Cover for Coronavirus Covid-19
Update for travel after 17th May 2021
IMPORTANT: Booking travel during the global coronavirus pandemic carries additional risks some of which are not covered by insurance. Please refer to the information below which details policy cover in relation to Covid-19.
The UK Government has announced a system of rules for entry to the UK from countries listed as either red, amber or green.
From 17th May 2021 when the UK Government lifts its ban on international holiday travel Snowcard can issue policies as follows:
Travel within Europe:
Green countries: You will be fully covered as per the policy wording even if the FCDO are advising against all or all but essential travel if the advice relates solely to coronavirus and you are travelling within Europe.
Amber countries: You will be fully covered as per the policy wording even if the FCDO are advising against all or all but essential travel if the advice relates solely to coronavirus and you are travelling within Europe.
Red countries: You will be fully covered as per the policy wording even if the FCDO are advising against all or all but essential travel if the advice relates solely to coronavirus and you are travelling within Europe.
Travel to world-wide destinations:
Green countries: You will be fully covered as per the policy wording providing the FCDO are not advising against all or all but essential travel to your destination country for any reason.
Amber countries: If the FCDO are advising that you can travel to your destination country you will be fully covered as per the policy wording. If the FCDO are advising against all or all but essential travel to your destination country for any reason you will not be covered.
Red countries: If the FCDO are advising that you can travel to your destination country you will be fully covered as per the policy wording. If the FCDO are advising against travel to your destination country for any reason you will not be covered.
Please note: the UK Government is currently advising against leisure travel to Amber and Red countries.
Advice Applicable to All Travel Arrangements
- You must check the FCDO web site for country specific advice.
- It is your responsibility to check the FCDO website for country specific entry requirements and to arrange and pay for any required Covid-19 PCR tests. These are widely available (click here) – note there is no insurance cover if you are denied boarding or entry to your destination country because you have failed to comply with any travel regulations in place at the time of your journey.
- If the FCDO do not advise against travel to any country world-wide, you will benefit from the full policy cover including the Covid-19 cover detailed below.
- If the country you are visiting moves from one level to another during your holiday, you will continue to be covered in line with the level the country was at when you departed.
- If between booking your holiday and your travel date, the country you are visiting moves from the green to amber list or amber to red, you must speak with your travel agent or tour operator about your options. There is no insurance cover for additional costs incurred because of changes in government advice relating to the Covid-19 pandemic or cancellation costs for disinclination to travel because of a change in the government traffic light level for your destination country.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status - click here
IATA Travel Regulations Map - click here
Please note: Government legal requirements relating to international travel should be followed - legal requirements over-ride FCDO advisory guidance for international travel (refer to condition 03. of the General Conditions).
Before purchasing insurance please read the Cancellation Right in our terms of business. All policies include a 14 day cooling off period (other than short term policies of less than 28 days duration from policy issue to scheduled return date) - policies are non-cancellable after the 14 day cooling off period.
SNOWCARD TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICIES INCLUDE SOME IMPORTANT COVER FOR COVID-19 although not all situations are covered so please refer to the advice below:
Outlined below are the most common scenarios illustrating how your policy covers you during the coronavirus pandemic. This cover only applies to policies purchased after 6 November 2020.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice
- If the FCDO do not advise aginst travel to the country you are visiting you will be covered for emergency medical expenses and cancellation cover as detailed below if you contract COVID-19.
- If FCDO advice against travel is specifically in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and you are travelling within Europe you will be covered as detailed below if you travel against FCDO advice.
- If the FCDO advise against travel to a destination for other reasons, for instance due to terrorism threat, we will not provide any cover.
- Before you travel please check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website to get the most up to date information on travel guidance.
What is covered:
BEFORE YOUR TRIP
- You fall ill with COVID-19 before you are due to travel - Provided you have had a positive NHS test result within 14 days of the start of the trip, or if you are hospitalised due to Covid-19 within 28 days of the start of the trip you would be covered for cancellation (if you have selected the cancellation option of cover). Please note you must have not had symptoms or a positive diagnosis before you booked your holiday or purchased your policy for the cover to be valid.
