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Swine flu Travel insurance information from the ABI

The ABI has issued the following information for travel insurance customers about the cover that most policies offer if people are affected by swine flu:

  • Swine flu is treated no differently from any other illness by travel insurers.
  • Travel insurance will typically cover the cost of medical treatment abroad if people contract swine flu while on holiday. It will also cover the cost of rearranged flights and accommodation for anyone covered by the policy.
  • People diagnosed with swine flu before they are due to travel abroad, and any immediate family members (spouse, parents and children, with some policies covering other relatives) due to travel with them, will be covered for the cost of holiday cancellation. Under normal circumstances a doctor's certificate is required to confirm that the customer was not fit to travel, but given the current circumstances we would expect insurers to be flexible on the time it takes to obtain such a certificate.
  • Airlines have standard procedures for dealing with passengers who they believe are medically unfit to travel for any reason, and have medical teams available to make assessments. Travel insurance policies should cover the costs of rearranged flights and cancelled accommodation in these circumstances, if the airlines do not have ‘failure of service' provisions. Customers will need written confirmation from the airline's medical advisers that they are unfit to travel in order to validate a claim.
  • The costs of accommodation and rearranged flights for people who are ill and placed in quarantine abroad and have to stay beyond their planned departure date will be covered by travel insurance policies. Those who are quarantined as a precautionary measure may be covered - insurers will consider claims on an individual basis. Customers will need written confirmation of the quarantine to validate their claim.
  • Travel insurers are studying details of the Government hotline and website to diagnose people who think they may have swine flu, and assessing what evidence will be made available to support a claim that a customer is unfit to travel.  

Nick Starling, the ABI's Director of General Insurance and Health, said:  

"While the outbreak of swine flu is causing concern, people should not overreact or panic and travel insurance is there to help. Travel insurance will usually cover the cost if a holiday is cancelled because someone is too ill to travel. It will also cover the cost of medical treatment abroad and any associated delays caused by getting an illness on holiday."  

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Last updated 01/07/2016