Coronavirus: Important information about our travel insurance cover

Updated: 6 April 2020

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all be essential international travel.

Our policies will not provide any cover whilst the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all but essential travel.

If you purchase a policy for later on in the year, cover will commence instantly when the FCO travel ban is lifted.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

Coronavirus/Covid-19 Information

These policies were not designed to cover known or publicly announced events. As such, for policies issued after 15 March 2020, except for Medical and Repatriation Expenses, there is no cover for Coronavirus, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV-2), any mutation of Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARs-COV-2 or any pandemic or fear or threat of any of these.

Am I covered for cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak?

Unfortunately, the policy will not provide cover for cancellation in the event that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised against travel. However, insurers are looking at claims on a case by case basis, you can download a claims form on the following link: https://faqs.tifgroup.co.uk/claimsinfo

If the FCO has advised against all, or all but essential travel, you should contact your travel provider. In this situation they have an obligation to provide you with a full refund or alternative holiday. If you are not due to travel for a few months your tour operator may choose to wait to see if anything changes before offering you a refund or alternative arrangements.

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 FCO 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. 

Customers who are away and whose insurance is due to expire:

I am abroad and my amended flight home is after my policy end date?

If your flight has been amended by your flight company due to the recent events, you must take the first available flight home and the policy will automatically extend to cover you until your return. If you choose not to take the first available flight home there will be no extension to cover. 

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.

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

Change of dates for re-arranged trips:

If your travel arrangements have been suspended or changed to an alternative date, 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, there will be no charge.
  • If the new trip is for a longer period or a different destination, there may be an additional charge to cover this.

Cancellation of Package Holiday Arrangements:

If you booked via a travel agent or tour operator or has booked more than one thing, that must include; Flight, Accommodation, Transfer 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..) 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.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/regulation/1/made
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/package-travel-regulations
https://www.abtot.com/regulation/civil-aviation-authority-caa-atol/
https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

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.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/How-the-CAA-can-help/Consumer-protection-law/

What can I do with my 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.

Where to find more information

https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus