How does coronavirus impact my Travel Pack or Travel Plus Pack?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) gives advice to help UK citizens make judgements about travelling to a particular country. On 4 April the FCO updated its advice as follows:

The FCO advised British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This applies for an indefinite period due to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. They’ve also advised British people travelling abroad to return to the UK now. All countries may restrict travel without notice. 

If you’re currently abroad, please visit the FCO website for up-to-date advice on getting home.

Customers who have breakdown cover through Travel Pack/Travel Plus Pack can still count on 24/7 rescue from the RAC within the UK. As for Europe, they’ll do their very best to help if you break down abroad, but it may be very difficult or impossible to provide service in some countries due to restrictions that are in place. You can find the latest updates from the RAC at rac.co.uk/COVID-19

Travel insurance covers you for non-refundable costs. Your first step should be to contact your airline, travel or accommodation provider to find out what your options are. You should also contact your debit/credit card provider about obtaining a refund. For any non-refundable costs, please contact our claims team.

To allow us to prioritise customers who were due to travel in the immediate future or who are stuck abroad, 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, accommodation or credit/debit card 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.

How long will it take for my claim to be processed?

Due to the high volume of claims relating to coronavirus, claims will be assessed within 28 days from receipt of your correspondence. It is therefore important that you follow the guidance provided in the claims pack which will have been issued following notification of your claim.

I have a trip booked

I have an existing Pack and I’m unable to travel abroad due to the FCO advice. Am I covered for cancelling my trip?

If you booked your trip before the FCO advised against all but essential travel abroad and that advice is still in place within 31 days of your departure date , your cancellation costs will be covered.

I have an existing Pack and I am unable to go on my trip in the UK. Am I covered for cancelling my trip?

Yes, you’re covered for UK trips where you have two consecutive nights pre-booked holiday accommodation and you’re due to travel while the UK lockdown is still in place. You must have booked your trip 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?

We’re unable to consider claims for cancellation due to the FCO advising against travel more than 31 days prior to your trip . You should think carefully about cancelling your trip now as you might not be able to get a refund from your travel provider.

You should check first with your airline, travel or accommodation provider to see what your options are and if you are entitled to a refund or make alternative travel arrangements. If you paid for any part of your trip with your credit or debit card, you should check with your provider to see if you are entitled to a refund.

What should I do if the airline or travel provider cancels my flight from the UK?

You should contact your airline or travel provider in the first instance to find out what your options are. We understand if your airline cancelled your flight and it’s

  • from or within the EU or 
  • to the EU with an EU airline,

your airline may be obliged to assist you with refunds or re-routing and care (including accommodation where necessary) under EU regulations and/or the terms and conditions of your booking. Your airline may offer you a voucher for future travel, but we understand that you are not obliged to accept this and are entitled to ask for a refund of the price paid for your ticket. Where you accept a voucher or a refund you cannot then claim for the cost of this from your insurance and your airline may not be required to assist you with re-routing and care. The Civil Aviation Authority has guidance on passenger rights which you can find here https://www.caa.co.uk/COVID-19. 

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, you’ll be covered. We’ll pay unused non-refundable costs for accommodation, as well as additional travel and accommodation costs to get you home for everyone insured under the policy.

Due to the FCO advice, 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?

You should contact your airline or travel provider in the first instance to find out what your options are.  We understand if your airline has cancelled your flight and it’s;

  • from or within the EU or
  • to the EU with an EU airline,

your airline may be obliged to assist you with refunds or re-routing and care (including accommodation) under  EU regulations and/or the terms and conditions of your booking. Your airline may offer you a voucher for future travel, but we understand that you are not obliged to accept this and are entitled to ask for a refund of the price paid for your ticket.  Where you accept a voucher or a refund you cannot then claim for the cost of this from your insurance and your airline may not be required to assist you with re-routing and care.  The Civil Aviation Authority has guidance on passenger rights which you can find here https://www.caa.co.uk/COVID-19.

If you are unable to recover your losses from your airline or travel and accommodation provider, we may be able to consider your claim.

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).

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. You will not be covered under your policy for abandonment if the travel advice was in place when you left the UK because Coronavirus is now a known event.

I’m currently overseas

You're currently abroad and you need to come home early or you are stuck abroad or quarantined on a cruise ship due to the FCO's advice and/or local travel restrictions.

You should contact your airline or travel provider in the first instance to find out what your options are. You should also check the FCO website for advice in the country that you are in and how to get home. The current advice is as follows:
The government announced on 30th March a new partnership with the airline industry to help British people travelling abroad to return to the UK. Where commercial routes remain feasible airlines will be responsible for getting their passengers with pre-booked tickets home.

Where commercial routes do not exist, government will provide up to £75 million to enable special charter flights to priority countries to bring back UK residents. To see if you are eligible, and to find out how to book and sign up to email alerts, see the ‘Return to the UK’ section of the Government’s travel advice page of the country that you are in. When special return flights become available, these will be advertised by the embassy and British nationals on Travel Advice Pages and Embassy social media and those who have registered for updates will be contacted via email.

If you are in real need, you can contact the FCOs consular assistance helpline on 020 7008 1500.

