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We understand that if you are due to travel soon or if you are abroad already, that you may be concerned about how safe it is to travel. For information on the current position, please see:
If you are due to travel to Hubei Province and your trip was booked before 23rd January 2020 and your policy was purchased before 23rd January 2020; or
If you are due to travel to mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao) and your trip was booked before 28th January 2020 and your policy was purchased before 28th January 2020:
Your policy will cover cancellation in the event that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office states that, on your date of departure, they advise against “All but essential travel”. We will allow cancellation claims within 48 hours of your intended date of departure as long as that advice is in place.
We’ll pay you for any unused travel and accommodation costs if you have to cancel your trip and any necessary extra travel costs if you have to cut your trip short but please note:
As always if you are overseas and you need medical assistance because of this event, call our 24-hour emergency medical team as soon as possible on +44 (0)207 748 8593 – we’ll tell you what to do.
If you’re still in the UK and you haven’t travelled yet, the following rules apply:
If you need to make a claim, you can do so by logging into your policy or by calling us on +44 (0)207 748 0061.
We have put together some questions and answers to outline our position on whether or not you are eligible to make a claim:
If you have not yet travelled:
My flight is still departing for China but all the excursions and accommodation have been cancelled so I want to cancel. Will I be covered?
You should approach all service providers in the first instance as they may be able to arrange a refund. If they confirm they are unable to offer any refund or only a partial refund, please contact the Claims Department who will consider the balances which are non-recoverable.
My final destination is outside China but the trip involves a stop-over in China. What am I covered for?
In the first instance, please approach the airline as they may be able to transfer you to your final destination via an alternative route. If the cost to amend your flight is less than the value of what a total cancellation of the flight would have been, then we will consider these costs. If not, you would be entitled to cancel your full trip provided that the FCO advice 48 hours before your intended travel date remains as ‘all but essential travel’.
I am travelling to China and Thailand. I still want to go to Thailand but I want to cancel the China part. Would I be covered to cancel the China part? Also would I be covered to cancel the whole trip if I couldn’t afford to purchase a new direct flight?
In the first instance you should approach your flight provider as they may be able to amend your travel arrangements. We will consider the amount you have to pay to amend your trip, up to the cost of what a cancellation claim would have been.
I am due to travel to China in April but I’m worried about travelling there so would like to cancel now. Will my policy cover me for this?
No. If the FCO is still advising against all but essential travel to China 48 hours before you are due to travel then we will consider a cancellation claim. It is possible that the FCO advice may alter over the coming weeks so at present we are only able to consider cancellation claims where the FCO is advising against all but essential travel to your destination and you are due to travel within 48 hours.
I am travelling to Thailand and currently there are no restrictions announced by the FCO but if the outbreak spreads to Thailand am I covered to cut short my trip and return home?
If the FCO change the stance of the area you have travelled to, to “all but essential travel” whilst you are there you will be able to make a Curtailment claim.
I have booked a package holiday. What are my entitlements?
You should contact your tour operator in the first instance as they may be able to assist you.
If you are currently overseas:
If I get stuck in China and cannot return home when intended will I be covered for any medical, accommodation and itinerary change beyond the end date of my policy/trip duration limit until I am able return to the UK?
If you cannot return home as scheduled, your policy will automatically be extended so we will provide cover for medical costs as well as additional accommodation and itinerary charges until such time as you are able to return to the UK.
I started my trip before the FCO stance changed but I am now in an area deemed ‘all but essential travel’. Would my medical expenses be covered if contracted the virus?
You should make every effort to leave the area if you can but if you are unable to leave and you contract the virus, cover would be provided for medical expenses. If you experience symptoms, you should contact our 24-hour medical emergency line for assistance.
I am a customer with a Backpacker policy travelling in China and need to return home on a home visit until it is safe to travel back to China. I am likely to be home for more than the allowed 14 days. Will this be ok?
Yes, we will allow you to use one home visit to stay back in the UK until such time as the FCO advise it is safe to travel back to China. Please note that cover is not in place for the time that you are back in the UK but cover resumes when you return to your destination.
Questions around renewals/cover:
I bought my Annual policy at the end of 2019 to start in April 2020 for a trip planned to China. I have changed my holiday booking with my tour operator but I’m now travelling to Thailand in February and so I want to bring the start date forward. Is this possible?
Currently the FCO are not advising against travel to Thailand so we would be able to consider this (no claim for the China trip would have been possible as the start date of the policy wasn’t until April). You would need to contact us to confirm the date you now wish the policy to start and also confirm that you are not currently aware of any events likely to lead to a claim needing to be made.
My Annual policy is due to renew at the start of February. Would cover be available for claims relating to the coronavirus?
Provided your renewal is for continuous cover (ie there are no breaks in dates between the end date of your previous policy and the start date of your renewal policy starts), then so long as your trip was booked prior to the current policy expiring and at the time of booking your trip the FCO was not advising against travel to your destination then cover will be in place for claims related to the coronavirus on your new policy.
I am booked to go on a cruise in Asia but I did not buy the optional cruise upgrade. Will my policy cover me if my cruise itinerary changes?
If you didn’t purchase the optional cruise upgrade, you will not be able to claim for any changes to your cruise itinerary. Had your opted to add on the cruise upgrade when buying your policy, provided this was arranged prior to the FCO advice changing to all but essential travel, we could have considered this under the Itinerary change section of your policy.
The travel company have reimbursed my unused costs and I’ve rebooked a trip to another country departing a week later. Can I change my policy to cover the new trip?
Providing you are not making a claim, we can allow cover dates to be transferred to a new trip within 3 months of the original departure date as long as it is for the same or no longer duration and is to the same geographical area. Anything outside of this will need to be referred to our underwriters.
My flight has been re-routed and now has a 15-hour stopover in USA and I will be staying in a hotel. I only have a policy that covers me for Worldwide Excluding the USA and Canada. Will I need to pay to upgrade my policy?
Provided you will not be leaving the airport in between flights then there would be no need to upgrade your policy. If the stopover advised to you by the airline is going to last for more than 24 hours’ then you should contact us to ensure you have the correct region of cover in place.