Novel Coronavirus Covid-19
Updated 6 July 2020
IMPORTANT: Booking travel carries risks and clearly at this time we can not be sure how this will affect you. Policies carry an exclusion for cancellation and travel disruption claims relating to Covid-19 although if you do travel, unconnected claims will be dealt with as normal. Please be aware that travel at this time is not without risk and there are possible unspecified expenses that you might have to cover yourself. All policies will cover emergency medical expenses whilst on holiday connected with Covid-19 providing the country you are visiting is not on the FCO list of countries that travel to is advised against.
The good news is that our underwriters at Ageas Insurance have confirmed that all policies will cover medical expenses connected with Covid-19 providing you are not going to a country the FCO advise against travel to. Ageas will cover claims as normal for events that are not connected to the Covid-19 pandemic irrespective of FCO advice so even if the country you are traveling to is on the list of countries the FCO advise against travel to, you can travel but you will have to accept there will be risks associated with the pandemic that you will not be insured for.
For existing annual policy holders with policies taken out before 14 March 2020
- If the FCO 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 FCO 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 a policy taken out before 14 March 2020
As for annual policies noted above
For annual and single trip policies taken out after 14 March 2020
- For all 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 FCO advice.
- You should not travel if you have Covid-19 symptoms as detailed on NHS web sites (see below).
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. You should refer to the policy wording which details policy cover.
- 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 FCO 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.
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 cancellation or travel distruption connected with Coronavirus Covid-19 until further notice whilst the pandemic is ongoing. This situation will be amended as the lifting of lockdown provisions develops.
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 (apart from the Medical Expenses section) for claims directly or indirectly caused by the Coronavirus. This includes any preventative containment or delay measures.
Policies will not provide any cover if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are advising against all but essential travel to your destination. In the present circumstances as the FCO advice on foreign travel is susceptible to rapid and significant change, we strongly recommend that you visit the FCO website to check the up to date advice against your actual or potential travel plans before purchasing travel insurance.
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) 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 full refund from your tour operator or airline if your trip is cancelled by the service provider.
There is no cover for travel disruption 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 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 FCO 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 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