Corona Virus: Travel Insurance Information for customers

As you might expect, we are receiving a large volume of questions regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic. We’ve answered some of the most common questions below. We are always happy to speak to our customers individually if you want to discuss something specific your your own plans.

Update 13/03/2020

As of 11:59 pm on Friday the 13th of March 2020, all new travel insurance policies will exclude any claims related to Coronavirus. The new exclusion is as follows:

COVID-19 – Travel Insurance Exclusion

For any policy issued from 23:59 on 13 March 2020, there will be no cover provided for any claim directly or indirectly caused by, arising or resulting from, or in connection with:  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any mutation of the disease.

This exclusion is being applied to all travel insurance policies underwritten by Allianz and is out of our control. Severe travel disruption is expected across Europe over the next few months, and it is likely that most travel insurers will take this step if they do not have a pandemic exclusion already.

For policies purchased before 13/03/2020, please read below

If the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) advice against all but essential travel to a destination and I go anyway, am I still covered?

If the FCO advice against all but essential travel to your destination but you travel anyway, your travel insurance cover will be void. There is no cover in place if you travel to a destination the FCO have advised against all but essential travel.

If the destination country was OK when you left the UK, and then mid-trip the FCO changes its position, the travel insurance would remain in force, but it would not cover non-emergency repatriation costs.

Am I covered if I contract Coronavirus while on holiday?

Our travel insurance covers you for the costs of emergency medical care and repatriation if you fall ill abroad. This would, of course, include if you fell ill with Corona Virus while on holiday. If you suspect you have coronavirus while on holiday but do not require immediate medical attention, you should contact our non-emergency medical helpline as soon as possible.

What if I am quarantined while on holiday?

Our travel insurance will cover you for trip curtailment if you are confined to your accommodation abroad due to compulsory quarantine or on the orders of a doctor.

What if I can’t go on my trip because I have contracted Corona Virus?

You are covered for trip cancellation if you are unable to travel as of a result of the death, illness or disease. This includes if you fall ill with Corona Virus in the UK.

This element of cover is extended if one of your travelling companions, a person you have arranged to stay with, a close relative, or a close business associate falls ill. We do not, however, cover any pre-existing condition. The travel insurance must have been purchased prior to any symptoms developing.

What if I can’t go on my trip because I have been quarantined in the UK?

We have provision for quarantine in our travel policy, and you would be covered for trip cancellation if you couldn’t travel because you had been quarantined in the UK.

What if I’m travelling to take part in an event (E.G. a Triathlon) and it has been postponed or cancelled by the organiser?

If an event organiser cancels the race you are due to take part in, they are responsible for offering you tickets for a new date or providing a refund on your event entry. Our travel insurance is not designed to reimburse you on their behalf.

If your sole reason for travelling is to take part in an event and that event is cancelled, you may be able to claim for additional costs such as cancelled accommodation and flights. Our underwriter Allianz will look at these on a case-by-case basis should they arise. Unfortunately, this is not a clear cut decision. This is a relatively novel scenario for underwriters and the insurance market as a whole.

What if I don’t want to travel, or I want to reschedule my trip because I’m worried about Coronavirus?

Our policy includes a ‘disinclination to travel’ exclusion, meaning if you chose not to travel, and there is nothing to stop you from taking the trip such as an illness, then you aren’t covered for cancellation. If you cancelled your trip because you were worried about Coronavirus, you would not be able to claim on your travel insurance.

In normal circumstances, this exclusion is designed to prevent people from claiming on their travel policy because they have changed their mind about going on holiday. The Corona Virus Pandemic is an unprecedented situation, and we fully understand why many would choose to cancel their upcoming trips. Unfortunately, our underwriters are obliged to stick to the word of the policy when handling claims, and cannot make an exception to this exclusion.

If the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) began to advise against all but essential travel to a destination after I purchased my travel insurance but before I travel, am I covered for cancellation?

Unfortunately, our travel insurance will not cover trip cancellation if the FCO change their advice between you purchasing your travel insurance and the date of your trip.

To be covered for this eventuality, you would need cover for “travel disruption” which is not part of our travel insurance policy. This is an unusual travel insurance feature and is usually offered as an “add-on” when taking a travel insurance policy out, if at all. Following the progression of the Corona Virus to a global Pandemic, travel insurers including AVIVA have begun removing the option to purchase “travel disruption” cover.

Travel disruption is expected to be widespread across Europe in the coming months, and as a result, it has become exceptionally difficult to find a supplier offering this cover.