Travel Insurance and Coronavirus: are you covered?

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on February 26, 2021

You must know that most insurers are not covering claims due to coronavirus.

As the world is facing one of the most serious pandemic crisis ever, you are wondering if you can still travel in the coming weeks or months? Your trip has been canceled due to coronavirus and you’re wondering what you will get compensation for?

You’ve come at the right place.

In the below guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about travel insurance, booking or cancelling holidays and coronavirus financial consequences on claims and refund.

Let's dive in.

Can I still travel from UK despite Covid-19?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office strongly advise not to travel anywhere, at least for a period of 30 days, unless it is strictly essential. Travelling abroad can put your life and the ones of people around you in danger of death.

If you still plan travelling, you may be able:

  • not to enter the country;
  • be placed in immediate quarantine if coming from UK;
  • need specific permit.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of country forbidding entry to UK residents, or travelers in the coming days:

Coronavirus entry restrictions when coming from UK
VietnamNo entry on territory
USANo entry on territory for 14 days
UgandaQuarantine if entering
St MaartenNo entry on territory for 21 days
Sri LankaNo entry on territory
South KoreaQuarantine if entering
Solomon IslandsQuarantine if entering or self-isolation
North MacedoniaSelf-isolation
North KoreaNo entry on territory
MauritiusNo entry on territory for 14 days
MaldivesNo entry on territory for 14 days
KyrgyzstanQuarantine if entering
KiribatiNo entry on territory
JamaicaNo entry on territory for 14 days
IndiaNo entry on territory
HondurasNo entry on territory
GabonNo entry on territory for 14 days
BahrainNo entry on territory for 14 days
AustriaOnly with permit to travel
Countries restrictions at border

The situation for travelling abroad is really uncertain as from now and for at least mid of April.

What is classed as essential travel?

Essential travels are defined as:

  • all travels for urgent family matters (for example to preserve someone's life)
  • all travels for business matters that can absolutely not be postponed.

You are responsible for assessing what is your travel risk on your own.

Note that if something occurs during a non-essential travel, you may not be entitled for any financial compensation.

I am abroad, can I come back to the UK?

The UK government has advised any UK resident travelling or living abroad, not to immediately come back to the UK.

If you are coming back from a high contagion zone such as China or Italy for example, you may be refused to enter the UK soil, or placed in quarantine.

In order to know the latest government's advises for going or coming back from any destination, check out travel advices for your destination here and sign up to alerts.

Note that you are required to follow what does local authorities of the visited country say as they are responsible for your safety.

My flight to go home has been cancelled, what can I do?

You must note that international travel is getting more and more complex as time goes by. Flight and train transportation schedules are currently facing very important disruptions and delays. Most of the journeys are postponed or cancelled on very short notice.

If your flight for UK has been cancelled or delayed for coronavirus reasons, you should be entitled to get a refund or an alternative schedule flight.

If you ask for a refund, remember that will not be able to claim for any other financial compensation to the airline. They will be responsible-free.

My trip is cancelled due to coronavirus crisis, can I get compensation?

It is hard to say. If you applied for travel insurance, you should get compensation for trip cancellation until limit defined in policy.

We've came up with a list of measures and compensation for most famous insurance providers:

InsurerIs my policy valid if I am travelling against FCO advises?Will I get flight and booking refund if I decide not to travel after FCO advises?If there is no FCO warning but my flight is cancelled, can I get other costs refund?Can I still get travel insurance online?Key facts
logo aaOnly if essential travelYesOnly if trip disruption coverno
  • Annual multi trip policies covers claims made on new trips as well
  • No longer provides single trip policy for Spain, Italy or France. in Europe
  • As from now, will not cover cancellation due to coronavirus
logo admiral 2NoYesYesno
allianz logoNoNoNoyesAllianz assistance does not cover claims related to pandemic crisis
logo avivaYesonly if trip disruption coverYesno
logo axaOnly if essential travelYesonly if trip disruption coveryesAnnual multi trip policies does not cover claims due to coronavirus for new trip booked
cooperative logoOnly if essential travelYesYesno
logo halifax 1Only if essential travelYesYesyesAs from 13th of March, no claims related to coronavirus will be accepted
logo leisure guardOnly if essential travelYesNoyes
logo lvOnly if essential travelOnly with policy PremierOnly with policy Premierno
logo post office money 1NoVariesVariesno
logo travel insurance 4 medical 2NoNoNono
logo world firstNoNoNono
Travel insurers responses to Covid-19 pandemic crisis

