Dear Valued customer,
Due to the global impact of COVID -19 we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls.
The updates to airlines and foreign travel advise is constantly changing and we would ask you to check all updates on the foreign office website for the most up to date information on border controls for UK nationals.
Many of the airline’s schedules may be affected and departure times and dates will change, therefore we suggest that you check on the flight status section on the respective airlines website for updates.
You may be able to change your original travel date without paying the usual change fee as the airlines have exercised flexibility. Please do not call unless you are travelling within the next 7 days. We will do our utmost to update all our passengers regarding their flights and are working through our list in departure date order. Please also check the health section on the UK’s foreign travel advice website of the country you are planning to visit to see you if will be allowed to travel. www.gov.uk/world
- · Where can I get more information about travel and the Coronavirus?
About COVID 19 – Travel & General Insurance update
We always advise passengers to take our some form of travel insurance, however here are some questions and answers set out for you to keep you informed on cover concerning the coronavirus:
- Am I insured if I travel against the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)?
The policy will not provide cover if you decide to travel against the advice of the FCO. This would be for ‘All Travel’ and ‘All but Essential Travel’. If the area is classified as ‘All but Essential Travel’ and customers are still planning to go, they must contact us in advance with their reasons for travel and cover must be agreed by the Underwriters
- Will my policy cover medical treatment for the Coronavirus? And will repatriation be covered?
If you catch Coronavirus or require medical treatment, then yes cover will be in place for emergency and necessary treatment. 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.
Please contact our Assistance Team if you require medical treatment.
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. Our team are unable to make arrangements to repatriate you where it is against local advice, where travel is restricted or where you would pose a risk to other passengers.
- Am I covered for cancellation due to the Coronavirus?
Travel insurance policies have different terms and conditions regarding what is and what is not covered in regards to the cancellation of a trip.
This type of event is usually not covered across the travel insurance industry for cancellation. This is because most policies have specific reasons for cancellation and the “fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction” is not one of those reasons.
We would advise travellers who have booked package holidays to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cancel their trip or amend their travel plans to contact their travel agent or tour operator in the first instance.
If you are not able to amend your trip and have a medical justification for having to cancel, we would be happy to discuss your situation on a case-by-case basis.
- If I am stuck abroad due to the Coronavirus and cannot come home on my planned return date, will my travel insurance be extended to cover me until I can get home?
Depending on your policy, cover may be extended for the following reasons:
– If you are hospitalised, require medical treatment and are unable to fly.
– If your transport is disrupted or delayed.
– If you cannot return home for any reason beyond your control.
We would ask that you check your specific policy wording for more information on this.
- If I am quarantined due to the Coronavirus, what cover is in place?
If you are admitted to hospital your policy will usually provide assistance with returning home when you have been discharged.
Please contact our Assistance Team if you are admitted to hospital.
- What happens if I arrive at my holiday destination and they refuse entry due to the virus?
If you travel to an area which the FCO advise against travel to, there would be no cover under the travel insurance policies as this would be considered as a known event.
If you travel to an area and the FCO advice changes after leaving home, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on the availability of flights or refunds in the first instance.
If you are refused entry at passport/border control, you should contact your airline or transport provider to arrange changing your return ticket to allow you to come home early.
- Will I be covered if I want to cut my trip short due to the Coronavirus?
Travel insurance policies have different terms and conditions regarding what is and what is not covered in regards to cutting short a trip.
This type of event is usually not covered across the travel insurance industry for cutting short a trip. This is because most policies have specific reasons for cutting short your trip and the “fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction” is not one of those reasons.
We would advise travellers who have booked package holidays to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cut your trip short they should contact their travel agent or tour operator for information on the availability of flights in the first instance.
If you are travelling independently from a tour operator or travel agent, you should make your own arrangements to leave by either altering return tickets where possible or booking onto an alternative commercial flight or mode of transport. Claims for independent traveller’s additional expenses in returning home earlier than planned, where medically justified, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- If I go out on an excursion for the day and then am not allowed back to my travel accommodation (or cruise ship) due to quarantine, what cover do I have?
You should follow any instructions issued by the local authorities as it is more than likely that you will have to enter some form of quarantine.
Traveller’s should contact their travel agent or tour operator for assistance in the first instance.
- Can my policy be changed to suit a ‘new/different’ holiday or trip?
If you are offered an alternative destination and or dates from your travel agent, we are pleased to advise that we will shift your insurance policy to fit the new trip without any administration charges, providing the new trip is for the same duration and to the same location or geographical area.
- What can I do with my policy if I am no longer travelling and have received a refund for my holiday?
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 offer a full refund of premium on the understanding that no claim is to be made against the policy. This does not apply to Annual policies.