Gill Charlton helps a reader with a query about Covid cover on his travel insurance policy
Kevin Powell writes
In May we renewed our annual travel insurance with Staysure. The new policy document says that there is no cover for Covid-19 under any section of the policy.
This is of great concern to us as we have several trips already booked including a cruise visiting several South American countries.
I can understand why there would be no cancellation cover in the future due to the uncertain nature of further outbreaks. But a real concern would be the costs associated with getting Covid-19 abroad or being forced into quarantine.
As well as any medical treatment, it appears that we are responsible for all additional costs associated with self-isolating and repatriation to the UK. And what happens if we are not allowed to board the flight in the first place due to an elevated temperature which could have many causes?
Gill Charlton replies
Since you wrote in, Staysure has confirmed that all its travel insurance policies will provide cover for emergency medical treatment and repatriation if a customer is infected with the virus abroad. However, there is no cover for holiday cancellation (unless the trip was booked before March 13).
This enhanced cover applies to all active policies and is only valid for countries listed as safe to visit by the Government. As we start to travel again, insurers and their underwriters are looking at ways of covering Covid-19.
CoverForYou (020 3137 8981; coverforyou.com), whose policies are underwritten by insurance giant Axa, is one of the few insurers to offer Covid-19 cancellation cover as well as medical and repatriation cover.
All of its policies now include cancellation cover if you fall ill with Covid-19, or if you have to self-isolate, or if you are not allowed to board a flight due to detected Covid symptoms. But there is no cover if you have to cancel due to the reimposition of Government restrictions because of Covid-19 unless you are already on holiday and are required to return home.
If you contract coronavirus abroad, the insurer will pay for medical treatment, the additional costs of quarantine or an extended stay, and repatriation. Options include cover for scheduled airline and supplier failure. An annual worldwide Silver policy for someone aged 60 with no pre-existing conditions is good value at £60 with zero excess. Trailfinders (020 7084 6510; trailfinders.com) and Coverwise (01903 255650; coverwise.co.uk) offer similar levels of Covid-19 cover.
Nationwide is the only bank offering any kind of Covid-19 cover. Its FlexPlus current account is also unique in providing insurance if you have to cancel a holiday due to a change in Government travel advice as happened when quarantine measures were imposed after visits to Spain last month.
Note that, if you have an annual policy which is due for renewal, you should still be covered for coronavirus-related claims (including cancellation) on any holiday that was booked prior to March 13 – if you renew with the same insurer. This won’t be the case if you change to a new insurer.