I didn’t book travel insurance, can I still have refund?

As the coronavirus pandemic crisis is considered as an exceptional circumstance beyond airline's and carrier's control, you may not be able to claim for any financial compensation if you didn't apply for travel insurance.

We've came up with a list of measures taken by airlines and tour operators:

AirlinesCovid-19 measures
logo british airways 1You can cancel booking from 14th of March to 31st of May and get a voucher to any destination
logo virgin atlanticWaived change fees as from the 4th of March to any destination
logo ryanairWaived change fees from 13th of March to end of April to any destination
logo easyjetWaived change fees. Dates details not stated
logo jet2No refund unless your destination is a "restricted country"
If so, you can change the date of your flight without paying change fees
logo flybeDeclared bankruptcy
Airlines measures following coronavirus pandemic crisis

Can I get travel insurance for holidays booked before coronavirus?

No, it is too late. You can no longer apply for travel insurance for already booked holidays. Actually, most of travel insurers have suspended their policies offer at that time.

We are advising over and over always to book travel insurance as soon as you pay for your flights. Travel insurance is much more than a nice-to-have. As you can see, we never know what may happen and trip cancellation, injuries while being abroad etc. happen much more than you think.

If you can no longer apply for travel insurance for this time, think about getting one for your next trip.

Can I plan my summer holidays?

At this stage of the pandemic crisis, we would advise you not to book neither flight or accomodation at least until the 17th of April. It is very unsure how the crisis will spread in the coming weeks and even months.

If you want to benefit from important discounts due to current tourism situation worldwide, then be sure to get travel insurance covering coronavirus trip cancellation and carefully check cancellation rights and conditions.

People having annual multi-trip policies should not be cover for coronavirus cancellation and claims reason for any new trip booked as from now.

What if I am in quarantine abroad due to coronavirus?

Short answer: contact both your travel insurer (if you have one) and your travel operator.

If you are in quarantine abroad, you will have to pay for extra expenses such as:

  • extra accomodation for you and your travel partners
  • alternative flight not covered by your operator
  • living costs abroad (food, taxi etc.).

You may be able to get financial compensation for this if you applied for travel insurance covering "travel disruption" as long as exceptional circumstances such as "pandemic crisis" are not clearly stated in the general exclusions of the policy booklet.

It is worth contacting your travel insurer and carefully check in your travel insurance booklet upfront.

Coronavirus and travel: contact details

What if...
I have coronavirus symptomsThe NHS: 111
or check their online tool
I am stuck abroadThe FCO: +44 (0)207 008 1500
Coronavirus and travel, contact details

Travel insurance advises during Covid-19 crisis

  • Don't travel unless it is absolutely necessary. Non-essential travel may invalidate any claim you'd like to get compensation for (and may put your life in danger).
  • Don't book any flight or accomodation for your next holidays for the time being and wait for the situation to be clarified
  • Note that you can no longer apply for travel insurance for already booked holidays. And for the next time, always book travel insurance with trip disruption cover.
  • If you have applied for travel insurance, check carefully your cancellation rights as well as your policy booklet and contact your insurance provider.
  • Note that you may not be covered if you are the one deciding not to travel, even if it is for exceptional circumstances such as pandemic crisis.

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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected. and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms.

As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms. and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.