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Coronavirus Q & A

With the spread of the Coronavirus causing global concern, the ABI has produced this Q&A on what you need to know on the travel insurance implications following this outbreak.

Anyone planning to travel to, or who is in China or neighbouring countries, should check and follow government advice www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china. The Government currently advises against all but essential travel to mainland China. Anyone travelling to a country or region against government advice risks invalidating their travel insurance.

If you make alternative travel plans, then you may be able to transfer your travel insurance to cover your new destination.

Travel insurance policies may cover some out-of-pocket losses, and also help you to leave the area and return back to the UK if you are advised to do so, and if you are unable to get assistance from any other source.

Q. If I ignore any government advice against all but essential travel, will my travel insurance still cover me?

If you travel against government advice then you are likely to invalidate your travel insurance. If unsure, then speak to your travel insurer.

Q. If  I cancel my travel plans can I claim any cancellation costs on my travel insurance?

Travel insurance may cover non-refundable cancellation costs, in specific circumstances. These may include medical advice against you or a member of your group from travelling or government advice against travelling. Check your travel insurance policy for the scope of cover.

Q. What would be classed as ‘essential’ travel?

You should check with your travel insurer if the reasons for your trip would or would not invalidate your travel insurance. A holiday to the area is unlikely to be considered as essential.

Q. If I am in an area and the Government advice is to return home, will my travel insurer cover any additional costs I incur in getting back to the UK?

Travel insurance policies may cover some out-of-pocket losses, and also help you to leave the area if a warning to return back to the UK comes into effect while you are there, if you are unable to get assistance from any other source. You should keep up to date with government advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

Q. Would any ATOL compensation arrangements operate here?

No. These relate to the failure of the providers of package holidays, and not for a major medical outbreak like Coronavirus.