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How Coronavirus may affect your policy | Can I claim? Find out more

Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak support and FAQs

We understand this has been an unsettling time for our customers. Many will have had to make alternative travel or holiday arrangements or sadly some may have been cancelled.

Although we have already made adaptations to existing policies to accommodate the pandemic, as you prepare for summer 2021 our Enhanced COVID-19 cover add on will give you even greater levels of cover should something go wrong.

 

Find out more

 

What do our standard policies cover?

Our standard policies will cover you if you or your travel partner are diagnosed with COVID-19 before your trip rendering you unable to travel within 14 days of your pre-booked departure. Additionally, if you contract COVID-19 whilst on your trip our standard policies will cover emergency medical expenses arising from your illness.

Our standard policies also cover for curtailment due to death of a relative contracting COVID-19 or requiring hospitalisation for treatment with mechanical ventilation. So, if you need to cut your trip short, we will support your claim.

For more information on what our standard policies cover, click here

 

What does the Enhanced COVID-19 cover add on cover?

FCDO advice

The key benefit of the add on is that it will cover you if you choose to travel against FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) advice in relation to COVID-19, as long as the advice is against “all but essential travel” solely as a result of COVID-19.

 

Cancellation

We provide to each Insured Person in total per Insured Journey, up to the sum insured shown in the Table of Benefits, following necessary and unavoidable cancellation of a trip as a result of:

  1. You are contacted by a representative of the UK Government’s Test and Trace service due to the probability of You having contracted COVID-19, and are instructed to self-isolate for a period of time which prevents You from starting Your Insured Journey using Your pre-booked outward travel.
  2. You experience an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine in the 2 weeks before Your scheduled departure date and are advised that You are no longer fit to travel by a Medical Practitioner.
  3. You, or Your travelling companion are unable to complete Your COVID-19 vaccination course before Your scheduled departure date due to unforeseen illness of You or Your travelling companion.

Conditions and Exclusions do apply to these sections of cover and we would suggest you read these carefully together with the general policy conditions and exclusions.

 

Travel Insurance with COVID-19 cover

Please always check your policy schedule alongside your terms and conditions, as our policy coverages have changed since the COVID-19 outbreak, depending upon when you purchased your policy.

New policies sold from the 10th September 2020 include the following coverages;

  • Cancellation cover if you have a diagnosis of COVID-19 within 14 days of your booked departure date
  • Cover for emergency medical treatment and repatriation if you contract COVID-19 while abroad

 

FAQs

My trip has been cancelled by my travel provider what should I do?

In the first instance, customers should be advised to contact their, airline, tour operator, accommodation provider, or other carriers to enquire about refunds, or about changing travel dates (please see below about rail and coach refunds).

Our polices do not cover claims that arise because of an individual committing an illegal act or travelling against Government advice. Leisure travel during any Government period of lockdown or from a Tier 4 location or when prohibited from doing so could be deemed an illegal act.

Our policies do not cover persons entering an area against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I am currently abroad, what should I do and has my cover changed?

Whilst the current Government advice is not for customers to return early from a trip, it is something customers may wish to consider as they could find themselves stuck overseas if flights and borders are closed.

Neither curtailment costs, nor any additional cost incurred by having to extend an overseas stay will be covered by our policies as these new restrictions have arisen because of COVID-19 or a mutated form of the virus.

For policies where the cover and trip were booked before the 14th March 2020, where there have been no changes to the policy since, some cover may apply.

Can I claim the cost for the quarantine hotel?

There is no cover under our insurance policies for costs to quarantine or any other consequential costs such as loss of earnings.

From 15th February, the government has implemented a policy where policyholders travelling from certain countries on the red list must quarantine in various hotels arranged by the government. This must be pre-booked before arriving into the UK using the online booking system.

Please check the local government requirements where you reside as the advice differs depending on what country you reside in.

I bought the Enhanced COVID-19 add on, does it cover me to travel to Amber and Red destinations?

The traffic light system refers to quarantine restrictions upon return to the UK. Your policy will not cover you if you travel to a destination where the FCDO has advised against “all but essential travel” or “all travel”. Please continue to check the FCDO website prior to departure to ensure there are no travel warnings in place at your destination. If you have purchased the Enhanced COVID-19 cover, you will remain covered to travel if the FCDO advise against “all but essential” travel to your destination due to COVID-19 risks. This only applies when travelling to countries in Europe.

