Novel Coronavirus Covid-19

updated 29 May 2020

BLOG - travel post Covid-19

NHS Advice for travellers ​

Coronavirus Covid-19 – Global Pandemic Announced 9th March 2020

Since 00:00 hours 14th March 2020 cover for claims directly or indirectly caused by Coronavirus Covid-19 has not been available from UK insurers. 

As the pandemic progresses and Government imposed restrictions on movement and social contact are gradually lifting, Snowcard is keeping a close eye on how the insurance market reacts and will regularly update this information to keep you informed. If you purchase a policy with restrictions relating to Covid-19, once Government advice changes any subsequent changes to policy cover will be applicable to existing policies from that time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE for existing annual multi trip policy holders:  

For annual multi-trip policies taken out before 13th March 2020 that expire after 14 March 2020, if a holiday was booked before the pandemic was announced, when these policies reach their expiry date any new policy issued will cover claims connected with the Covid-19 coronavirus subject to the normal policy terms and conditions and cover dates running concurrently with no gaps in cover.

For any holiday booked after the pandemic was announced, there is no cover relating to Coronavirus Covid-19 until further notice whilst the pandemic is ongoing. This situation will be amended as the lifting of lockdown provisions develops. 

In the immediate future...

Snowcard are expecting cover limited to medical expenses to become available subject to insurers agreeing with the Government and Industry Regulators on what is necessary and appropriate given the scale of the pandemic. It is less likely that cover for cancellation or travel disruption will become available before the end of the pandemic. Any travel booked for 2020 will therefore be subject to you, the traveller, accepting the risks that travel during the pandemic will entail. 

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19 including mutations) AND SNOWCARD TRAVEL INSURANCE from 14th March 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 Snowcard Travel Insurance policies.

Any policies purchased on or after 14/03/2020 will not include cover under any section for claims directly or indirectly caused by the Coronavirus until further notice. This includes any preventative containment or delay measures.

 

Please find a summary below of the cover considerations under the Snowcard scheme for 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 Office advising against travel to a country (or parts of a country). 

There is no cover for cancellation if the FCO have not advised against travel (this would be disinclination to travel). 

In the first instance customers with travel booked to areas that the FCO 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 cancellation cover, and also has travel disruption cover, there is cover for curtailment if evacuation is recommended providing you did not travel against FCO advice. The holiday must have been booked before the pandemic was announced.

If the FCO 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 policies purchased on or before 13th March 2020 where the holiday was booked before the pandemic was annoounced - you must not have travelled against FCO 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 FCO 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

 

Email your questions relating to the above.

 

Useful links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/news/499/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-general-advice-for-travellers

https://www.snowcard.co.uk/content/coronavirus-claims-information

FAQs

I am currently abroad and have been forced into quarantine, what cover is in place?

  • From 17th March the FCO has advised British citizens against all but essential travel worldwide.
  • British citizens overseas should refer to the FCO travel advice page for the country they are visiting and plan accordingly.

If you are still stranded aboard, you should contact your nearest British Embassy for urgent assistance.

I am looking to travel to an area where the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all or all but essential travel. Will my cover be impacted?

From 17th March the FCO has advised British citizens against all but essential travel worldwide. British citizens planning to travel should refer to the Foreign Office Coronavirus travel advice page and also sign up to email alerts.

If you travel after the FCO advice was issued, you will not be covered by any part of your Snowcard Travel policy.

You should contact your airline or tour operator to change your flights, obtain a refund or arrange an alternative holiday.

While abroad I have contracted Coronavirus (COVID-19) and am in need of medical help, am I covered?

From 17th March the FCO has advised British citizens against all but essential travel worldwide.

British citizens planning to travel should refer to the Foreign Office Coronavirus travel advice page and also sign up to email alerts.

Provided you did not travel after the FCO advice was issued, then your medical expenses will be covered as outlined in your travel policy.

I have contracted Coronavirus (COVID-19) before travelling and have to cancel a planned trip, am I covered?

Our travel policies will provide cover for unused travel and accommodation costs (which have not been or cannot be recovered from your travel provider or from anywhere else) if you become ill before your trip and are confirmed as not medically fit to travel providing the holiday was booked before the pandemic was announced and the policy was issued before 13th March 2020.

You should first contact your airline or tour operator to change your flights, obtain a refund or arrange an alternative holiday.

I am currently aboard and want to return home early, am I covered?

The FCO advises all British travellers overseas to return home to the UK now. If you are already abroad, you should contact your travel agent, tour operator or airline or the British embassy where you are to enquire about the availability of an early return home.