- Your travelling companion falls ill from COVID-19 - Provided they have had a positive NHS test result within 14 days of the start of the trip, or they are hospitalised due to Covid-19 within 28 days of the start of the trip you would be covered for cancellation (if you have selected the cancellation option of cover). Please note they must have not had symptoms or a positive diagnosis before you booked the holiday or purchased your policy for the cover to be valid.
- You, or a travelling companion, are denied boarding by the transport operator as a result of a positive test or temperature reading - You would be covered for cancellation (if you have selected the cancellation option of cover) of your holiday pre departure if you or a travelling companion were denied boarding at the point of departure due to this reason.
ON YOUR TRIP
You get COVID-19 whilst abroad and require medical treatment:
- Medical expenses - would be covered as standard within the terms and conditions of the policy.
- You have checked in at your holiday accommodation, but they need to close as a result of COVID-19 - If you have checked in to your accommodation, and it then has to close, you will be covered for curtailment if you have selected the cancellation option of cover of your holiday. You should approach your tour operator or travel company to assist you in the first instance as they have a duty of responsibility to you, which should include finding suitable alternative accommodation.
- Additional costs following the diagnosis of Coronavirus (COVID-19) while abroad - Under the medical expenses section of the policy it will offer cover for room only and travelling expenses for you and a close relative or friend who you might need to help you.
- During your trip you fall ill with COVID-19 and you require a medical escort to help you home - We will pay to return you to the UK with a medical escort if deemed necessary by the local doctor and with the approval of our 24 hour emergency assistance team.
- You fall ill with COVID-19 while abroad and as a result need to extend your stay - Your policy would automatically extend to cover this.
- Hospital benefit in the event of you being admitted overnight due to COVID-19 - The policy has hospital benefit cover included as standard.
- The FCDO travel advice changes whilst I am abroad - You do not need to curtail your trip if the FCDO advice changes due to COVID-19. You can continue your holiday knowing that your policy will still be valid and offer you cover.
What is not covered:
BEFORE YOUR TRIP
- The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advise against travelling to your intended destination due to COVID-19 - No cover is provided to countries where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office or World Health Organisation has advised against travel, or all but essential travel unless this advice relates solely to COVID-19 and you are travelling within Europe. Currently, for worldwide policies, there is no cover for COVID-19 if you travel against FCDO advice.
- You are contacted under the track and trace initiative and advised to self-isolate - You would only be covered if you have had a positive NHS test result within 14 days of the start of the trip, or you are hospitalised due to Covid-19 within 28 days of the start of the trip.
- The government introduces compulsory quarantine for travellers coming back from your intended destination and you no longer want to travel - There is no cover under this policy for not wanting to travel. There is no cover for any costs (e.g. loss of earnings) due to having to quarantine on your return.
- You are shielding or your doctor has advised against travel because of COVID-19 - People who are shielding in the pandemic are advised not to travel. We wouldn’t expect people who are shielding to be booking to travel, as this is an know risk. You would not be covered if your doctor advises against travel after you have booked your trip. However, if the current pandemic disappears, shielding stops, and you book a future trip and subsequently receive a positive NHS test or hospitalisation due to a future pandemic, cover would be provided as above.
ON YOUR TRIP
- You are refused entry into a country due to COVID-19 - You would only be covered under the medical expenses section of cover if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and this is the reason you cannot enter. For any other costs, your tour operator or travel company should help you and you should contact them for help.
- The area where your are staying is placed into lockdown by the local government and you can not return home - You should contact your tour operator or travel company for help.
- While you are on holiday there is a spike in local cases, and you wish to cut short your holiday - There is no cover in this instance.
- The area you are staying in is locked down on the instruction of local government or public health officials - There is no cover in this instance.
The information below relates to Snowcard policies underwritten by Ageas Insurance issued upto 5 November 2020:
The information below relates to Ageas policies (starting with 6xxxxx) issued on or before 5 November 2020:
For existing annual policy holders with Ageas policies (policy numbers starting with 6xxxxx) taken out before 14 March 2020
- If the FCDO has lifted the advice for your destination country, you will be covered as per the policy standard terms and conditions including medical expenses associated with Covid-19.
- If the FCDO advise against travel to your destination country, you will not be covered for costs associated with the Covid-19 coronavirus.
