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COVID-19 – Travel insurers expect to make record payouts to customers

Travel insurers expect to pay out at least £275 million to travellers due to the Coronavirus according to first estimates out today from the ABI (Association of British Insurers). The vast majority of payouts will be for cancellations, and are set to comfortably exceed cancellation payouts for all of last year, to be the highest cancellation pay out on record. 

ABI’s figures show:

  • £275 million is expected to be paid to customers in Coronavirus related claims. The vast majority will be for cancellations, with some for disruption costsincurred overseas. This is expected to be at least twice as much for cancellation than for the whole of 2019. This is easily more than the highest annual figure for cancellation payouts - £148 million paid in 2010. 
  • 400,000 Coronavirus claims are expected, comparedto the 294,000 cancellation and disruption claims received in the whole of 2010, the previous highest year on record for such claims. 
  • The Coronavirus pay outs dwarf the £62 million cancellation and disruption payments following the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in 2010. 

Mark Shepherd, ABI’s Assistant Director, Head of General Insurance Policy, said:

Mark Shepherd, Assistant Director, Head of General Insurance“At this unprecedented time, travel insurers are helping soften the financial blow for thousands of customers whose travel plans have been cancelled or disrupted by Coronavirus. Along with compensation from sources, such as airlines and credit card providers, travel insurers are helping customers get through these tough times.”

ABI travel insurance members have agreed a series of travel insurance pledges to ensure extra support for customers, including having in place contingency plans to deal with valid claims as quickly as possible.

Read our Coronavirus ABI Q and ABI travel insurance pledges at https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-qa/ 




Notes for Editors 

Enquiries to: 

Malcolm Tarling                        020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147667 

Laura Dawson                          020 7216 7338    Mobile: 0772 5245838 

Su Crown                                    020 7216 7412    Mobile: 0772 5245297  


  1. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.  
  2. A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.
  3. An ISDN line is available for broadcast.
  4. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, abi.org.uk

Last updated 24/03/2020