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Coronavirus FAQs

January 28, 2021

If you are an existing customer who purchased their policy before 7th March 2022, please check your policy wording to see what cover was provided under your policy. To access copies of your policy documents, you can quickly register for your free customer area access by clicking here. Alternatively, you can find copies of policy wordings by purchase date by clicking here.

If you are an existing customer who purchased their policy on or after 7th March 2022, all of our policies provide cover for:

If you have purchased our specialist COVID-19 optional extension, you will have additional coronavirus cover for:

Making A Claim

Before you read on

Please note, these FAQs have been collated specifically for customers who purchased their policy after the 7th March 2022.

If you purchased your policy before the 7th March 2022 please check your policy wording to see what cover was provided under your policy. To access copies of your policy documents, you can quickly register for your free customer area access by clicking here. Alternatively, you can find copies of policy wordings by purchase date by clicking here

Who should you speak to first?

We have provided more specific advice below, but in general, airlines, tour operators and travel agents are covering costs associated with events that might lead the cancellation or curtailment (cutting short) of your trip. This means you should only be submitting claims to us after you have exhausted those options first. You will be after by our claims team to provide proof that you have been denied a refund from the transport and accommodation providers before they consider your claim.

I am looking to make a claim for Cancellation or Curtailment – where do I start?

As general advice, please be aware that if your trip is cancelled, rearranged or curtailed as a result of COVID-19 and/or FCDO advice, then it is likely that your transport and/or accommodation provider will be able to refund you. We will only be considering claims where you have approached the appropriate provider for either a refund, reimbursement or change in trip dates, prior to submitting a claim to us. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to us.

If after approaching your accommodation and transport providers, you are still looking to make a claim for cancellation or curtailment relating to COVID-19 or change in FCDO advice, you can find the claims process detailed here

Please make sure you submit your claim with all the supporting documentation requested. Missing information could result in delays to the assessment of your claim.

My flight was cancelled by the airline – can I claim for this on my travel insurance policy?

This is something you would need to approach your airline about. If you had booked accommodation separately, then you will need to approach the accommodation provider to see what your options are. You may be able to include this in your claim to the airline. If the airline will not accept the claim for the accommodation costs then it may be that you bank or credit card provider can support with this via Section 75 of the consumer credit act. Please contact your credit or debit card company for details on the process. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach for help and support before submitting a claim to us.

I had to cancel due to local government restrictions at the location where I was due to stay – can I claim for this on my travel insurance policy?

Unfortunately, most travel insurance policies do not include this as a reason to cancel. However, if your trip is no longer able to go ahead as originally planned – i.e. excursion cancellations, restrictions on use of the facility etc. then customer who have booked via a tour operator or travel agent, should in most cases be able to claim a refund from their tour operator or travel agent. Customers who booked accommodation and transport through separate providers will need to approach their booking agents to see if they are able to change dates or offer a refund.

I had a claim declined previously as there was no FCDO restrictions in place, but now there is – can you reassess my claim?

Unfortunately, this is not an option, our appointed Claims team can only assess claims based on facts and information available that applied at the time of you cancelling the trip and submitting the claim.

I am in the military and my reporting office has strongly advised that I do no travel to my trip destination due to COVID-19 – can I submit a claim for cancellation?

If HM armed forces cover is specified in the cancellation section of your policy wording and your leave orders have been cancelled then you can submit a claim for cancellation. However, if your leave orders are not cancelled, then this would not be covered by your travel insurance policy. We would recommend contacting your reporting or commanding officer for advice as to how they can support you.

My close relative, who is not travelling with me, has COVID-19 – can I cancel and claim?

Cover for this scenario will depend on the type of travel insurance policy you purchased. To better understand the cover offered by your policy, please check the cancellation section of your policy wording. Please note, a positive test for COVID-19 alone is not grounds for cancelling a holiday, claims for cancellation would only be considered where the virus has led to death or hospitalisation of the relative.

Will I still be covered if I am on my cruise and the FCDO change their advice on travel to a country I am due to travel to and the cruise ship has to go to a different location outside of the geographical area covered by my policy?

Assuming you have purchased the Cruise Extension, we would continue to cover you as normal, without charge and without the need to contact us, as we understand that this is outside of your control and not an intended change to your insurance demands and needs. There is no cover at all on a cruise unless you have purchased the extension.

I am on or going on a cruise and am confined to my cabin because of COVID-19, even though I am not ill and do not need emergency medical treatment – can I claim for cabin confinement?

