13th March 2020

Travelling Advice During the Outbreak of Coronavirus

By Suzi Rackley, Dip CII
Client Director
Travelling family

The outbreak of Coronavirus is a rapidly developing situation and is likely to affect many travel plans over the coming months. We strongly recommend that anyone travelling or planning to travel takes guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth office:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

The WHO’s designation of coronavirus as a pandemic has significant implications for the operation of insurance policy cover and these are clearly posing unprecedented challenges. Some insurers have suspended selling policies and all insurance policies will exclude cover for an event that was known at the time of making a travel booking and Coronavirus will fall into this.

We have put together some travel insurance advice for you based on what our clients are asking us:

I am travelling to a country where there has been an outbreak, can I cancel my trip and claim under my travel insurance?

If the FCO advise against travel to the area you are visiting then in the first instance you should contact your travel operator or airline to reschedule or ask for a refund for the trip. Most travel insurance policies will cover non-refundable costs.

 

I took out a travel insurance policy and the FCO advice against travel was already in place, will my travel cover still be valid?

Unfortunately, a travel insurance policy will not provide cover if it was taken out after the FCO travel advice was in place. We strongly recommend, if you are planning a trip, that you check the FCO website first to ensure you can travel to the country you want to and arrange insurance cover immediately.

 

What if the FCO advice changes whilst I am already abroad?

If the FCO change their advice, most travel insurers will cover reasonable costs for unused accommodation and flights for you to return to the UK earlier than planned.

 

Am I covered abroad for medicines and care if I catch the Coronavirus?

Yes, travel insurance policies will provide cover for medical expenses.

 

If I am quarantined can I claim for additional costs and expenses?

In the first instance, you should contact your tour operator/cruise line or airline and follow all advice. You should also talk to your insurer and contact their Medical Emergency number. In our research, we have found that only 50% of insurers will consider these costs. If the quarantine is Government enforced your accommodation should not bill you for the extra time spent there. You should keep all receipts for any additional costs like food and drink and discuss this with your insurer on your return.

 

Can I cancel my trip and claim under my insurance if I just don’t want to travel at the moment?

Unfortunately no, disinclination to travel is not covered by any travel insurance. We recommend you talk about your concerns to your travel tour operator/airline and ask to reschedule.

 

My policy does not cover pandemics, what can I do?

If you are abroad your insurer will assist. Please call their emergency number. If you have plans to travel you should talk to your tour operator/airline about your options.

 

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding current or future travel insurance arrangements, please contact your dedicated account handler. Alternatively, call 0330 660 0581