COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE GUIDE
USE THIS COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE GUIDE TO HELP KEEP YOUR HOLIDAY SAFE!
ABOUT COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE
Here you will find everything you need to know about holidays and travel insurance during the coronavirus pandemic. Keep an eye on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) for updates on its list of quarantine-exempt destinations and other information regarding travelling. Below we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding booking holidays amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 and beyond.
Disclaimer: The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing situation and new developments can arise quickly. We are making updates to this information frequently, please keep an eye on official advice from the UK government.
(Last updated August 11, 2021)
- Suitable for Families 95% 95%
- Suitable for Couples 95% 95%
- Suitable for Groups 95% 95%
This type of policy extends beyond 30 days and is most suited for travellers looking to take an extended trip.
WHICH COUNTRIES CAN YOU TRAVEL TO?
The FCO have stated that it is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. This means that in England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form. Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning.
Keep in mind that the FCO is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and may make changes to its list at any time.
CAN I BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Same as many other companies in the travel sector, travel insurance providers had to halt their operations when COVID-19 restrictions stopped global travel.
Now, with some travel restrictions having been lifted you are once again able to purchase travel insurance policies. You can compare COVID-19 travel insurance at the top of the page. Our partners at TravelSupermarket currently have 12 travel insurance providers listed, with more being added daily.
Please make sure to check directly with your travel insurance provider to make sure their policy is right for your individual travel needs.
WILL TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER THE COST OF MEDICAL TREATMENT IF I GET COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS WHILE ON HOLIDAY?
COVID-19 travel insurance includes “emergency medical and repatriation”. This means that if you contract the COVID-19 coronavirus while on holiday, your medical expenses will be covered and you will be brought back to the UK, if needed.
If you have already purchased a travel insurance policy, prior to the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 200, or if you’ve renewed your annual policy since March 11, then your annual travel insurance should include cover for events associated with COVID-19 as long as you have been covered prior.
For travelling to the EU this year, please make sure to carry a valid EHIC card in order to receive reciprocal free health care. The EHIC card will be valid till at least the end of 2020, when the UK is set to officially leave the EU.
CAN I CLAIM INSURANCE IF YOU HAVE TO STAY IN QUARANTINE?
If you are required to quarantine while you are on holiday and this causes you to miss flights or have to remain in a hotel longer than expected, check the travel delay section in your travel insurance terms and conditions to see what you are entitled to. Ideally, you should contact your travel insurance provider to find out directly as every insurance policy is different.
If quarantine has caused you to miss an excursion, check the trip disruption section in your travel insurance documents. Some policies will offer this as an optional add-on.
CAN I CLAIM ON MY TRAVEL INSURANCE IF I CONTRACT COVID-19 BEFORE I GO ON MY HOLIDAY AND NEED TO CANCEL?
Some travel insurance providers will cover you if you contract COVID-19 before your holiday and cannot travel.
If you bought a policy before March 11, 2000, or renewed your annual policy since then, you should be able to claim for cancellations. It may also be possible to claim if you have declared a pre-existing medical condition that makes you particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 coronavirus.
You should also keep in mind that many airlines and holiday providers currently offer flexible booking options. These may allow you to rearrange your holiday arrangements to different dates without additional charge. Make sure you properly understand your travel providers terms and conditions prior to booking as each provider will be different.
DOES COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER ME IN CASE THE AIRLINE GOES BANKRUPT?
End supplier failure should cover you if your airline goes bust. This isn’t commonly included as part of a standard policy, but it can be requested as an add-on. Be sure to check the terms and conditions as some providers may not include pandemics as part of the cover, therefore airline bankruptcy under these conditions may not be covered.
If your airline goes into administration, it may be possible to get some of your money back via the voluntary chargeback scheme through your bank.
For flights costing more than £100, you could also claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. It compels your card provider to be jointly liable with the airline for all goods or services that were not delivered.
WHAT TO DO IF MY HOLIDAY WAS CANCELLED BY THE AIRLINE OR HOLIDAY PROVIDER?
The first thing you need to do is contact the company you booked with. For example your airline, tour operator or accommodation provider. EU261 states that you are entitled to receive a refund for any cancelled flight within 7 days. This law also applies to the UK. Under the Package Travel Regulations, you are entitled to a refund within 14 days of cancellation of your package holidays.
If your travel provider is unable to confirm if or when you can expect to receive a refund, check with your travel insurance provider to see if it’s possible to claim compensation. If you booked your holiday prior to FCO advising “all but essential travel” you may have some cover. However, keep in mind that this will defend on the terms and conditions of your individual policy.
CAN I GET A REFUND ON MY COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE IF MY HOLIDAY WAS CANCELLED?
Most commonly you should be able to cancel your policy within 14 days of buying under the “cooling off” rules. You should be aware that some travel insurance providers may still charge you an administrative fee for cancellation.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many travel insurance providers are offering pro-rata refunds to their customers whose holidays have been cancelled. In general, this only applies to cases where no claims on the policy have been made.
Before requesting a refund, make sure that you no longer need your travel insurance policy.
If you have purchased a single trip policy and rearranged the dates of your trip, you should also be able to change the dates of your policy without an additional fee. The holiday will need to be at the same destination and for the same duration as before. If you need to make changes to your holiday you may also be entitled to pay more for your travel insurance policy.
CAN I CLAIM ON MY TRAVEL INSURANCE IF MY HOLIDAY OR FLIGHT IS CANCELLED?
COVID-19 pandemic is out of control of your airline or holiday provider, therefore it comes under “extraordinary circumstances”. Therefore, you are not most likely entitled to compensation for your cancelled travel arrangements. This is accordance with both The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (for holidays) and the EU261/04 Regulation (flights).
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BOOKING A HOLIDAY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Many travel providers have stated that they will not arrange package holidays to countries, where you are required to quarantine upon arrival. If a new country is added to their list, the holiday will most likely be cancelled and you will legally be entitled to receive a refund from your travel provider.
If you have booked a flight and are choosing to not take it due to COVID-19 coronavirus, you will not be able to receive a refund unless you have a “cancel for any reason” option in the terms and conditions of your policy. Keep in mind that you may be able to change the dates of your flight with many airlines offering this option free of charge at the moment. Alternatively, you may be offered a voucher if you are unable to take your flight. To protect your money, you can book with a credit card. If the cost of your flight exceeds £100, you are protected under Voluntary Chargeback Scheme and Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
Prior to booking always make sure to look at the terms and conditions. This goes for your travel insurance policy, package holidays or independently booked flights and accommodation.
Cover from as little as £5.11*
Compare and save on annual, single, family and multitrip
*Based on one adult aged 30 taking single trip cover to France. Cover starts 7 July 2021 and ends on 10 July 2021.
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