Understandably, it may be a worrying or confusing time, if you have booked a trip away from the UK, and you're not sure what cover you have in place under your Go Walkabout policy. We've rounded up some common questions below, which will hopefully answer the concerns that you have, but please feel free to get in contact with us by email or phone, if you still have unanswered questions, or want further clarification on your individual situation:
Am I insured if I travel against the advice of the FCDO?
Our policies will not cover travel which is against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). However, if your trip is for a valid exemption to the UK Government’s travel restrictions, such as for paid or voluntary work or emigration, we will provide cover when the FCDO advice against travel is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. Please contact us to discuss any other requirements. You can check up-to-date FCDO advice for all countries here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
If you catch Coronavirus or require medical treatment, then cover will be in place for emergency and necessary treatment. Customers should be aware that our policies are travel insurance policies and not private medical insurance, meaning that there is no cover for any medical expenses incurred in private medical facilities, if we have confirmed that medically capable public facilities are available.
Our policies will provide cover for repatriation (bringing you home) if it's medically necessary. Our Emergency Assistance Team will liaise with your treating doctor(s) about your treatment plan and if required, obtain a 'fit to fly' certificate. We also liaise with you and advise on, and put in place, suitable repatriation plans to get you home as soon as it is medically safe to do so in order to achieve your optimal recovery. The Emergency Assistance Team will be unable to make arrangements to repatriate you where it is against local advice, where travel is restricted or where you would pose a risk to other passengers.
If I'm stuck abroad due to the Coronavirus and cannot come home on my planned return date, will my travel insurance be extended to cover me until I get home?
Depending on your policy, cover may be extended for the following reasons:
- If you are hospitalised, require medical treatment and are unable to fly
- If your transport is delayed or disrupted
- If you cannot return home for any reason beyond your control
Please get in touch for further advice on this, if needed.
If I am quarantined due to the Coronavirus, what cover is in place?
If you are admitted to hospital, your policy will usually provide assistance with returning home when you have been discharged. Please contact the Claims and Assistance Helpline on +44(0) 330 660 0785 if you are admitted to hospital or will be receiving ongoing treatment whilst away from the UK.
What happens if I arrive at my holiday destination and they refuse entry due to the virus?
If you travel to an area where the FCDO advises against travel, there would be no cover under our travel insurance policies, as this would be considered as a 'known' event.
If you travel to an area and the FCDO advice changes after leaving home, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights or refunds in the first instance, and travel away from that area as soon as possible. There is no cover under the policy for additional expenses that you incur, for this reason.
If you are refused entry at passport/border control, you should contact your airline/transport provider to arrange changing your return ticket to allow you to come home early.
Will I be covered if I want to cut my trip short due to the Coronavirus?
None of our policies offer cover for cutting your trip short (curtailing it) for this reason. Policies offer cover in relation to specific reasons for cutting short your trip, and the 'fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction' or a change in Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice is not one of those reasons.
We would advise travellers who have booked package holidays to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cut your trip short, they should contact their travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights in the first instance.
If you are travelling independently from a tour operator or travel agent, you should make your own arrangements to leave by either altering your return ticket where possible or booking onto an alternative flight or mode of transport. Claims for independent travellers' additional expenses in returning home earlier than planned, where medically justified, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
If I go out on an excursion for a day and then am not allowed back to my travel accommodation (or cruise ship) due to quarantine, what cover do I have?
You should follow any instructions issued by the local authorities as it is more than likely that you will have to enter some form of quarantine.
Travellers should contact their travel agent or tour operator for assistance in the first instance.
You may be able to find an alternative insurer who can offer this cover. However, you should be aware that there will be no cover if the FCDO has already issued a directive to the area you are travelling to. Your new policy will only cover you for events and restrictions in areas that occur after the date you paid for your policy and may have different terms, conditions and premiums applied.
Can I cancel my current policy and take a new policy which has to cover for change in FCDO advice?
BIBA (the British Insurance Brokers' Association) have a consumer helpline related to travel insurance, on 03709501790, so you could ring them for guidance on travel insurers who can offer cover for changes in FCDO advice.
We aren't able to cancel your policy if you have already started your trip away from the UK. We can only provide a full refund if you cancel your policy within 14 days of purchase and before you have started your trip.
If I have a stop-over in an area which the FCDO advises against travel to, am I still covered?
We suggest that if you have not started that part of your journey, you contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary.
If you arrive at your stop-over airport and entry is denied due to the virus, you should contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary.
Can my policy be changed to suit a new/different holiday or trip?
If you're offered an alternative destination and/or dates from your travel agent, we will shift your insurance policy to fit the new trip without any additional costs, providing the new trip is for the same duration and to the same location or geographical area. Please contact us to arrange this.
What can I do with my policy if I am no longer travelling and have received a refund for my holiday?
In the event that you're unable to move the trip to an alternative destination, and are offered a refund from your travel agent or tour operator, we will provide a refund of your premium in line with the cancellation terms in your policy wording, on the understanding that no claim is to be made against the policy. We cannot offer a refund if you cancel your policy after the 14 day cooling off period. This doesn't apply to Annual Multi Trip policies.
Where can I get more information about travel and the Coronavirus?
FCDO advice for different countries:
Novel Coronavirus (Covid 19): General Advice for Travellers:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information and advice from the UK government:
Advice for Travellers - Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/advice-for-travellers/