Coronavirus FAQs

Questions about Coronavirus? Click here for more information.
Please note that due to exceptional circumstances our opening hours are currently 09:00 to 17:30 Monday to Friday. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Coronavirus FAQs

Updated on 23 March 2020

Coronavirus has caused much-reported disruption to the travel industry. As a result we continue to receive an extraordinary number of calls. We are totally committed to helping all policyholders and apologise if you have been unable to get through to us. If you are waiting for an email reply, please allow up to 72 hours and if you have already requested a refund of your premium, we will process it as soon as possible.

The global response to coronavirus is evolving rapidly. That's why it's best to keep up to speed with the latest official travel advice for your destination. The best way to do that is via the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's website, where you will find the latest travel bulletins for 225 countries and territories.

For any policies purchased after 23:59 Monday 16 March 2020 there is no cover for any claims as a result of Coronavirus, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV-2), any mutation of Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARs-COV-2 or any pandemic or fear or threat of any the above, except for Emergency Medical Expenses (including Hospital Benefit). This will only apply if you did not travel against the published advice of the FCO, any local government, local authority or WHO.

Am I insured if I travel against the advice of the FCO?

  • None of the policies we offer will provide cover if you decide to travel against the advice of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). This would be for 'All Travel' and 'All but Essential Travel' unless customers have contacted us in advance with their reasons for travel and cover has been agreed in writing.

What classes as essential travel (FCO)?

  • The FCO does not have a definition of what they class as 'Essential Travel'. The FCO website states 'Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision. You may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. Circumstances differ from person to person. Only you can make an informed decision based on the risks.'

Am I covered for cancellation due to the Coronavirus?

  • This type of event is usually not covered across the travel insurance industry for cancellation. This is because most policies have specific reasons for cancellation and the "fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction" or change in Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice is not one of those reasons.

  • There is no cover under any of our available policies for cancellation, abandonment or curtailment claims if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises you not to travel, for example where the FCO advise against all but essential travel to an area affected by Coronavirus, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV-2) or any mutation of Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARs-COV-2.

  • For any policies purchased after 23:59 Monday 16 March 2020 there is no cover for any claims as a result of Coronavirus, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV-2), any mutation of Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARs-COV-2 or any pandemic or fear or threat of any of the above, except for Emergency Medical Expenses (including Hospital Benefit). This will only apply if you did not travel against the published advice of the FCO, any local government, local authority or WHO.

  • We advise travellers who have booked package holidays to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and are looking to cancel their trip or amend their travel plans to contact their travel agent or tour operator in the first instance. Consumer advice for travellers is available from ABTA.

  • If you are not able to amend your trip and have a medical justification for having to cancel, we would be happy to discuss your situation on a case-by-case basis. Please click here for details about how to make a claim.

What can I do if my travel company have cancelled my trip due to Coronavirus?

  • If your travel company has cancelled your trip because of the Coronavirus, then it will often be their responsibility to offer you an alternative holiday or they may be able to offer you a refund or compensation. If you've paid for your trip with a credit card, including flights, section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act of 1974 gives you legal protection if things go wrong. If this is the case, it's best for you to contact your credit card company directly to make a claim.

Will my policy cover medical treatment for the Coronavirus? And will repatriation be covered?

  • If you catch Coronavirus or require medical treatment whilst travelling, then yes cover will be in place for emergency and necessary treatment. This will only apply if you did not travel against the published advice of the FCO, any local government, local authority or WHO.

  • Customers should be aware that our policies are travel insurance policies and not private medical insurance meaning that there is no cover for any medical expenses incurred in private medical facilities if your insurer has confirmed that medically capable public facilities are available.

    Advice for obtaining emergency medical treatment abroad can be found here.

  • Our policies will provide cover for repatriation (bringing you home) that is medically necessary. The Assistance Team will liaise with your treating doctor(s) about your treatment plan and if required obtain a 'fit to fly' certificate. They will also liaise with you, advise on, and put in place, suitable repatriation plans to get you home as soon as it is medically safe to do so in order to achieve your optimal recovery. The assistance team acting on behalf of your insurer are unable to make arrangements to repatriate you where it is against local advice, where travel is restricted or where you would pose a risk to other passengers.

If I am stuck abroad due to the Coronavirus and cannot come home on my planned return date, will my travel insurance be extended to cover me until I can get home?