 

Are you due to travel to a destination added to the FCDO travel ban list before your trip has commenced?

  • Where you have not travelled yet and are due to travel within the next 2 weeks you should:
    • Contact the tour operator, airline, ferry company etc. to organise a change in dates and/or destination.
    • Change the insurance policy dates/destination by contacting our customers services teams or cancel the policy and obtain a pro-rata refund of the premium paid. This applies to Single trip policies only.

 

Quarantine

  • No cover is provided for claims as a result of the UK Government’s decision to impose the requirement for all travellers entering the UK from any country where the FCDO has imposed quarantine.

 

Already have a travel insurance policy with us?

Our existing standard travel insurance policies do not cover travel to an area where the FCDO advises against all or all but essential travel. If you have already planned a trip to one of the areas highlighted by the FCDO, your policy may provide cover for cancelling your trip if purchased on or before the 13th March 2020 or under the optional travel disruption section of the policy if you purchased the option and the FCDO ban was not in place at the time you purchased the option.

 

Am I covered?

If you have a question regarding your policy, the extent of your cover or how to make a claim please read the FAQs section below carefully. We urge our customers to review the FAQs below and refrain from calling our customer service team.

 

The FCO is advising against travel to the country I am going to – what should I do?

We now offer an Enhanced Covid-19 Cover add-on to all policies, giving greater protection against COVID-19 when travelling in Europe. You can easily add this to your policy, when choosing your policy type, prior to purchase. Alternatively, if you already have a policy with us and require the benefits of the add on please call our customer service team who can assist you in adding it to an existing policy.

The key benefit is the add on will cover you if you choose to travel against FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) advice in relation to COVID-19, as long as the advice is against “all but essential travel” solely as a result of COVID-19.

With our standard policies, you may be able to submit a claim for cancellation if the FCO, WHO or other relevant authorities have advised against all or all but essential travel if this is specified as being covered under your cancellation or travel disruption sections of your policy. Please check your policy first before contacting us.

You should contact your Travel Agent, Tour Operator, airline or accommodation or credit card provider for a refund in the first instance.

Booked through a Travel Agent or Tour Operator

If you booked with a Travel Agent or Tour Operator, you should contact them first to see if you can make any changes to your trip, or if they are able to offer you a refund.

You can make a claim under the Package Travel Regulations if any travel intermediary booked two or more parts of your holiday together and they are then unable to deliver the full package.

You should not pay any additional payments to your Tour Operator or Travel Agent without confirmation that any additional payment is fully refundable should the trip be cancelled for any reason by the operator (for example the balance of the holiday cost where you have only paid a deposit so far).

Booked flights only or accommodation only

If you booked your travel independently, you should still approach the travel provider (airline, accommodation provider etc) in the first instance to rebook or for a refund.

If you have alternative dates to travel after contacting your Travel Agent or Tour Operator, airline and/or accommodation provider, please contact our team who will update your policy and charge/refund any monies accordingly.

I’ve made a claim, what happens next?

Once we receive your claim we will pass it to the necessary team for processing. A claim handler will assess the nature of your claim and ensure that they have the necessary documentation to process a settlement. If the nature of your claim is not covered or is not within the conditions of your policy your claim will be rejected and passed back to our administration team. They will endeavour to contact you to discuss your options. If we don’t receive the necessary documentation to support your claim it will be passed back to our administration team who will get in touch to support you with your claim.

How long does the claims process take?

We will endeavour to get in touch will all claimants within 21 days of receipt of their claim. Due to COVID-19 we have extended our response time from 10 to 21 days.

I’ve made a claim but not heard anything, what should I do?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer a receipt of your claim. We will endeavour to get in touch will all claimants within 21 days of receipt of their claim with a settlement, request for further information or rejection of their claim. Due to COVID-19 we have extended our response time from 10 to 21 days. If you do not hear from us immediately after you have sent your claim do not worry, it can take time to assess the nature of your claim, and endeavour to cover any losses you may have incurred.

I want to make a claim – what do I do?