For single trip policy holders with an Ageas policy (policy numbers starting with 6xxxxx) taken out before 14 March 2020
As for annual policies noted above
For annual and single trip Ageas policies (policy numbers starting with 6xxxxx) taken out between 14 March 2020 and 5 November 2020
- For all Ageas policies taken out after the pandemic declaration, cancellation and travel disruption cover is excluded for claims relating to the Covid-19 coronavirus.
- You will be covered for medical expenses if you become ill on holiday with Covid-19 providing you are not visiting a country against FCDO advice.
- You should not travel if you have Covid-19 symptoms as detailed on NHS web sites.
At this time there are clearly still risks associated with travel whilst the pandemic is active. As is the case during more normal times, your insurance policy will cover many events leading to loss but not all events.
- If you have booked your holiday with a tour operator or travel agent you have protection under the Package Travel Regulations which gives you financial recourse in the event a trip is cancelled or cut short because of a change in FCDO advice.
- If you have booked your travel independently, you do not have the same levels of protection. It is advisable to pay for all of your travel services with a credit card as this will provide you with protection under the Consumer Credit Act.
Important information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and Ageas policies purchased between 14th March 2020 and 5 November 2020
Because the World Health Organisation declared the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic on 9th March 2020 this is now a known event. This affects the cover provided by Ageas travel insurance policies.
Any Ageas policy purchased between 14/03/2020 and 5/11/2020 will not include cover under the Cancellation and Travel Disruption section for claims directly or indirectly caused by the Coronavirus. For Ageas policies purchased after 14/03/2020, if the FCDO advise it is okay to travel to your destination country, you will be covered for medical expenses associated with Covid-19. If the FCDO advise against travel to your destination country, you will not be covered for medical expenses connected with Covid-19 but you will still be insured for claims not connected with Covid-19. This advice relates to policies underwritten by Ageas Insurance between 14/03/2020 and 5/11/2020. With effect from 6 November 2020 new insurers are underwriting Snowcard policies, refer to the details above.
Please find a summary below of the cover considerations under the Snowcard scheme for Ageas policies issued on or before 13th March 2020 where the holiday was booked BEFORE the announcement of the pandemic:
1. Cancellation Cover
If someone has opted for cancellation cover, and also has travel disruption cover, there is cover for cancellation of non-refundable amounts paid to travel service providers due to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advising against travel to a country (or parts of a country) if you do not benefit from the protection offered by a package holiday. There is no cover on an Ageas policy if your holiday was a package holiday, you will qualify for a full refund from your tour operator or airline if your trip is cancelled by the service provider.
There is no cover on an Ageas policy for travel disruption cancellation if the FCDO have not advised against travel (this would be disinclination to travel).
In the first instance customers with travel booked to areas that the FCDO have advised against travel to should contact their airline or tour operator in order to obtain a refund or arrange an alternative holiday.
Under the Package Travel Regulations tour operators and travel service providers have a legal liability to refund monies paid to them if they cannot provide the services they have been paid to supply.
Any money paid to a service provider that is covered by the Package Travel Regulations is refundable and is therefore not covered by insurance.
2. Curtailment Cover
If someone has opted for the cancellation section that includes travel disruption cover, there is cover for travel disruption curtailment if evacuation is recommended providing you did not travel against FCDO advice. The holiday must have been booked before the pandemic was announced. This cover is only available if you do not benefit from the protection offered by a package holiday. There is no cover if your holiday was a package holiday, you will qualify for a pro rata refund from your tour operator or airline if your trip is curtailed and cut short by the service provider.
If the FCDO change their advice whilst you are abroad advising against all/all but essential travel, curtailment cover would be provided if an insured person was taken ill overseas with Coronavirus and it was medically necessary to arrange early return home. This is also the case in respect of someone that the insured person is travelling to stay with, a close relative, or a business associate (as defined in the policy).
3. Medical Expenses Cover - This advice only applies to Ageas policies purchased on or before 13th March 2020 where the holiday was booked before the pandemic was annoounced - you must not have travelled against FCDO advice.
Medical expenses claims for any travellers contracting Coronavirus overseas and requiring medical attention will be covered, subject to the standard policy terms and conditions (there is no cover if someone has travelled to a country or area after the FCDO have advised against travel/all but essential travel). In the event that someone is detained abroad, their policy will automatically extend the period of insurance by up to 30 days