Coronavirus / COVID-19 And Your Onestop4: Travel Insurance
NB: THIS GUIDANCE APPLIES TO POLICIES ISSUED PRIOR TO 11am ON 13 MARCH 2020.
These are the most frequent questions we are currently being asked about Coronavirus / COVID-19.
It helps to see in print what is and is not covered by your Policy, and we hope this is helpful for you.
When you travel, please ensure that you take ALL of your Policy Documents away with you.
The Emergency Assistance and General Claims phone numbers are on Page 1 of your Policy Wording.
Q – If I catch Coronavirus whilst travelling and was quarantined whilst away on my trip, and all the flights and everything else I booked have to be cancelled, would the insurance cover the cost of me not travelling to all the other countries I would have been visiting?
A – Yes, the insurer would have to consider the EFFECTIVE event date as being the date of diagnosis, thus in effect the trip stops on this date and the unused and pre-paid costs would be covered under Curtailment benefits from this date and the medical expenses would be paid.
NOTE: IT IS IMPORTANT YOU COVER THE FULL COST OF YOUR TRIP otherwise your curtailment benefits will be not sufficient to cover your possible losses in this situation.
The flight home would be rescheduled by the airline once you are OK to travel. In this sort of circumstance, it is imperative you travel with the Assistance Company phone number and your full policy details – that’s everything we send to you, and you alert the Assistance Company as soon as there is a problem.
Q – If I have to be quarantined whilst travelling overseas and can’t return on my pre-booked flight, will my policy be automatically extended?
A – Yes - once you have notified the insurer as soon as you know about the quarantine requirement, they will confirm this to you. It is imperative you travel with the Assistance Company phone number and your full policy details – that’s everything we send to you, and that you alert the Assistance Company as soon as there is a problem.
Q - What if I am already travelling and the next country I am flying to, has now been advised by the FCO not to travel there?
A – You are the responsibility of the Tour Operator who has contracted with you to provide whatever is on your booking form, in the same way an airline has this responsibility if all you have booked is flights – if the FCO advise against travel to an area, then the EU Package Travel Directive applies, as does the EU Passenger Travel Directive.
Travel insurance will not cover travel to an area where the FCO have advised AGAINST travel. If someone is in an area when the FCO travel advice is given for that area of ‘do not travel’ or ‘essential travel only’, then you must contact your Tour Operator or Airline and the nearest British Consulate.
You should be assisted by the Tour Operator/Airline and the Consulate in making plans to leave as soon as possible.
Q – I don’t want to travel now, can I claim cancellation?
A –If the FCO have advised against travel to the area you are going to e.g. China – your Tour Operator (and Airline) are obliged to refund or rebook you.
Our travel insurance does not cover disinclination to travel unless there has been a terrorist attack and you have added this cover to your policy.
Q - Is Coronovirus covered if contracted on a holiday?
A - Yes it would be covered under Medical Expenses [inpatient/outpatient medical care, repatriation, extension of stay, hospital benefit and curtailment]
Q – If I choose not to travel can I get my insurance premium back?
A – Yes - If you decide not to travel, then we can refund your premium – please see the cancellation terms and conditions in your Policy Wording on page 10.
Q – My cruise was supposed to be going to China, Hong Kong etc… now the itinerary is substantially shortened, can I claim on my policy?
A – No, you need to speak to your tour operator/cruise line, they are obliged to refund you for anything they can’t deliver within your booking contract, if your trip is shortened we can adjust your policy dates and that would trigger a partial refund of premium.
Q – My airline is not able to get me to my destination any more, can I claim cancellation?
A – No, your airline is required to refund you. If you have accommodation booked and your accommodation provider wont refund you, then please ask for a claim to be considered, please see How to Make a Claim on page 1 of your Policy Wording. Each claim will be reviewed individually by the Insurer.
Q – If this becomes an epidemic or pandemic or the WHO/FCO advise against travel, can I claim on my policy?
A – No, you need to be refunded by your Tour operator/Airline. Travel insurance does not cover this circumstance.
Q – I am now quarantined in the UK and can’t take my trip – am I covered?
A – Yes, please notify your claim to the Insurer immediately – refer to How to Make a Claim in the Policy Wording – page 1.
Q - I am worried about being quarantined on my return from my holiday, will this affect medical expenses?
A - The medical expenses pay for your medical treatment whilst overseas, not whilst you are in the UK. So, if you contract COVID-19 whilst overseas, then yes the medical expenses would pay for your care, but once back in the UK medical expenses don’t apply.
Q- My flight is still departing but all the excursions and accommodation have been cancelled so I want to cancel. Will I be covered?
A - You should approach all service providers in the first instance as they may be able to arrange a refund. If they confirm they are unable to offer any refund or only a partial refund, please contact the Claims Department who will consider the balances which are non-recoverable
Q- I am shortly booked to attend an event in Europe. Currently the FCO is not advising against travel to the area where the event is to be held but if the event is cancelled by the organiser due to Coronavirus fears, would I be entitled to make a claim?
A - Initially you should contact your service providers as they may be able to arrange a refund. If they are not able to offer a full refund or if they only allow a partial refund, please contact the Claims Department who will consider the balances which you have not been able to recover.
