Covid & rules around travel -
what you need to know about your travel insurance
Travel has changed. But what hasn’t, is our wanderlust. We know you want to get back out there as soon as you feel safe enough.
But there are so many new rules to think about - and are you even covered?
Here, we’ve answered a few of your questions to take the guesswork out of your next trip.
Can I take out a travel insurance policy now?
As long as you’re not booking travel during a known travel ban, then you should be able to buy a travel insurance policy.
It’s your responsibility to check that it’s safe to travel to a destination - travelling against Foreign Office advice will invalidate your cover on standard policies.
How can I find out if I can go on holiday?
To find out if you can travel to your chosen destination, you’ll need to check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website for their advice.
If they advise against ‘all’ or ‘all but essential’ travel, then your travel insurance would usually not be valid. This means you’d be travelling without the protection of travel insurance.
Travelling in Europe against the advice of the Foreign Office (FCDO)
Some travel insurers offer a European FCDO Travel Advice extension that you can add on to your policy. This allows your travel insurance to be valid if you’re travelling to a European destination when the FCDO advise against ‘all but essential’ travel due to the Covid risk.
You’ll also need to check entry requirements - as some countries that might not allow entry.
What can I do if my holiday can’t go ahead?
If you have a valid Single Trip Travel Insurance policy and your holiday is unable to go ahead, then you might be able to move your holiday dates.
If you need to make changes to, or cancel, your Single Trip Travel Insurance policy, be sure to do this before you were originally due to travel.
In some cases, there might be an additional charge. For example, if you change your destination(s) to an area that needs greater cover, or if there is a change to your medical conditions.
Can I cancel my policy because of Covid?
If your holiday is no longer going ahead, you can cancel your travel insurance policy within the 14 day cooling off period.
If you’re looking to cancel after this time, then your options will vary depending on your insurer.
Some providers might be able to offer you credit vouchers for the unused portion of your cover but after the 14 day cooling off period are not legally obligated to do so.
What does Covid cover include?
As long as you aren’t travelling against FCDO advise, all our policies will cover you for medical and repatriation expenses if you have COVID-19 abroad.
Some policies include COVID-19 cover for cancellations and cutting your trip short to varying degrees so it’s worth checking your preferred provider’s policy wording to check what you’re covered for.
Typically, you can be covered for things like:
- Being diagnosed with COVID-19 before departure
- Denied boarding
- Close family relatives or those you live with getting COVID-19
- Family deaths or hospitalisations resulting in ventilation with COVID-19
- Being told to self-isolate (at home and abroad)
What can I not be covered for?
Even with the best travel insurance policy in the world, you can’t be covered for everything that might go wrong. Travel insurance is designed to protect you from unforeseen circumstances.
While this might seem disappointing, most travel insurers will help in some way if you can’t claim for a problem.
What you’re not covered for and why:
- COVID-19 diagnoses at the time or near to the time you bought your trip or policy. If you, a travel companion or a close relative has symptoms or is undergoing non-routine tests for COVID-19, then you’re not covered to claim for cancellation. This is because in this circumstance, having COVID-19 wouldn’t have been an unforeseen circumstance. Instead, most insurers can help you to move your travel dates. If you’ve chosen a holiday provider that allows flexibility, you’ll be able to reschedule your break for another time.
- A change in government guidelines. Most travel insurance policies won’t cover you for a change in government guidelines. This includes a change of colour for testing and self isolation requirements as well as FCDO travel advice and national travel bans. Instead, if your holiday provider lets you move your dates, then most travel insurers can help you to rearrange your cover if needed.
- Deciding not to go, or deciding to come home early. If you’ve looked at the risk and decided that it’s just not going to work, then you won’t be able to claim for cancellation or cutting your trip short. If you’ve booked with a flexible provider, you should be able to move your dates if you’ve not already left. Your insurer might also then be able to move your cover to suit your new trip.
- Costs of COVID-19 tests to travel or quarantine on arrival. As travel’s changed, you’re likely to need a COVID-19 test. You might also have to quarantine or self-isolate on your return depending on the level of risk.
You aren’t covered for these costs as they aren’t unforeseen risks of travel.