The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide.This advice took effect on 17th March and applies initially for a period of 30 days.
If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans - will your travel insurance kick in? Here are some useful information:
- Your travel insurance may cover non-refundable cancellation costs, in specific circumstances. These may include medical advice against you or a member of your group from travelling or government advice against travelling. Check your travel insurance policy for the scope of cover. Travel insurance is not designed to cover the situation where you choose not to travel, but the FCO advice has not changed to advise against travel.
- If you in an area and the Government advice is to return home, your travel insurance policies may cover some out-of-pocket losses, and also help you to leave the area if a warning to return back to the UK comes into effect while you are there, if you are unable to get assistance from any other source. You should keep up to date with government advice on the FCO website.
- If you are required to be quarantined while abroad, you should be covered by your insurance policy, including any relevant medical expenses that are required. Your insurer may consider additional travel expenses at the end of the quarantined period to allow you to return home. Many policies can be extended for a specific period, if you are unavoidably detained from returning to the UK. If this happens, then check with your insurer.
In any case, if you are unsure, you should check with your insurer. Furthermore, you can find up-to-date travel advice on the Governments website.