How does coronavirus impact my travel insurance?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) gives advice to help UK citizens make judgements about travelling to a particular country. Please visit the government’s website for up-to-date advice on your destination.

In light of the ongoing global situation with coronavirus, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel insurance covers you for non-refundable costs. Your first step should be to contact your travel or accommodation provider and ask for a refund. Please use our online claims form for any non-urgent claims.

You’ll be able to make a claim if

  • You took out your policy and booked a trip before the FCO advised against all but essential travel to your destination and the advice is in place 31 days before your departure date
  • You’re currently abroad. You’ll be covered for abandonment if you need to come home early because of the change in FCO advice

If you took out your policy or booked a trip after the FCO advised against all but essential travel to your destination, or you’re thinking of booking a trip in the future, you might not be covered for cancellation or abandonment claims relating to coronavirus as this is now a ‘known event’.

Will I be able to claim for cancellation for a trip in the UK?

Yes, you’re covered for UK trips where you have two consecutive nights pre-booked holiday accommodation and you’re due to travel before 17 April 2020. You must have booked your trip and taken your policy out before the government advised against all non-essential travel on 17 March 2020.

Given the nature of the situation, should I cancel my trip right away?

You should check first whether you’d be able to get a refund or make alternative travel arrangements, first with your travel or accommodation provider, and then with your credit or debit card provider if you paid for your trip by card.

As the FCO advice is only in place for the next 30 days, you should think carefully before you cancel a trip that’s due to start after 17 April. The FCO advice might change so you might not be covered by your travel insurance policy. You might not be able to get a refund from your travel provider, either.

What should I do if I need to make a claim?

To allow us to prioritise customers who were due to travel in the immediate future, we’re asking that you only call if you were due to travel in the next seven days. Please use our online claims form for any non-urgent claims, or call Travel Pack and Travel Pack Plus on 0800 404 6856, or Premier Travel Pack on 0800 158 2692. Lines are open 24/7.

What will I need to make a travel insurance claim?

You’ll need to provide us with

  • Confirmation of the original booking, and which parts of it are non-refundable
  • Evidence you’ve tried to get your money back through the travel or accommodation provider
  • Details of any self-isolation advice you’ve been given by either your GP or from NHS 111

For all claims, our normal policy terms and conditions, exclusions and claims assessment apply.

If I contract the coronavirus while I'm on a trip, would I be covered for medical treatment overseas?

Yes, but treatment is subject to locally-available facilities. Medical repatriation, or transfer to alternative medical facilities will be subject to any travel restrictions that are in place.

If I’m quarantined at an airport and can’t fly as a result of a medical assessment, will I be covered for a full refund of the cost of my/my family’s trips? Will my policy cover the cost of another flight home?

If you’re quarantined at an airport when travelling to your holiday destination, you’ll be covered. We’ll pay unused non-recoverable costs for accommodation, as well as additional travel and accommodation costs to get you home for everyone insured under the policy.

If I’ve booked a trip in the UK because of an event (eg. sporting event, festival etc.), but it’s been cancelled, would I be covered for any travel/ accommodation/ associated costs?

Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be covered under our Travel Pack’s insurance. You might be able to reclaim your costs through the event organiser or your credit/debit card provider if you paid by card.

If I’m on holiday and my hotel was put into lockdown, would I be able to claim for any additional living expenses like meals and drinks?

We’d pay specific associated expenses outlined in the policy wording that are unrecoverable from elsewhere. If your policy is due to end while you’re in lockdown, your cover will extend automatically for up to 30 days. Your travel insurance will also pay for medical treatment if you needed it during this time.

My airline has offered to move my flights to a different date but I’m unable to travel then. Will my travel insurance refund me if I cancel?

If the airline has cancelled your original flight, you should be entitled to a refund from them. If you can’t recover your losses elsewhere, we will consider your claim.

If I travel to a country and the FCO has advised against travel/all but essential travel there, will that invalidate my travel insurance?

We would urge you to follow the advice as outlined by the FCO / local authorities, and not put yourself at additional risk. However, travelling against FCO advice wouldn’t invalidate your cover.

I work in the Armed Forces or Emergency Services and have been asked to cancel my holiday to support with the coronavirus outbreak. Can I claim on my travel insurance for cancelling my holiday?

If you’re a member of HM Armed Forces, the Emergency Services or a Government Department and your leave is cancelled due to an unexpected posting or an emergency in the UK, you’re covered for cancellation claims (doctors and nurse are included in this, too).