  • Following the advice given by the FCO on 23rd March 2020 that all British travellers are to return to the UK, every effort must be made to return home. If for reasons beyond your control you are unable to return, the policy will extend until you can.

  • It is expected that during this time every effort is made to attempt to return home at the earliest opportunity. Failure to do so may invalidate your policy.

If I am quarantined due to the Coronavirus, what cover is in place?

  • If you are admitted to hospital your policy will usually provide assistance with returning home when you have been discharged.

    Please contact the Assistance Team on +44 (0) 203 829 6745 if you are admitted to hospital.

What happens if I arrive at my holiday destination and they refuse entry due to the virus?

  • If you travel to an area which the FCO advise against travel to, there would be no cover under the travel insurance policy as this would be considered as a known event.

  • If you travel to an area and the FCO advice changes after leaving home, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights or refunds in the first instance.

  • If you are refused entry at passport/border control, you should contact your airline or transport provider to arrange changing your return ticket to allow you to come home early.

Will I be covered if I want to cut my trip short due to the Coronavirus?

  • This type of event is usually not covered across the travel insurance industry for cutting short a trip. This is because most policies have specific reasons for cutting short your trip and the "fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction" or change in Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice is not one of those reasons.

  • There is no cover under any of our available policies for abandonment or curtailment claims if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises you not to travel, for example where the FCO advise against all but essential travel to an area affected by Coronavirus, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV-2) or any mutation of Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARs-COV-2.

  • For any policies purchased after 23:59 Monday 16 March 2020 there is no cover for any claims as a result of Coronavirus, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV-2), any mutation of Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARs-COV-2 or any pandemic or fear or threat of any the above, except for Emergency Medical Expenses (including Hospital Benefit). This will only apply if you did not travel against the published advice of the FCO, any local government, local authority or WHO.

  • We would advise travellers who have booked package holidays to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cut a trip short to contact their travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights in the first instance. Advice for travellers is available from ABTA.

  • If you are travelling independently from a tour operator or travel agent, you should make your own arrangements to leave by either altering return tickets where possible or booking onto an alternative commercial flight or mode of transport. Claims for independent traveller's additional expenses in returning home earlier than planned, where medically justified, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If I go out on an excursion for the day and then am not allowed back to my travel accommodation (or cruise ship) due to quarantine, what cover do I have?

  • You should follow any instructions issued by the local authorities as it is more than likely that you will have to enter some form of quarantine.

  • Traveller's should contact their travel agent or tour operator for assistance in the first instance.

If I have a stop-over in an area which the FCO advices against travel to, am I still covered?

  • There is no cover under any of our available policies if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises you not to travel, for example where the FCO advise against all but essential travel to an area affected by Coronavirus, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV-2) or any mutation of Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARs-COV-2.

  • Following the advice given by the FCO on 23rd March 2020 that all British travellers are to return to the UK, every effort must be made to return home. If for reasons beyond your control you are unable to return, the policy will extend until you can.

  • It is expected that during this time every effort is made to attempt to return home at the earliest opportunity. Failure to do so may invalidate your policy.

Can my policy be changed to suit a 'new/different' holiday or trip?

  • If you are offered an alternative destination and or dates from your travel agent, we are pleased to advise that we will shift your insurance policy to fit the new trip without any administration charges, providing the new trip is for the same duration and to the same location or geographical area. The trip must begin on or after 15th June 2020 but within 12 months from when you bought your original policy. If you wanted to change your destination to any other country where it is safe to travel to, then you can do this too. We may need to charge an additional premium if you are going further afield or for longer than originally planned. Please contact us to arrange this.

    We are not able to amend the start dates of a Multi Trip Policy or any policy where the start date is in the past.

What can I do with my policy if I am no longer travelling and have received a refund for my holiday?

  • In the event that you are unable to move the trip to an alternative destination, and are offered a refund from your travel agent or tour operator, we are happy to offer a full refund of your premium within 14 days of purchase on the understanding that no claim is to be made against the policy.

I have been told to self-isolate/self-quarantine by my doctor, am I covered to cancel my holiday?

  • Your policy won't cover you having to cancel your holiday if you've been told to self-isolate as a precaution. In this case you should contact your airline, tour operator, accommodation provider and other carriers to ask about refunds or changing your travel date.

Where can I get more information about travel and the Coronavirus?