Where the airline has cancelled your flight, we understand if your flight is;

  • from or within the EU or
  • to the EU with an EU airline,

your airline may be obliged to assist you with refunds or re-routing and care (including accommodation where necessary) under  EU regulations and/or the terms and conditions of your booking. Your airline may offer you a voucher for future travel, but we understand that you are not obliged to accept this and are entitled to ask for a refund of the price paid for your ticket.  Where you accept a voucher or a refund you cannot then claim for the cost of this from your insurance and your airline may not be required to assist you with re-routing and care. The Civil Aviation Authority has guidance on passenger rights which you can find here https://www.caa.co.uk/COVID-19.

Where the airline has been unable to assist you, if you took out your policy, booked a trip and travelled before the FCO advised against all or all but essential travel, you may be covered under your travel insurance as follows

  • you can claim under the abandonment section of the T&Cs for additional travel and accommodation costs up to the policy limit that are not recoverable from your airline or travel provider, to allow you to return to the UK early due to the FCO advice. You will not be covered under the abandonment section if you travelled after FCO advised against travel.

If you are stuck abroad and cannot get back before your scheduled return date, emergency medical cover will remain in force without addition premium, providing you are making every effort to return home where possible. If you are unable to recover your losses from the airline or travel provider, we may be able to consider your claim for your additional travel and accommodation costs.

I’m on holiday and my hotel has been put into lockdown, am I 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 you’re lockdown and cannot get back before your scheduled return date, emergency medical cover will remain in force without addition premium, providing you are making every effort to return home when possible.
 

I’m planning to book a new trip

I have an existing Pack and I’m planning to book a new trip abroad. If the FCO advice is still in place when I am due to travel, will I be covered to cancel my trip?

As the FCO advice is now in place indefinitely, trips booked after the 17 March will not be covered for cancellation costs as a result of you deciding not to travel due to the FCO advice on Covid-19 being in place.

All other reasons for cancellation normally covered by the policy remain valid.

I have an existing Pack and I am planning to book a new trip in the UK. If the UK Government advice is still in place when I am due to travel, will I be covered to cancel my trip?

While the UK lockdown is still in place, if you decide to book a new trip in the UK, you will not be covered for any cancellation costs due to UK travel restrictions.
 

Can I still call the RAC if I breakdown in the UK or abroad?

If you have a Travel Pack/Travel Plus Pack, you can still count on rescue from the RAC within the UK, 24 hours a day.

As for Europe, they’ll do their very best to help if you break down abroad, but it may be very difficult or impossible to provide service in some countries because of the restrictions that are in place. You can find the latest updates from the RAC at rac.co.uk/COVID-19.

The RAC patrol teams are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe by wearing protective gloves, cleaning any surface they touch with wipes and making sure they follow the government guidelines on social distancing.

They might even be able to fix the issue remotely and get you back on the road with the RAC Remote Technician service, using smartphone technology.

With many garages closed, it’s harder at the moment to get your vehicle recovered and repaired, but you’ll get priority as a member should you need help.
 

I no longer need my Travel Pack

I have a Travel or Travel Plus Pack but I don’t have any plans to travel – can I cancel my Pack? 

We understand that your travel plans might change because of the coronavirus situation. If you no longer need your Travel or Travel Plus Pack, you can remove it in the Barclays app or by calling 0345 734 5345.

Before you decide to remove your Pack, you might want to consider the following 

  • The Travel Pack and Travel Plus Pack are no longer on sale, so if you remove your Pack, you won’t be able to add it again for the time being
  • If you had your Pack and booked a trip abroad before the FCO advised against all but essential travel, and if that advice is still in place within 31 days of your departure date, your cancellation costs will be covered. If your trip is in the UK, you’re covered if your holiday accommodation is booked for two or more consecutive nights
  • If you’re planning on booking a holiday for a future date, you won’t be covered for cancellation costs if you decide not to travel because of the FCO advice on coronavirus being in place. All other reasons for cancellation normally covered by the policy will be valid
  • Your fully comprehensive RAC breakdown cover is still in place and available 24 hours a day in the UK. As for Europe, they’ll do their very best to help if you break down abroad, but it may be very difficult or impossible to provide service in some countries because of the restrictions that are in place
  • If you have a Travel Plus Pack and are looking to change it to a Travel Pack, you can do this by calling 0345 734 5345

I have a Travel or Travel Plus Pack but I’m still within the minimum holding period. Can I cancel my Pack if I don’t have any plans to travel?

We understand that your travel plans might change because of the coronavirus situation. If you no longer need your Travel or Travel Plus Pack, as a gesture of goodwill, you can cancel your Pack if you’re in the six-month minimum holding period. You can remove it in the Barclays app or by calling 0345 734 5345.

Before you decide to remove your Pack, you might want to consider the following 

  • The Travel Pack and Travel Plus Pack are no longer on sale, so if you remove your Pack, you won’t be able to add it again for the time being
  • If you had your Pack and booked a trip abroad before the FCO advised against all but essential travel, and if that advice is still in place within 31 days of your departure date, your cancellation costs will be covered. If your trip is in the UK, you’re covered if your holiday accommodation is booked for two or more consecutive nights
  • If you’re planning on booking a holiday for a future date, you won’t be covered for cancellation costs if you decide not to travel because of the FCO advice on coronavirus being in place. All other reasons for cancellation normally covered by the policy will be valid
  • Your fully comprehensive RAC breakdown cover is still in place and available 24 hours a day in the UK. As for Europe, they’ll do their very best to help if you break down abroad, but it may be very difficult or impossible to provide service in some countries because of the restrictions that are in place
  • If you have a Travel Plus Pack and are looking to change it to a Travel Pack, you can do this by calling 0345 734 5345