Coronavirus: Important information about our travel insurance cover
Updated: 18 January 2021
Travel insurance and lockdown rules
Our policies will not provide any cover if, by travelling, you are breaking national or regional coronavirus/lockdown rules. It is up to you to be aware of the rules in your area.
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice
Travel is allowed, subject to lockdown restrictions, to countries that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk of Covid19.
You should check the latest government/FCDO advice before you travel to ensure that you are allowed to go to your chosen destination and what rules you will be required to follow when you are there. Be aware that the advice may change as the risk levels change.
Our policies do not provide cover for cancellation caused by a change in FCDO advice, to advise against all or all but essential travel, due to COVID-19 or any other pandemic.
If you travel to a destination where the government/FCDO is advising against all or all but essential travel, our policies will not provide any cover.
Returning to the UK
Full details on the rules for returning to the UK: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control
There may be quarantine requirements when you return to the UK, these may be different depending on whether you are arriving back into England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
A number of countries are exempt from quarantine measures. Follow these links for the up to date list of these travel corridors.
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice
Test to release
The government's test to release scheme launched on 15 December. This enables travellers returning from countries which are not exempt from quarantine to reduce the length of time they are required to self-isolate by opting to have a Covid19 test after 5 days. If the test is negative, they can end their isolation.
Negative PCR test before returning to the UK
From 18 January 2021, you may be required to have a PCR test up to 72 hours before leaving the country you are in and returning to the UK. You will need to present proof of a negative result before boarding your plane, boat or train.
Full details on the rules for returning to the UK: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control
To give you the confidence to travel our policies have always provided cover for emergency medical treatment if you catch COVID-19 / Coronavirus/ SARs-COV-2 whilst you are abroad.
Policies purchased on or after 8 October 2020 also provide cover for cancellation if you are unable to travel because you have contracted COVID-19 / Coronavirus / SARs-COV-2 before your departure date.
Please note that our policies do not provide cover for cancellation caused by a change in Government/FCDO advice, to advise against all or all but essential travel, due to COVID-19 or any other pandemic. If you travel to a destination where the government is advising against all or all but essential travel, our policies will not provide any cover. Please check the latest advice before you travel. www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
There is no cover under any other section of the policy for anything caused by or relating to Covid-19/Coronavirus/SARs-COV-2, any mutation of Covid-19/Coronavirus/SARs-COV-2 or any pandemic or fear or threat of any of the above.
Am I covered for Emergency Medical Treatment & Repatriation if I contract Coronavirus abroad?
Yes. If you catch Coronavirus or require medical treatment whilst away, then yes cover will be in place for emergency and necessary treatment, so long as you have not travelled against Government/FCDO advice.
Customers should be aware that our policies are travel insurance policies and not private medical insurance meaning that there is no cover for any medical expenses incurred in private medical facilities if we have confirmed that medically capable public facilities are available.
Our policies will provide cover for repatriation (bringing you home) that is medically necessary. Our Assistance Team will liaise with your treating doctor(s) about your treatment plan and if required obtain a ‘fit to fly’ certificate. We also liaise with you and advise on, and put in place, suitable repatriation plans to get you home as soon as it is medically safe to do so in order to achieve your optimal recovery.
Am I covered for cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak?
Policies purchased on or after 8 October 2020
Policies purchased on or after 8 October 2020 provide cover for cancellation if you, or anyone insured on the policy are unable to travel because you have contracted COVID19 / Coronavirus / SARs-COV-2 before your departure date.
There is no cover for cancellation if COVID19 / Coronavirus / SARs-COV-2 or another pandemic causes a change to Government/FCDO travel advice. If the FCO has advised against all, or all but essential travel, you should contact your travel provider.
Policies purchased before 8 October 2020
For insurance bought or holidays booked from 13 March 2020 to 8 October 2020 there is no cancellation cover for anything caused by or relating to Covid-19/Coronavirus/SARs-COV-2, any mutation of Covid-19/Coronavirus/SARs-COV-2 or any pandemic or fear or threat of any of the above.
Unfortunately, the policy will not provide cover for cancellation in the event that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office have advised against travel.
If the FCDO has advised against all, or all but essential travel, you should contact your travel provider.
I purchased my policy before 8 October 2020, how can I get cancellation cover for COVID19?