If you bought a policy that included cruise cover with a cabin confinement section, if the circumstances of your confinement are included, then we will consider claims under this section of the policy. There is no cover at all on a cruise unless you have purchased the extension.

If when I am on my cruise, they cannot stop at one of the scheduled ports due to COVID-19 – can I claim for missed port?

We’re afraid missed port cover is usually only provided for missed port due to adverse weather conditions or timetable restrictions. However, under Package Travel Regulations because the cruise was not as ‘sold’ then it would be something you can approach your booking agent to discuss reimbursement of those costs.

Will you cover me if I have to cancel my trip because I am in quarantine/isolation in the UK because of COVID-19?

For all cases we would need confirmation that your trip was still going ahead as planned and had not been rearranged or cancelled due to FCDO/COVID-19 advice/restrictions. Please be aware that different policies have different terms and conditions so please check the cancellation section of your policy wording.

Confirmed diagnosis

If you are unfortunate enough to test positive for COVID-19 after you bought your insurance, then as long as the diagnosis was within a reasonable timeframe of your trip starting (14 days) then we would consider this under cancellation due to illness. You can submit a claim for cancellation and will be required to evidence a positive COVID-19 result from a medical practitioner.

Self-isolating

This will only be covered if you have purchased the COVID-19 Extension and has been requested by a medical practitioner, health authority or government body. Cover applies within 14 days of your trip and we will need evidence that you have been required to self-isolate.

I have changed my flight arrangements to avoid being denied entry or quarantined – can I claim for this?

This is not covered by our policies. In most cases flight companies are assisting people with these arrangements with small if any administration fees.

My doctor advised that I shouldn’t travel to my holiday destination due to my existing medical problems – will I be covered?

As long as there was no reason to expect the doctor to limit travel at the time you booked the trip and if you declared the conditions at the time of purchasing the policy, then your claim will be considered if your doctor certifies that you are too ill to travel due to COVID-19. If you did not declare them, you would not be covered. We would also need confirmation that your trip was still due to go ahead as planned.

I have been offered/given a voucher by my travel agent but I just want the cash – can I claim this from my travel insurance policy?

If you have been provided a voucher by your travel agent/tour operator or transport/accommodation provider and you have accepted this from them, you will not be able to make a claim under your travel insurance policy.

If you do not wish to accept the offer of a voucher, you should contact the tour operator/travel agent or transport/accommodation provider and advise them that you want a refund rather than a voucher/credit note. Cancellation claims will only be considered if you have the relevant cover under the cancellation section of your policy and you can evidence to us that you have not accepted a voucher/credit note and/or one has not been offered to you.

Cancelling My Policy

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 not moving your trip to alternative dates, and are offered a full refund from your travel agent or tour operator and you are within your 14-day cooling off period, we are happy to provide you with a full refund of the premium you have paid providing you have not travelled, claimed or intend to claim on the policy. This will mean that no future claims can be made on the policy.

For our full terms and conditions on policy cancellation outside of the 14-day cooling off period, please click here. To cancel your policy and request a refund, please click here.

Amending My Policy

Can my policy be changed to suit a ‘new/different’ holiday or trip?

If you are offered an alternative destination and/or dates by your travel agent or tour operator, we are pleased to advise that on Single Trip policies we will change the dates of your travel insurance policy to match the new trip where policy and in line with our policy term and conditions. We will not charge an admin fee for this, but please note that there may be an increase in cost, for example if you extend your trip duration or change the geographical area that you are travelling to etc.

Please note, we cannot move trip dates more than 12 months in advance from the date you originally purchased your policy. Please click here to amend your policy online.

Upgrading My Policy

Can I upgrade my policy to include enhanced COVID-19 cover?

If you’d like to upgrade your existing policy to include COVID-19 cover, simply click here to do so quickly and easily online if eligible (just look out for the green COVID COVER badge). We’ll re-send your new policy documents once you’re done – simple as that!

Please note: An additional cost may apply if you choose you upgrade your travel insurance policy to include enhanced COVID-19 cover. The cover will commence from when the Extension is added, not from the original date your policy was purchased and cover would not apply where you have already commenced your trip.

COVID-19 Whilst Abroad

If I am stranded 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?

Cover will be extended for the following reasons:

If you are hospitalised, require medical treatment and are unable to fly.

If your return is delayed due to a positive COVID-19 test or if you are quarantined in your pre-booked accommodation. This only applies if the COVID-19 Extension has been purchased.

For any other reason, we would consider requests on a case-by-case basis.

I’m in a country affected by the outbreak – will I still be covered if I’m affected by the virus?

