation Marks

Q. What is an excess?

A. An excess is an amount of money that you have to pay towards the first part of a travel insurance claim. The amount you have to pay depends on what you’re claiming for and your level of insurance.

Q. I’ve paid for the travel insurance policy - why do I have to
pay an excess?

A. The reason you pay an excess is to keep the cost of insurance policies down, to stop people claiming for trivial things and to deter fraudulent claims.

Q. Does everything I claim for have an excess?

A. No, under John Lewis Travel Insurance, you won’t have to pay an excess for certain claims, including pet care and mugging.

Q. So how much will the excess be?

A. John Lewis Travel Insurance offers three cover levels: Essential, Plus and Premier. The amount of excess that you have to pay will depend on what you’re claiming for and what cover level you’ve taken out. However, as a guide the excesses under most sections of your policy are:

  • Essential: £100
  • Plus: £60
  • Premier: £50

For full details of the excesses that apply to your cover level, take a look at the Policy document.

Q. Is there a way to change my excess when I take out a policy?

A. Yes, John Lewis Travel Insurance offers optional Excess Waiver or Double Excess to let you choose how much you’d like to pay.

Excess Waiver
If you chose to waive your excess to £0, you won't have to pay any excess if you make a claim. Excess Waiver doesn't apply to sections 12 and 18 of your policy. Choosing to waive your excess will mean that you have to pay more for your Travel Insurance policy.

Double Excess
If you've chosen to double your excess, you'll have to pay double the standard excess if you make a claim. This doesn't apply for sections 12 and 18 of your policy. Choosing to double your excess will mean that you pay less for your Travel Insurance policy.

Q. I’m claiming for myself, my partner and our four children - do we each have to pay an excess?

A. No, we have excess capping in place to avoid this. So under our Plus and Premier Cover levels, the maximum excess you and your family will pay per event claimed for is £120 for Plus and £100 for Premier.

Q. Do you have any other travel advice?


  • Pack essentials in your hand luggage so if you’re delayed you’ll have a change of clothes, toothbrush and your glasses.
  • Drink plenty of bottled water throughout the trip to prevent dehydration.
  • Report any thefts to the local police immediately.
  • Keep all receipts for items you purchase if your luggage goes missing.
  • Make sure you have enough medicine to see you through your trip and some extra just in case.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

John Lewis Travel Insurance homepage

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