Coronavirus cases continue to escalate at a worrying rate worldwide, with 95,425 cases reported to date. So far a total of 3,286 people have died from the deadly virus. Many British holidaymakers are concerned about how coronavirus will impact their holidays.
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Travel insurance is vital at this time. Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today to share his travel advice on travel insurance.
“Most travel insurance policies will cover you if the FCO has told you not to travel to a country,” he said.
Martin added: “The sooner you’re travelling, it’s easy to look at the level of contamination in the country and what their health care is.”
Travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip revealed benefits included in comprehensive coverage may apply in the following unforeseen scenarios:
Emergency Medical Coverage: a sick traveller must see a doctor and/or go to the hospital during a trip.
Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage: in rare cases, a sick traveller requires an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate hospital or back home for recuperation.
Trip Interruption: an extremely sick traveller cannot continue with a trip and must return home.
Cancel for Any Reason: Currently, if you are looking for trip cancellation coverage because you are concerned about the coronavirus, you will now need to purchase a plan that includes Cancel For Any Reason since the travel warnings are now foreseen.
This benefit is time-sensitive and has other eligibility requirements, so not all travellers will qualify. Some plans may exclude epidemics/pandemics and may not provide coverage for related issues. Please be sure to read the plan details carefully before purchasing.
If you purchased a policy before January 21 and need to make a claim or have questions about how your existing policy will cover you, you should reach out to your insurance provider.
Martin’s website Money Saving Expert has shared the top value Covid-19 insurance policies.
The team warned that the main “trigger” for travel insurance covering you if you cancel your holiday is only if the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises “against all but essential travel”, or advises “against all travel.”
As it stands these advisories apply to China (not Hong Kong or Macau), two South Korean cities and a number of towns in northern Italy.
The majority of insurers will cover you for airlines, hotels and tours if you cancel due to the aforementioned FCO warnings.
What travel insurance covers FCO Covid-19 advisories?
Money Saving Expert suggested the following:
Top annual policies from £9 per year
Annual policies are recommended for travellers who go away more than two times in a year.
Money Saving Expert suggests Coverwise Bronze and Leisure Guard Standard.
These would be cheapest for jet-setters under-65s. For instance, a 30-year-old individual in Europe would pay £9 while a family worldwide would pay £72.
Top single-trip policies from £6 per year
Leisure Guard and Coverwise are generally cheapest for the simplest options, according to Money Saving Expert.
Holidaymakers can expect to pay from £6 for a seven-day trip to Europe for an individual.
It will cost a family with worldwide cover for a week from £38.
Over-65s and pre-existing conditions
For travellers over 65, the travel insurance you choose will depend on your age.
If you’re 66-75, Money Saving Expert recommends packaged bank accounts as cheapest especially for worldwide cover.
However, if you’re above 75, Leisure Guard, Coverwise Silver and Insure & Go Silver are suggested.
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What travel insurance covers FCO Covid-19 advisories and other cancellations?
British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air are among airlines cancelling flights to destinations where the FCO hasn’t advised against travel and certain hotels are doing the same.
In this instance, globetrotters are owned a refund but you still might find yourself out of pocket due to other costs, for instance, if your airline cancels a flight so you’re forced to cancel your hotel.
For this, you will need “travel disruption cover.” However, according to Money Saving Expert research, there are policies that cover hotels if a flight is cancelled, and policies that cover flights if a hotel is cancelled, yet only one was found that covers both.
Covers both from £29 per year
The AA (Silver) cover policy and will cover you if your flight or hotel is cancelled.
It costs roughly £29 for a 35-year-old individual’s annual European policy, £141 for a family worldwide.
Covers flights if a hotel is cancelled (case-by-case the other way)
Direct Line or Churchill are travellers’ best bets for single and annual trips and over-65s and pre-existing conditions.
Money Saving Expert explains that both will cover your flight if the hotel is cancelled, but will decide on a case-by-case basis, depending on your circumstances, whether your hotel is covered if your flight is axed.
Direct Line or Churchill cost around £48 for a 35-year-old individual’s annual European policy and £113 for a family worldwide.
Covers hotels if a flight is cancelled
Axa Silver is the superior option for single trip and annual is, according to the website.
It costs £32 for a 35-year-old individual’s annual European policy and £92 for a family worldwide.
Axa Silver may also cover over-65s and those with pre-existing conditions.
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