With the UK government advising against all but essential travel overseas, how is your travel insurance affected?

The world is currently fighting the disaster of a generation and the sudden spread of COVID-19 (or Coronavirus as it’s also known) has left many asking if their travel insurance will cover them if they’re unable to travel.

First, let’s understand the UK governments position as of April 12th 2020:

  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated it’s advice to ask that all non-essential international travel be postponed for an indefinite period.
  • The government has also asked British tourists and short-stay travelers to return home immediately. Depending upon your location, commercial flights may still be available. If not, the UK government has set aside £75m to enable charter flights to be scheduled.
  • Some countries have closed their borders completely to UK travellers, while others are imposing strict quarantine measures. It’s important to check the regulation in the country you’re flying to before leaving home.
  • Unfortunately (however not surprisingly), no insurance provider is currently offering new travel policies which include cover for COVID-19 related claims.

I don’t have travel insurance…

Considering the guidance above, is there anything you can do if you forgot to purchase travel insurance? Unfortunately, all travel insurance providers have stopped selling policies which include cover for coronavirus. However, you could still get your money back if your holiday is cancelled. This is especially true if you purchased a package holiday.

I have travel insurance…

Great! It’s always a good idea to purchase travel insurance when you book your holiday so give yourself a tap on the back. Having travel insurance may give you more security. If you’re travelling over the next few weeks and your package holiday has been cancelled you should receive your money back like everyone else without making a claim on your travel insurance.

Having travel insurance makes a difference when the travel restrictions are eventually lifted. If you find yourself too unwell to travel, then your travel insurance should reimburse you. However, it’s important that you check your policy details.

When will I get my money back?

You should be provided with a full refund within 14 days. However, many stories are being published of travel providers suggesting customers are only entitled to a voucher, this is simply not true.

Due to the amount of people attempting to contact travel providers to request refund, you may have trouble getting through over the phone. So, it can often be easier to send an email. It’s also worth noting that if your flight is cancelled, you do have at least 12 months to claim a refund. So, you may want to wait until everything has calmed down.

That concludes our article for today. Life can be extremely difficult at the moment so from everyone here at Sungo, please stay home where possible and stay safe.