At the weekend the UK Government made the decision that all travellers returning from Spain must self-isolate for 14 days. This is of course a huge concern for those already abroad or due to travel in the coming months. A large number of us are still remote working and could quarantine and still work, but there are also a large number of people, especially key workers, who will not be able to take an additional two weeks away from work.
As soon as the FCO ban was lifted, tour operators and airlines enticed people back to travelling with cheap flights and hotel deals, and who doesn’t love a good deal and the opportunity to get away for a few days. However, all travel has to be considered carefully and the advantages of a cheap holiday weighed up against the risk of having to cancel. The pandemic and epidemic exclusions have always been included in insurance policies, so there is no cover under a travel insurance policy for trips cut short or cancelled because you cannot comply with quarantine requirements (the caveat to this is that some insurers may consider claims if the trip was booked and travel insurance in place before March 2020).
So what are your options?
Travel insurance cancellation cover is the last line of defence designed to cover your unrecoverable costs only, for example if you are unable to travel due to your health. When you buy a flight or a holiday you are entering into a contract with the airline or tour operator and you therefore have contractual rights for the service you have bought from them. If this service is seriously impacted or there are concerns for your safety, this is a breakdown in your contract and therefore travel companies should provide a refund or alternative. Unfortunately, some companies are making this very difficult or not presenting you with all your options.
There are a multitude of consumer protection procedures in place that you should be aware of before you get to the point of irrecoverable costs. We work in partnership with Millstream who are travel specialists and they have prepared this summary guide which shows the rights and protections you have at your disposal.
We do have some good news….in August we will be able to offer Aston Lark Travel Insurance extended to include cover for COVID-related costs*. Keep an eye on our website for further information to be released soon.
*Cancellation due to quarantine requirements will be included, but only if the Government or public authority has suspicion that you or a traveling companion has COVID. General quarantine will be excluded.