If you need to make a claim you can get a claim form by clicking here

You can also find a document explaining the evidence you will need to provide so we can assess your claim.

We are currently experiencing a very high level of claims owing to COVID-19 / the Coronavirus and will only process completed claim forms received by post and e-mail.

I want to cancel or change my policy – what do I do?

If you are calling to change or cancel your travel insurance policy, please contact our call centre on 01403 788 513

I want to reschedule or postpone my trip – what do I do?

If you have been given alternative dates to travel by your airline and/or accommodation provider, please contact 01403 788 513 who will be able to assist you by updating your policy and let you know if there are any additional premiums or fees to pay.

My travel is not until a future date – am I still covered?

Depending on how far in the future your date of travel is, there may not be anything to do just yet.

Booked through a Travel Agent or Tour Operator

If you booked with a Travel Agent or Tour Operator, you should contact them first to see if you can make any changes to your trip, or if they are able to offer you a refund.

You can make a claim under the Package Travel Regulations if any travel intermediary booked two or more parts of your holiday together and they are then unable to deliver the full package.

You should not pay any additional payments to your Tour Operator or Travel Agent without confirmation that any additional payment is fully refundable should the trip be cancelled for any reason by the operator (for example the balance of the holiday cost where you have only paid a deposit so far).

Booked flights only or accommodation only

If you booked your travel independently, you should still approach the travel provider (airline, hotel etc) in the first instance to rebook or for a refund.

Booked using my credit card

If you paid for your trip by credit card, you may be able to make a Section 75 claim

Under English Law, if you put something on a Credit card that is worth £100 or more (up to £30,000), your credit card provider is ‘jointly and severally’ liable if something goes wrong with the purchase. This means if you cannot reclaim from the retailer, you can then claim the refund from the credit card provider.

  • Contact the retailer in the first instance to request a refund – this is usually easier than obtaining a refund from the card provider
  • Call the credit card provider. Tell them you want to make a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and ask for a claim form.

Keep this information for the insurer

If you have tried to reschedule, claim with the provider and claim under your credit card and still have not been able to recover your costs, you must provide evidence of this to your insurer when making your claim.

If you need to make a claim you can get a claim form by clicking here

The country I am going to will not allow me to enter – what should I do?

There is no cover under your policy if you are not allowed entry to a country which has:

  • closed its borders; or
  • placed restrictions on entry to its country to nationals from certain countries; or
  • placed restrictions to nationals who have travelled to countries affected by an outbreak of Coronavirus

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.

My GP has advised me not to travel – am I covered?

If your GP has advised you not to travel because test results show you or a family member has contracted Coronavirus if you do not have cover under the policy you may apply for a refund of premium if you decide to cancel your policy during the 14 days cooling off period.  Outside the cooling off period, any refund will be at the Insurer's discretion and may be subject to deductions and administration charges. This does not apply for close relatives or travelling companions.

If your GP has advised you not to travel because you or a family member has been placed in isolation because of Coronavirus you may apply for a refund of your premium if cancelling your policy during the 14 days cooling off period.  Outside the cooling off period, any refund will be at the Insurer's discretion and may be subject to deductions and administration charges. This does not apply for close relatives or travelling companions. Some policies may provide cover if you are quarantined prior to departure, please refer to your policy for details.

If you or a family member are following UK Government advice to self-isolate because of having suspected symptoms of the Coronavirus you may apply for a refund of your premium if cancelling your policy during the 14 days cooling off period.  Outside the cooling off period, any refund will be at the Insurer's discretion and may be subject to deductions and administration charges. This does not apply for close relatives or travelling companions.

What is the difference between Isolation and self-isolation:

  • Isolation is effectively the same as quarantine. It is used for people who are already ill. It is used to keep anyone infected with an illness away from healthy people to prevent the illness form spreading.
  • Self-isolation means to voluntarily cut yourself off from the rest of the world to ensure you have not been exposed to an illness or to protect others from being exposed to an illness. You need to stay at home, not go to work, school or other public places, and avoid public transport or taxis; and you shouldn't have any visitors.
I don’t want to take my trip – am I covered?

Your policy covers you if a number of things happen to stop you from travelling, which are listed in your policy wording.  There is no cover for not wanting to go on holiday because of the fear or risk of contracting Coronavirus.

