General Insurance Article - Travel insurance comments on latest countries removed by FCO


Insurfor.com and Medical Travel Compared comment on Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic being removed from the travel corridor list by the FCO but Cuba has been added to the list

 Antony Martin, Managing Director at Insurefor.com says: “Following the latest UK Government announcement that Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic will be removed from the travel corridors list from 4am on Saturday 29th August, Brits must be mindful of how this impacts their travel insurance. While we are in the process of updating our travel insurance products in the likely event that the government imposes further quarantine requirements for UK travellers visiting other destinations, it is important for customers to know what they are and are not covered for as travel restrictions are being updated so frequently.
 
 As it stands, if a customer has already travelled to Switzerland, Jamaica or Czech Republic before it was removed from the FCO travel corridors list, unless advised by their travel provider (they bring the flight forward for example), they can continue on their holiday as normal with Insurefor.com’s COVID-protection travel insurance cover in place. This includes cover if they have tested positive for COVID-19 and need medical assistance, if the hotel they have already checked into is closed due to local lockdown or COVID issues if other guests have tested positive.

 For customers who haven’t yet travelled to Switzerland, Jamaica or Czech Republic, visiting a country after the FCO has advised against non-essential travel would make their travel insurance void. In the event that customers need to change their holiday dates or their flights are cancelled, the travel company should refund or change the date.

 Insurefor.com’s policy does not cover the 14 day quarantine imposed by the UK Government, but we would change the policy to another date free of charge or provide a refund if booked within 14 days.

 While Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic have been removed from the travel corridors list, it’s positive to see that the UK Government is recognising when other destinations are deemed safe enough to be added. We are pleased that following last week’s announcement regarding Portugal being added to the travel corridors list, those travelling from England to Cuba will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the UK. For customers who have taken out Insurefor.com’s COVID-protection insurance, they will be covered both pre-departure and during their trip for as long as Cuba remains on the travel corridors list. Pre-departure cover includes cancellation if travellers test positive for COVID-19 (even if this is at the airport) and cannot travel or if the UK or the customer’s local area goes into lockdown. It also covers emergency medical care and repatriation should they contract the virus whilst travelling, if the hotel they have checked into is closed due to local lockdown or if other guests have tested positive for COVID-19.”
  

 Tommy Lloyd, MD of Medical Travel Compared commented: “The latest FCO announcement about Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic being removed from the travel ‘safe list’ is understandably going to make a lot of people apprehensive because from 04.00 BST on Saturday the FCO advice will change to all but essential travel to these countries, which means that the vast majority of travel insurance will become invalid.
 
 The first piece of advice I would give people travelling to any destination whether it’s on the quarantine exemption list or not, is to make sure they have travel insurance and then secondly check that the travel insurance covers them for coronavirus related incidents. There are some Covid-19 specific travel insurance products on our panel that will cover you should you contract Covid-19 either before or whilst on holiday as well as provide cover should your holiday be cancelled.
 
 This ever-developing situation is a good example of why it is essential to purchase travel insurance at the time of booking a trip anywhere. Generally, if you booked travel insurance right now for an imminent holiday to Switzerland, Jamaica or Czech Republic it is likely you would not be able to claim for a cancellation. However, your holiday provider and/or airline should provide you with a refund as FCO advice is now in place and claims should be pursued through them in the first instance. If you are already in these countries your travel insurance should still be valid, but as ever, individual policies vary, I would advise making a call to your insurance provider to check. It is important to have a conversation with your insurer if you have any concerns, particularly because if they advise you of something, they are bound by that, so it is worth taking note of all conversations you have to clarify elements of your policy. Travel insurance is a hugely important part of a holiday and is often overlooked or an afterthought.”
   

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