Read on for the answers to all your COVID-19 travel insurance questions, from claiming for cancelled flights to changes due to the pandemic.
How to book travel insurance during COVID-19
Flight delays, cancellations, or disruptions are covered by travel insurance up to certain limits. However, travel insurance providers do not cover flights impacted by COVID-19 which were booked once the pandemic became a known event.
If the airline cancelled your flight, you’re entitled to a refund, voucher, or offer to rebook for a later date by the airline. If you accept one of these options, your insurer won’t pay out in addition to what you get from the airline. If you can’t get one of those options, your insurer should cover you (subject to the terms of the policy).
If you decide to cancel your flight but the airline has not cancelled it yet, and your cancellation falls under the acceptable reasons to make a claim, your insurance will likely cover this.
This is not included on many travel insurance policies. However, some policies include SAFI (scheduled airline failure insurance).
Check to see whether your trip is protected by an official protection scheme such as ATOL or ABTA, as you should qualify for compensation for the holiday itself if your flight is cancelled because of airline bankruptcy.
If you’re on your trip when the supplier failure occurs, ATOL guarantees that you’ll be provided with a return flight.
Booking with a credit card also gives you some extra protection, as you can often make claims via your credit card company.
If you bought a travel insurance policy before COVID-19 became a known event, then you may be covered – 12 March 2020 is a good rule of thumb (that’s the date the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic). However, some insurance policies have ‘pandemic clauses’, which may mean you are not covered no matter when you took out the policy.
If you took out your policy on or after 12 March 2020, it’s likely not covered.
Not unless you buy travel insurance specifically to protect against COVID-19.
Monitor government advice, as the FCDO travel advice is the basis for many insurance policies. If you travel somewhere that the FCDO advises against going to, your travel insurance will most likely be void.
Yes. You may be able to purchase a COVID-19-specific add-on to your current policy, or you can buy specific travel insurance for COVID-19. For example, we’ve partnered with XCover.com to provide travel cover designed to cover COVID-19.
Check with your provider, as some may have specific rules surrounding COVID-19 cancellations. Be aware you can only cancel your policy if you haven’t already made a claim on it. If you have pending claims from trips cancelled due to COVID-19, then those will be nullified if you cancel your policy.
You can also usually cancel an insurance policy within 14 days of having taken the policy out, so if you’ve only just taken out the policy, this is worth considering.
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- We’re here for you: our regularly updated article on coronavirus and travel
- What to do if your flight is cancelled: the steps you can take if your flight is delayed, cancelled or your airline goes bust
- What to do if your hotel booking is cancelled: tips on how to get a refund or rebook your accommodation.