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Latest News Coronavirus and travel insurance: what you need to know

Coronavirus and travel insurance: what you need to know

travel insurance, coronavirus

Coronavirus has been in the news a lot lately – more specifically, the Covid-19 strain of the virus. It began in the Wuhan province of China, and has begun spreading across the world. As the warmer weather approaches, people are beginning to think about their spring and summer holidays, which may mean travelling through areas affected by the virus. It is important that you read your travel insurance policy wording closely to make sure you know where you stand.

My holiday destination is affected by Coronavirus, so can
I cancel my trip and get refunded?

If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a travel warning for your destination, this means you cannot enter the country – therefore your travel insurance would pay out for any money lost. We have already seen travel warnings in China and parts of Thailand, and it’s possible that northern Italy will establish something similar soon.

Can I cancel my holiday as a precaution?

If you choose to cancel or postpone a trip to a destination which does not have a travel advisory from the FCO, it is highly unlikely that your travel insurance policy will pay out for any money lost.

What happens if I am stuck in a quarantined zone
and can’t return home?

If you travel somewhere and a restriction is placed on travel in and out of the country while you are there, you are likely to be able to claim on your travel insurance. This is because the decision to ban travel is out of your hands. Once again, it’s imperative to review the FCO travel advisory notices to ensure you are aware of the most up-to-date guidance.

Does it matter if I booked independently or through
a travel agent?

If you arranged your trip yourself:

  • Keep an eye on the FCO travel advisory notices for your destination (including those which you may travel through on a connecting flight)
  • Read your travel insurance policy wording carefully before leaving, looking in particular for travel disruption cover.

If you booked a holiday through a travel agent:

  • It’s advisable to speak to your travel agent first. In some situations, such as finding yourself stranded abroad, they may cover any additional costs, such as arranging a new flight home.

How do I know if my destination is affected?

Keep an eye on the government travel advice website. In some countries where coronavirus is present in some locations and not others, a map will demonstrate where you can and can’t travel. If you knowingly travel into a ‘red zone’, your travel insurance policy will not cover you.

What does my travel insurance policy cover?

In any instance, it’s important to read through your policy wording thoroughly as the details can vary depending on your policy. If you are concerned, speak with your travel insurance provider.