You may be able to arrange alternative dates to travel by contacting your Travel Agent or Tour Operator, airline and/or accommodation provider. Once this is agreed please contact our team who will update your policy and charge/refund any monies accordingly.

The airline has cancelled my flight – what should I do?

If you booked with a Travel Agent or Tour Operator, you should contact them first to see if you can make any changes to your trip, or if they are able to offer you a refund.

You can make a claim under the Package Travel Regulations if any travel intermediary booked two or more parts of your holiday together and they are then unable to deliver the full package.

If you booked your travel independently, you should still approach the travel provider (airline, accommodation provider etc) in the first instance to rebook or for a refund.

If you have alternative dates to travel after contacting your Travel Agent or Tour Operator, airline and/or accommodation provider, please contact our team who will update your policy and charge/refund any monies accordingly.

I am over 70 and want to take my trip – am I covered?

If you are travelling to a country, or by any form of transport the Government or the FCO advises against, you will not be covered. However as soon as the restrictions are lifted our normal policy benefits will resume.

Other useful links

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO): gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

World Health Organisation (WHO):  who.int/

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): ecdc.europa.eu/en

National Health Service (NHS): nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

UK Government Advice:  gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

UK Government Advice about Cruise Travel: gov.uk/guidance/cruise-ship-travel

A payment for my summer holiday is due this week. Should I pay?

You should contact your Tour Operator or Travel agent to check that any additional payment is fully refundable should the trip be cancelled for any reason by the operator (for example the balance of the holiday cost where you have only paid a deposit so far).

It is very important that you do check and get clarity from the Airline or Tour Operator as if your trip is cancelled you should expect a full refund of the whole cost of the trip once you have paid the full amount. It may sound counter-intuitive to pay out more money to guarantee either a holiday or your money back, but that is the way some operators' policies work.

Deciding not to pay the balance and not getting clarity from your Airline or Tour Operator could mean that you lose the deposit or even if the trip is subsequently cancelled, you may not get the money back.

Disinclination to travel is not covered under the travel insurance policy.

 

The World Health Organisation

Who are they?

The World Health Organization is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with world public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations

 

What is the Coronavirus

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. Find out more from The World Health Organisation’s website

 

Find out more

 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports

“The WHO COVID-19 Incident Management Team is working closely with partners across all levels to provide support
to countries, strengthen technical and operational networking and collaboration, and support operational
coordination of the global response.”

 

Exert from the World Health Organization situation report, March 17th 2020. These reports are published daily, they offer updates on various world regions, the virus uptake by region and what governmental actions are being taken. These are a great resource for monitoring the spread of the virus. Again, we urge all of our customers to stay informed, use this information to continue to meet the recommendations of the World Health Organization and its partners.

 

View reports page

 

 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation dashboard

 

The World Health Organisation has teamed up with experience.arcgis.com to create a situation dashboard. This provides information on the coverage of the virus in various regions across the globe. It’s important to remember that these are approximations, the information provided is an estimate and the number of cases will vary greatly. However, using tools like this will help give insight into the spread of the virus and it’s impact, again re-enforcing the point we should be extra vigilant during these times.

Follow the link below to view the dashboard.

 

View reports dashboard

 

Useful links

Click on the dropdowns below for more links to the World Health Organisation’s recommendations.

 

Protect Yourself

Learn more about the World Health Organisation's advice on basic protective measures against the Coronavirus

Find out more

The World Health Organisation - Questions and Answers

The World Health Organisation is continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak. This Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide. For more information, check back regularly on The World Health Organisation's coronavirus pages. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Alternatively, see the Q&A here

 

Find out more

Travel Advice

Stay up to date on the World Health Organisations and the International Civil Aviation Organization recommendations for travel. These include:

Joint ICAO- The World Health Organisation's Statement on COVID-19

Updated The World Health Organisation's recommendations for international traffic in relation to COVID-19 outbreak

Both published in early March 2020. More updates will follow. 

 

Find out more

Myth Busters

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

 

Find out more

 

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Our holiday to Lanzarote was cancelled…

Our holiday to Lanzarote was cancelled, I called up to change the destination, it was done within a few minutes with no extra cost. Very happy & will use again.

ERGO Customer - September 2020