Q - My final destination does not currently have any travel restrictions in place but the trip involves a stop-over in a country where the FCO are advising against all but essential travel to. What am I covered for?
A - In the first instance, please approach the airline as they may be able to transfer you to your final destination via an alternative route. If the cost to amend your flight is less than the value of what a total cancellation of the flight would have been, then we will consider these costs. If not, you would be entitled to cancel your full trip provided that the FCO advice 48 hours before your intended travel date remains as ‘all but essential travel’.
Q - The trip I have booked takes me to several countries. I still want to travel but the FCO are now advising against travel to one of the countries I was due to go to. Would I be covered to cancel this part of the trip? Also, would I be covered to cancel the whole trip if I couldn’t afford to purchase a new direct flight?
A - In the first instance you should approach your flight provider as they may be able to amend your travel arrangements. We will consider the amount you have to pay to amend your trip, up to the cost of what a cancellation claim would have been.
Q - I am due to travel to a country where the FCO are currently advising against travel to but my trip does not start until April. I’m worried about travelling there so would like to cancel now. Will my policy cover me for this?
A - The policy only covers FCO advice when this is in place on your date of departure. In order to assist, we will allow a 48-hour window prior to your departure date and, where the advice is in place on that date, a claim can be considered.
Q - I am travelling to a country where currently there are no restrictions announced by the FCO but if the outbreak spreads and the FCO advice changes while I am still overseas, am I covered to cut short my trip and return home?
A - If the FCO change the stance of the area you have travelled to, to “all but essential travel” whilst you are there you will be able to make a Curtailment claim.
Q - I am due to travel to an affected destination next month and I have heard that I could be denied entry if I have a high temperature upon arrival. If I do not feel ill when I travel but I am denied entry, what would I have to do?
A - This will be dependent upon the individual circumstances of your particular case and will be based around the instructions given by the border control of the country that you are trying to enter. If you are quarantined overseas then you should contact the 24-hour emergency assistance phone-line for guidance.
Q - The travel company have reimbursed my unused costs and I’ve rebooked a trip to another country departing a week later. Can I change my policy to cover the new trip?
A - Providing you are not making a claim, we can allow cover dates to be transferred to a new trip within 3 months of the original departure date as long as it is for the same or no longer duration and is to the same geographical area. Anything outside of this will need to be referred to our underwriters.
Q - My flight has been re-routed and now has a short stopover in the USA. I only have a policy that covers me for Worldwide Excluding the USA and Canada. Will I need to pay to upgrade my policy?
Provided your stopover is for no longer than 24 hours then there would be no need to upgrade your policy. If the stopover advised to you by the airline is going to last for more than 24 hours’ then you should contact us to ensure you have the correct region of cover in place.
Q - If I get stuck overseas due to travel restrictions and cannot return home when intended will I be covered for any medical, accommodation and itinerary change beyond the end date of my policy/trip duration limit until I am able return to the UK?
A - If you cannot return home as scheduled, your policy will automatically be extended so we will provide cover for medical costs. If you are likely to incur additional accommodation and itinerary charges until such time as you are able to return to the UK, you must contact the 24-hour emergency assistance phone-line.
Q - The FCO is not currently advising against travel to the country I am due to go to but if after I arrive everyone staying in my hotel gets put into quarantine, what would I be entitled to claim for? Would I be able to claim for additional accommodation costs, flights home etc?
A - If you are going to incur additional accommodation and flight costs as a result of the quarantine, you must contact the 24-hour emergency assistance phone-line. If you are confined to your hotel throughout the trip, you will need to contact the Claims Department upon your return home for guidance on what you are entitled to claim.
Q - I started my trip before the FCO stance changed but I am now in an area deemed ‘all but essential travel’. Would my medical expenses be covered if I contracted the virus? _
A - You should make every effort to leave the area if you can but if you are unable to leave and you contract the virus, cover would be provided for medical expenses. If you experience symptoms, you should contact our 24-hour medical emergency line for assistance.
Questions around renewals:
Q - I bought my Annual policy at the end of 2019 to start in April 2020 for a trip already booked. I have changed my holiday booking with my tour operator but I’m now travelling earlier than expected and so I want to bring the start date forward. Is this possible?
A - Provided the FCO are not advising against travel to your new destination we would be able to consider this (no claim for the original trip would have been possible as the start date of the policy wasn’t until April). You would need to contact us to confirm the date you now wish the policy to start and also confirm that you are not currently aware of any events likely to lead to a claim needing to be made.
Q - My Annual policy is due to renew in two weeks’ time. Would cover be available for claims relating to the coronavirus?
A - Provided your renewal is for continuous cover (ie there are no breaks in dates between the end date of your previous policy and the start date of your renewal policy starts), then so long as your trip was booked prior to the current policy expiring and at the time of booking your trip the FCO was not advising against travel to your destination, then cover will be in place for claims related to the coronavirus on your new policy.
If the question you want to ask is not covered by the above – please email:
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our very best to answer your specific question.
We will need your policy reference number please when you email us.
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