Travel Insurance and Coronavirus: are you covered?
You must know that most insurers are not covering claims due to coronavirus.
As the world is facing one of the most serious pandemic crisis ever, you are wondering if you can still travel in the coming weeks or months? Your trip has been canceled due to coronavirus and you’re wondering what you will get compensation for?
You’ve come at the right place.
In the below guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about travel insurance, booking or cancelling holidays and coronavirus financial consequences on claims and refund.
Let's dive in.
Can I still travel from UK despite Covid-19?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office strongly advise not to travel anywhere, at least for a period of 30 days, unless it is strictly essential. Travelling abroad can put your life and the ones of people around you in danger of death.
If you still plan travelling, you may be able:
- not to enter the country;
- be placed in immediate quarantine if coming from UK;
- need specific permit.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of country forbidding entry to UK residents, or travelers in the coming days:
|Coronavirus entry restrictions when coming from UK|
|Vietnam||No entry on territory|
|USA||No entry on territory for 14 days|
|Uganda||Quarantine if entering|
|St Maarten||No entry on territory for 21 days|
|Sri Lanka||No entry on territory|
|South Korea||Quarantine if entering|
|Solomon Islands||Quarantine if entering or self-isolation|
|North Korea||No entry on territory|
|Mauritius||No entry on territory for 14 days|
|Maldives||No entry on territory for 14 days|
|Kyrgyzstan||Quarantine if entering|
|Kiribati||No entry on territory|
|Jamaica||No entry on territory for 14 days|
|India||No entry on territory|
|Honduras||No entry on territory|
|Gabon||No entry on territory for 14 days|
|Bahrain||No entry on territory for 14 days|
|Austria||Only with permit to travel|
The situation for travelling abroad is really uncertain as from now and for at least mid of April.
What is classed as essential travel?
Essential travels are defined as:
- all travels for urgent family matters (for example to preserve someone's life)
- all travels for business matters that can absolutely not be postponed.
You are responsible for assessing what is your travel risk on your own.
Note that if something occurs during a non-essential travel, you may not be entitled for any financial compensation.
I am abroad, can I come back to the UK?
The UK government has advised any UK resident travelling or living abroad, not to immediately come back to the UK.
If you are coming back from a high contagion zone such as China or Italy for example, you may be refused to enter the UK soil, or placed in quarantine.
In order to know the latest government's advises for going or coming back from any destination, check out travel advices for your destination here and sign up to alerts.
Note that you are required to follow what does local authorities of the visited country say as they are responsible for your safety.
My flight to go home has been cancelled, what can I do?
You must note that international travel is getting more and more complex as time goes by. Flight and train transportation schedules are currently facing very important disruptions and delays. Most of the journeys are postponed or cancelled on very short notice.
If your flight for UK has been cancelled or delayed for coronavirus reasons, you should be entitled to get a refund or an alternative schedule flight.
If you ask for a refund, remember that will not be able to claim for any other financial compensation to the airline. They will be responsible-free.
My trip is cancelled due to coronavirus crisis, can I get compensation?
It is hard to say. If you applied for travel insurance, you should get compensation for trip cancellation until limit defined in policy.
We've came up with a list of measures and compensation for most famous insurance providers:
|Insurer||Is my policy valid if I am travelling against FCO advises?||Will I get flight and booking refund if I decide not to travel after FCO advises?||If there is no FCO warning but my flight is cancelled, can I get other costs refund?||Can I still get travel insurance online?||Key facts|
|Only if essential travel||Yes||Only if trip disruption cover||no|
|No||No||No||yes||Allianz assistance does not cover claims related to pandemic crisis|
|Yes||only if trip disruption cover||Yes||no|
|Only if essential travel||Yes||only if trip disruption cover||yes||Annual multi trip policies does not cover claims due to coronavirus for new trip booked|
|Only if essential travel||Yes||Yes||no|
|Only if essential travel||Yes||Yes||yes||As from 13th of March, no claims related to coronavirus will be accepted|
|Only if essential travel||Yes||No||yes|
|Only if essential travel||Only with policy Premier||Only with policy Premier||no|
I didn’t book travel insurance, can I still have refund?
As the coronavirus pandemic crisis is considered as an exceptional circumstance beyond airline's and carrier's control, you may not be able to claim for any financial compensation if you didn't apply for travel insurance.
We've came up with a list of measures taken by airlines and tour operators:
|You can cancel booking from 14th of March to 31st of May and get a voucher to any destination|
|Waived change fees as from the 4th of March to any destination|
|Waived change fees from 13th of March to end of April to any destination|
|Waived change fees. Dates details not stated|
|No refund unless your destination is a "restricted country"|
If so, you can change the date of your flight without paying change fees
Can I get travel insurance for holidays booked before coronavirus?
No, it is too late. You can no longer apply for travel insurance for already booked holidays. Actually, most of travel insurers have suspended their policies offer at that time.
We are advising over and over always to book travel insurance as soon as you pay for your flights. Travel insurance is much more than a nice-to-have. As you can see, we never know what may happen and trip cancellation, injuries while being abroad etc. happen much more than you think.
If you can no longer apply for travel insurance for this time, think about getting one for your next trip.
Can I plan my summer holidays?
At this stage of the pandemic crisis, we would advise you not to book neither flight or accomodation at least until the 17th of April. It is very unsure how the crisis will spread in the coming weeks and even months.
If you want to benefit from important discounts due to current tourism situation worldwide, then be sure to get travel insurance covering coronavirus trip cancellation and carefully check cancellation rights and conditions.
People having annual multi-trip policies should not be cover for coronavirus cancellation and claims reason for any new trip booked as from now.
What if I am in quarantine abroad due to coronavirus?
Short answer: contact both your travel insurer (if you have one) and your travel operator.
If you are in quarantine abroad, you will have to pay for extra expenses such as:
- extra accomodation for you and your travel partners
- alternative flight not covered by your operator
- living costs abroad (food, taxi etc.).
You may be able to get financial compensation for this if you applied for travel insurance covering "travel disruption" as long as exceptional circumstances such as "pandemic crisis" are not clearly stated in the general exclusions of the policy booklet.
It is worth contacting your travel insurer and carefully check in your travel insurance booklet upfront.
Coronavirus and travel: contact details
|I have coronavirus symptoms||The NHS: 111|
or check their online tool
|I am stuck abroad||The FCO: +44 (0)207 008 1500|
Travel insurance advises during Covid-19 crisis
- Don't travel unless it is absolutely necessary. Non-essential travel may invalidate any claim you'd like to get compensation for (and may put your life in danger).
- Don't book any flight or accomodation for your next holidays for the time being and wait for the situation to be clarified
- Note that you can no longer apply for travel insurance for already booked holidays. And for the next time, always book travel insurance with trip disruption cover.
- If you have applied for travel insurance, check carefully your cancellation rights as well as your policy booklet and contact your insurance provider.
- Note that you may not be covered if you are the one deciding not to travel, even if it is for exceptional circumstances such as pandemic crisis.