We've all missed holidays
This year holidays are feeling more necessary than ever before but what is the governments current advice surrounding international travel? Our partners at Citybond have all your questions answered:
As of 29/03/2021, it is now illegal to travel abroad from the UK without a valid reason to travel. This post will be updated in due course.
I don’t want to travel as I am worried due to the worsening outbreak – am I/would I be covered?
We are afraid this would be considered as disinclination to travel and most policies in the market do not include this as a reason to cancel.
I’m due to travel to an affected country and want to cancel my trip - what can I do?
On Tuesday 17th March the UK Government advised against all but essential travel from the UK for the next 30 days. If you had a trip due to take place in that time period, you should contact your travel agent, tour operator or airline to discuss either a refund or alternative travel options at a later date.
If you have booked a trip due to take place after the 30-day advice has ended, you may be able to claim to cancel your trip, but this will depend on the following criteria:
- If you cannot recover the costs from any other source, i.e. your tour operator, travel agent or airline. Please contact your tour operator, travel agent or airline to see if they are able to either refund any monies paid, or offer alternative trip options and dates, before submitting a claim. More information on your rights can be found here.
- The FCO have advised against all travel or all but essential travel to your destination of choice.
Please check youror specific information on the cover you purchased.
Am I insured if I travel against the advice if the FCO?
None of our policies will provide cover if you decide to travel against the advice of the FCO.
Will my policy cover medical treatment for the Coronavirus? And will repatriation be covered?
If you catch Coronavirus or require medical treatment, then yes cover will be in place for emergency and necessary treatment. 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 we have confirmed that medically capable public facilities are available. Please contact our Assistance Team if you require medical treatment.
Our policies will provide cover for repatriation (bringing you home) that is medically necessary. Our Assistance Team will liaise with your treating doctor(s) about your treatment plan and if required obtain a ‘fit to fly’ certificate. We also liaise with you and 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. Our team 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.
Once the UK borders re-open, 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 policies 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 you cover me if I have to cancel my trip because I am in quarantine/isolation in the UK because of COVID-19?
For all cases we would need confirmation that your trip was still going ahead as planned and had not been rearranged or cancelled due to FCO/COVID-19 advice/restrictions.
- Confirmed diagnosis
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer with COVID-19 after you bought your insurance, then as long as the diagnosis was within a reasonable timeframe of your trip starting (30 days) then we would consider this under cancellation due to illness. You can submit a claim for cancellation and will be required to evidence a positive COVID-19 result from a medical practitioner.
- Suspected, but no confirmed diagnosis
We are going to have to assess these claims on a case by case basis and with some specific information from you. We are going to need evidence that you have needed to seek medical advice/assistance. This may include phone records to show the date/time you called 111 and/or your GP (this must be prior to you contacting us).
Again, these cases will be assessed by the claims team on a case by case basis. We will need evidence that you are self-isolating, this may include a letter from your employer and proof of SSP/sick pay.
If I have a stop-over in an area which the FCO advices against travel to - am I still covered?
We would suggest that if you have not started that part of your journey you contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary. If this is not possible, we will provide cover as long as 1) you do not leave the airport, and 2) you are not at the airport for an unreasonable amount of time. If you arrive at your stop-over airport and entry is denied due to the virus you should contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary.
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 or tour operator, we are pleased to advise that we will change the dates on your policy to reflect your amended holiday dates. We will not charge an admin fee, but please note there may be an increased cost to your policy if you extend your trip duration or change the area you are travelling to.
Am I covered for travel disruption caused by the Coronavirus?
If you are unable to return home on your planned date, Citybond Suretravel policies will contribute towards the cost of things like food and, additional reading material. We would ask that you check your specific policy wording under the section named ‘Public hospital benefit’
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.
- Some policies will contribute towards the cost of food and additional accommodation, some may also include the additional costs of getting home. We would ask that you check your specific policy wording for more information on this
I have changed my flight arrangements to avoid being denied entry or quarantined - can I claim for this?
We would need to look at these claims on a case by case basis. In most cases flight companies are assisting people with these arrangements with small if any administration fees. Where they do charge you a fee your claim will be reviewed in line with your policy wording, as long as the policy was bought before these restrictions were being widely reported in the media.
My doctor advised that I shouldn’t travel to my holiday destination due to my existing medical problems – will I be covered?
If you declared the conditions at the time of purchasing the policy, (which has to be before the outbreak) then your claim will be considered if your conditions are reliably reported as being ‘high risk’. If you did not declare them, you would not be covered. We would also need confirmation that your trip was still due to go ahead as planned.
Taken from Citybond website on 26.03.2020