As we move towards BREXIT day on the 29th March 2019 many of you will be wondering how it will affect your travel plans and insurance this summer. The following advice has been prepared by Snowcard underwriters AGEAS INSURANCE UK.

If you have any questions relating to this advice please email Snowcard managing director, Russell Dadson

Snowcard

Brexit questions and answers

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. If it does so on a no-deal basis, travel to and from the UK could be affected. There could be delays at exit and entry points, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid, and entry requirements to EU countries may differ. This is what you need to know about the specific cover under your policy, as well as general travel advice…

Am I covered for Brexit?

Depending on what has caused your financial loss/need to claim, there may be cover under your travel policy to protect you. Currently, the full impact of the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place is not known. However, the sections of cover under your policy that may be relevant are the Missed Departure, Delay, Travel Disruption, and Medical Expenses sections. Should Brexit cause travel disruption, primary responsibility for offering travellers alternative transport or refunds rests with the airlines and travel companies, so in the first instance you should contact your travel provider. 

I don’t want to travel to Europe now; can I cancel my trip and claim?

Cancellation cover is for specific reasons only. No longer wishing to travel is not one of the reasons you can make a cancellation claim.

Will my travel insurance still be valid in the EU?

Yes, your travel insurance will still be valid. Your cover will remain the same and you will receive exactly the same service and care should you require emergency medical treatment while you are in an EU country.

What if I’m delayed getting to my transport because of long queues?

Missed Departure cover only applies in specified circumstances (please see page 12 of the policy wording for more information) that lead to you arriving at your international or final departure point too late to board your booked transport. The circumstances covered do not include being delayed because of long queues. As longer queues are expected, you should make sure you take this into account and leave enough time in your travel plans.

What if my transport is delayed or cancelled?

The Delay section under your policy provides cover only if specific circumstances lead to your transport being delayed in departing. These are: storm, flood, industrial action, bad weather, mechanical breakdown of train or sea vessel, or the grounding of the aircraft due to a mechanical or structural defect. 

If Travel Disruption is included in your policy, it’ll be shown on the schedule and forms part of the optional cancellation cover. If you have to make alternative arrangements to reach your destination and/or you have to make alternative accommodation arrangements at any point during the period of insurance, after a 12-hour delay you can also claim for the cost of additional travel expenses and of extra accommodation (room only) expenses up to £1,000. 

If there is travel disruption you should contact and follow the recommendations of your transport provider.

If I need medical treatment abroad, can I still use my EHIC?

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal in place, and in the absence of a specific agreement to say otherwise, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer apply. This makes it even more important that you have appropriate travel insurance in place to cover medical costs while you are travelling in an EU country, in the same way as you would when travelling to a non-EU country. As the EHIC will no longer be valid, should you have to make a medical expenses claim, the excess shown on your schedule will apply to your claim (this was previously waived if an EHIC was used).

If EHIC will no longer be valid, will we go back to the E111?

No, they are the same thing; the E111 became the EHIC in 2006. If there’s a no-deal Brexit, there will be no equivalent or alternative to the EHIC. They only way for travellers to protect themselves against costs for medical treatment is to take out travel insurance.

Can I still get compensation from my airline if my flight is delayed or cancelled?

Yes. According to the CAA, the rights to compensation under the EU Flight Compensation Regulation will continue to apply to passengers departing from the United Kingdom to an airport situated in the territory of an EU member state, as long as the airline has an operating licence granted by an EU member state. You can find more information about your rights and how to make a claim on the CAA website: https://www.caa.co.uk/passengers/resolving-travel-problems/delays-and-cancellations/

Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

The European Commission has confirmed that from 2021, UK citizens would have to pay €7 for a travel permit, as part of the European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (Etias).Travellers will register their details and pay the fee in advance of travel (at least 72 hours before departure is advised), to obtain Etias authorisation.

Is my passport still valid?

Yes. However for travel after 29 March, the government is recommending that UK travellers have at least six months left on their passports from the date of arrival in an EU country. 

If a 10-year adult passport was renewed before it expired, extra months may have been added, which do not count towards the required six months remaining.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

If I am stranded abroad beyond my scheduled return date, will my policy still cover me?

Yes. We will extend the period of insurance by up to 30 days, at no extra cost, if you have to stay on your trip longer because of events that you have no control over.