Please call us on 0330 024 9817, we will be able to upgrade your policy to include cancellation cover if you, or any one insured on the policy, contracts COVID19 before you travel.
Please note that our policies do not provide cover for cancellation caused by a change in Government/FCDO advice, to advise against all or all but essential travel, due to COVID-19 or any other pandemic. Please check the latest advice before you travel. www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
What if I get stuck abroad due to Coronavirus?
If you are unable to travel home because you are required to self-isolate due to Coronavirus symptoms or coming into contact with someone with coronavirus your policy will automatically extend until you are able to travel home. You should contact the Emergency Assistance Team to notify them immediately.
If you have purchased our optional cover Overseas Return Quarantine, you may be covered for additional accomodation expenses and return travel up to the amount stated in the schedule of cover.
If your return travel has been amended by your travel provider due the Coronavirus pandemic your policy will be automatically extended until you are able to return home. You must take the first available transport home. If you choose not to take the first available flight home there will be no extension to cover.
If you contract Coronavirus whilst abroad and require medical treatment you will be covered under the Emergency Medical and Repatriation section of the policy. You should contact the Emergency Assistance Team immediately.
I am abroad and I don’t want to come back to the UK?
Unfortunately, if your policy is due to expire and you are choosing to remain overseas, then we are unable to extend cover for you. You must return on the next available flight.
What if my trip is re-arranged for different dates or destination?
If your travel arrangements have been suspended or changed to an alternative date or destination, please contact us with this information:
On the provision that no claims have been submitted against the policy, we can change the dates of your single trip insurance to a new trip anytime up to December 2021;
- If the new trip is the same destination and duration, and within 12 months of the adjustment date, there will be no charge.
- If the new trip is for a longer period, to a different destination, or more than 12 months from the adjustment date, there may be an additional charge to cover this.
What if my trip is cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic?
Cancellation of Package Holiday Arrangements:
If you booked via a travel agent or tour operator or have booked more than one element including a flight from the same provider, then the trip is considered as packaged and the below applies.
Trips cancelled due to FCO advice would therefore fall within the remit of Package Travel Regulations and be eligible for a refund from your travel organiser.
Trips where access is restricted or public life is subject to significant limitations (closures of tourist attraction etc..) travel providers should give passengers the right to cancel their trip with refund via Package Travel Regulations.
If passengers have a medical condition for which exposure to the COVID-19 is particularly dangerous, current advice is they should have the right to cancel their package travel contract if the risk of contamination with COVID-19 at the travel destination or its immediate vicinity is declared high by the competent authorities.
In the above circumstances you should contact your travel provider about a obtaining a refund or an alternative trip.
Cancellation of Flights and Air Passenger Rights:
Flight companies are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. If your flight operator cancels or can’t fulfil your flight then there is protection available under something called the ‘Montreal Convention’. Some airlines are going over and above their requirements and so it is important to contact them in the first instance to find out what support they can give you.
Flight cancellations by the airline need to be claimed directly from them.
All around the world, passenger rights for international flights are protected under the Montreal Convention. Essentially, this piece of law states that the airline is responsible for you if your flight is cancelled and/or you are left stranded at an airport waiting for a flight. These measures of care include: Meals and refreshments, Communication to the outside world (two occasions), Hotel accommodations when necessary, Rerouting to your final destination.
In countries like Canada, Israel and the Member States of the European Union, your rights are protected even further.
Like any piece of law, it is complicated and not that easy to read! But below is a link and if you google CAA and Montreal Convention then you will find some useful information online that may help you.
What if I my holiday is going ahead as planned but I no longer wish to go?
If there are no longer any government restrictions in place and your travel provider is operating the flights and accommodation, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain a refund if you no longer wish to travel.
You should contact your travel provider and explain your feelings, some may allow you to transfer your holiday to a later date, but there could be a charge for this.
There is no travel insurance cover for cancellation in this situation.
What can I do with my travel insurance policy if I am no longer travelling?
In the event that you are unable to move the trip to an alternative destination, and are offered a refund from your travel agent or tour operator, we are happy to cancel the policy and offer a refund of premium on the understanding that no claim is to be made against the policy. Single Trip and Annual policies will be refunded on a pro rata basis. Please note: Policy cancellations are subject to an administration charge of £10.