As long as you did not travel against the FCDO advice, then we will provide cover for emergency medical expenses if you contract the virus and require medical treatment. You should contact the local medical authorities and follow their instructions, as they will be able to direct you to a public hospital that will be set up to provide optimal care and quarantine.  You should then contact the assistance team so that they can liaise with the treating doctors. We would recommend that you avoid the ‘dangerous/infected’ areas and follow the published guidelines to minimise your risk of exposure.

I want to return home early – what can I do?

If you are considering returning to the UK earlier than originally planned as a result of a Coronavirus outbreak, this is not covered by our policy unless the country is added to the UK government Red List and your early return is to avoid quarantine requirements when you arrive in the UK. This cover is only available if you have purchased the COVID-19 Extension.

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 appointed Assistance Team if you are admitted to hospital.

If you test positive but do not need hospitalisation, or if your pre-booked accommodation is put into compulsory quarantine, you will not be covered for any additional travel and accommodation costs incurred from having to self-isolate unless you have purchased the COVID-19 Extension.

If the UK government advice changes during your trip and you are required to quarantine on your return to the UK, we will contribute up to £1,000 to these costs if you have purchased the COVID-19 Extension.

If we get to the airport and one of our temperatures spike, and we are refused boarding – what is covered?

Unfortunately, travel insurance policies across the market do not usually provide cover for refusal of boarding for any reason. You would need to approach your airline or tour operator for advice.

However, if a subsequent COVID-19 test shows that the cause of the high temperature is COVID-19 or some other diagnosed medical condition, you would be able to submit a claim under the ‘Cutting Short Your Trip’ section of the policy.

What if I travel abroad and the FCDO advice changes again, how do I get home?

This type of situation is not usually covered under our travel insurance policies unless you have purchased the Large-Scale Events Extension and the change in advice is not in respect of COVID-19.

In the first instance, we would recommend that you contact your tour operator/travel agent to see if they are able to re-arrange your return travel for you. If you are travelling independently from a tour operator/travel agent, you should contact your airline/transport provider to see if they are able to alter your return ticket. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to our team.

You will need to evidence that you have approached and been refused a refund for these costs before we will consider a claim. You should also check that you purchased a policy which covers curtailment due to FCDO advice changes.

You can look at the curtailment (cutting short your trip) section of your policy wording to see if a change of FCDO advice is covered.

Please note: We are not be able to assist in arranging to get you home unfortunately, unless this is due to your injury or illness, and this has been agreed by our assistance team. It is important to note that medical repatriations are prioritised to ensure the safety of those who are unwell.

Am I insured if I travel against the advice if the FCDO?

None of our policies will provide cover if you decide to travel where the FCDO have advised against ‘All Travel’ to a country or region. Where the FCDO advise against ‘All but Essential Travel’ we will provide cover if the claim has not been caused by the reason the FCDO have given this advice. For example, if your claim relates to COVID-19 treatment in a country where the FCDO have advised against ‘All but Essential Travel’, this would not be covered.

However, if you have purchased our COVID-19 Extension, you are covered for medical expenses and repatriation in the event that you contract coronavirus abroad, even if the FCDO have advised against ‘All but Essential Travel’ to your planned destination due to the coronavirus outbreak. This cover would not be given if the country was on the UK government Red List.

Once the UK borders re-open, 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 FCDO 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 FCDO advice changes after leaving home, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on 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.

If I have a stop-over in an area which the FCDO advises against travel to – am I still covered?

We would suggest that if you have not started that part of your journey you contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary. If this is not possible, we will provide cover as long as 1) you do not leave the airport, and 2) you are not at the airport for an unreasonable amount of time.

If you arrive at your stop-over airport and entry is denied due to the virus you should contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary.

Am I covered for travel disruption caused by the Coronavirus?

There is no cover provided for general travel disruption caused by the Coronavirus.

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?

Unfortunately, we do not provide cover for these circumstances. 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.

Travellers should contact their travel agent or tour operator for assistance in the first instance.

If you have more questions which have not been answered here, please contact us.

More Information on Travel & Coronavirus

Helpful Advice

Flight Company 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, your insurer will not consider a claim unless you have sought a refund from your airline in the first instance.

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:

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/

Complaints/Resolver

If you are getting resistance from your tour operator or booking agent and believe you have a valid claim for refund or reimbursement from them. Then there are several bodies you can approach including ABTA and ATOL. In addition to this there is an independent online resolution service called ‘resolver’ which has had positive outcomes for many consumers with disputes.https://www.resolver.co.uk/

We hope you aren’t affected by this outbreak, but if you are, we’re here to help.

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