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COVID-19 and Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice, frequently asked questions and helpful advice.

Please find below our frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) in relation to COVID19 and associated FCO travel advice, which should cover most of the questions you might have.

We have also tried to assist further by including details of where else you could get assistance or obtain refunds from, if you are unable to claim on your insurance policy.

There are some important things we want to highlight:

When did you buy?

Travel insurance is designed to cover the ‘unforeseen’, so if you had purchased your policy at or after the point that the COVID19 outbreak was known about, then you will be asked for some specific evidence to prove that when you bought your policy you had no intention or reasonable likelihood of claiming.




Who to speak to first?

There is more specific advice below, but generally speaking the airlines, tour operators and travel agents are covering costs associated with events that might lead to the cancellation or curtailment of your trip. This means you should only be submitting a claim to us when you have exhausted those options first. You will be asked to provide proof that you have been denied a refund from the transport and accommodation providers.




Is this a claim question or a policy change request?

As claims handlers for the insurers, we are unable to amend your policy or refund your premium. In the event that you need help with these matters you will need to contact the company you bought your policy from, you can find their contact details in your policy wording.




Making a claim

I am looking to make a claim for Cancellation or Curtailment please can you send me a claims form.

Cancellation/Refund of insurance

My trip has been cancelled. I don’t need to claim but I want my insurance premium refunded.

Changing dates

I need to change the dates on my policy because my trip has been postponed.

Close Relatives

My close relative, who is not travelling with me has Coronavirus, can I cancel and claim?

Cruises

I am over 70 and/or have ‘Chronic’ Medical conditions and so under current UK advice have been told not to travel, can I claim for cancellation?

I am on or going on a cruise and am confined to my cabin because of the Coronavirus, even though I am not ill and do not need emergency medical treatment, can I claim for cabin confinement?

If when I am on my cruise, they cannot stop at one of the scheduled ports due to the Coronavirus, can I claim for missed port?

Will I still be covered if I am on my cruise and the FCO change their advice on travel to a country I am due to travel to and the cruise ship has to go to a different location outside of the geographical area covered by my policy?

Currently Abroad

I am currently travelling abroad, is my policy still valid?

I am currently travelling abroad, how do I get home?

I am currently travelling abroad and need to come home, are the costs of returning home early covered under my travel insurance policy?

FCO/Local Government Advice

I have cancelled due to Local Government restrictions at the location I was due to stay. There is no actual FCO advice against all but essential travel.

An event or a course has been cancelled due to local restrictions on mass gatherings – am I covered?

I bought my policy when I was aware there were travel restrictions and problems in the area I was visiting; can I claim now the FCO have advised against travel there?

My return flight was cancelled due to local restrictions as a result of COVID19– am I covered for the costs associated with the delay or new flight.

I didn’t travel due to many attractions and restaurants being closed, is this covered?

I had a claim declined previously as there was no FCO restriction in place, but there now is, can you reassess the claim?

I have decided to stay at the trip destination due to the travel problems – will my policy be automatically extended?

Fear of travel

I didn’t want to travel as I felt worried due to the worsening outbreak –am I/would I be covered?

Flight cancellation

My flight was cancelled by the airline, can I claim for this on my insurance policy?

HM Forces

I am in the military and my reporting officer has strongly advised that I do not travel to my trip destination due to COVID-19, can I submit a claim for cancellation?

Isolation/Quarantine

Will you cover me if I have to cancel my trip because I am in quarantine/isolation in the UK because of COVID19?

I have changed my flight arrangements to avoid being denied entry or quarantined, can I claim for this?

Medical reason

My doctor advised that I shouldn’t travel to my holiday destination due to my existing medical problems – will I be covered?

Refusal of boarding

If we get to the airport and one of our temperatures spike, and we are refused boarding, what is covered?

The advice changed during flight and we were refused entry to the country, can I claim for the trip costs and return flight?

Helpful advice

It doesn’t look my policy is going to cover my circumstances – Where else can I go?

Credit Card/Debit Card

If your trip or deposit was paid by credit card

Bank Insurance

Some premium bank accounts and specific types of accounts have bundled travel insurance, which from researching top providers appears to include coverage for FCO advice change and COVID19.




Package travel regulations (PTR)

If a customer has booked via a travel agent or tour operator or has booked more than one thing, that must include;

  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transfer

Then the trip is considered as packaged and the below applies.

  • Trips cancelled due to FCO advice would therefore fall within the remit of PTR and be eligible for a refund.
  • Trips where access is restricted or public life is subject to significant limitations (closures of tourist attraction etc..) should give passengers the right to cancel their trip with refund via PTR.
  • - If passengers have a medical condition for which exposure to the COVID-19 is particularly dangerous, current advice is they should have the right to cancel their package travel contract if the risk of contamination with COVID-19 at the travel destination or its immediate vicinity is declared high by the competent authorities.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/regulation/1/made

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/package-travel-regulations

https://www.abtot.com/regulation/civil-aviation-authority-caa-atol/

https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak




Flight company and Air Passenger Rights

Flight companies are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. If your flight operator cancels or can’t fulfil your flight then there is protection available under something called the ‘Montreal Convention’. Some airlines are going over and above their requirements and so it is important to contact them in the first instance to find out what support they can give you.

Flight cancellations by the airline need to be claimed directly from them, your insurer will not consider a claim unless you have sought a refund from your airline in the first instance.

All around the world, passenger rights for international flights are protected under the Montreal Convention. Essentially, this piece of law states that the airline is responsible for you if your flight is cancelled and/or you are left stranded at an airport waiting for a flight. These measures of care include:

  • Meals and refreshments
  • Communication to the outside world (two occasions)
  • Hotel accommodations when necessary
  • Rerouting to your final destination

In countries like Canada, Israel and the Member States of the European Union, your rights are protected even further.

Like any piece of law, it is complicated and not that easy to read! But below is a link and if you google CAA and Montreal Convention then you will find some useful information online that may help you.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/How-the-CAA-can-help/Consumer-protection-law




Complaints/Resolver

If you are getting resistance from your tour operator or booking agent and believe you have a valid claim for refund or reimbursement from them. Then there are several bodies you can approach including ABTA and ATOL. In addition to this there is an independent online resolution service called ‘resolver’ which has had positive outcomes for many consumers with disputes.

https://www.resolver.co.uk/




Query Not Resolved

If these FAQ’s have not answered your query then please fill in the query form here and someone will be in touch.




Download A Copy

You can download a copy of these FAQs in the link below

FAQ Download