Coronavirus and your travel insurance...

What should I do If I need to travel to China?  

The Government currently advises against all but essential travel to mainland China and some surrounding areas due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Anyone in, or planning to travel to mainland China or neighbouring countries should check and follow government advice.


We've put together some FAQs below, which should help. 

Coronavirus FAQs

Who are the FCO?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides advice for British travellers about foreign countries. In certain circumstances, the FCO will advise against travelling to certain locations for safety reasons. These warnings may result from military action or a natural disaster, e.g. an erupting volcano.  Anyone can view the FCO and Travel Aware websites. 
The FCO advice has changed to “all but essential travel” since I booked my trip – can I cancel and claim on my travel policy?

If you took out your travel policy before the FCO advice to your trip destination changed to “all but essential travel”, you should first contact your travel provider to see if you can get a refund or rearrange your booking. If you are not able to reclaim your costs and your departure date is before 1st may 2020, your travel policy will cover you for the costs of cancelling your trip

My trip is booked for a couple of months’ time, can I cancel my trip today?

Due to the rapidly changing situation, we are monitoring the FCO advice on a daily basis. If your trip departure date is on or after 1st May 2020, we ask that you continue to monitor FCO advice or speak to your tour operator for a refund or amendment.

If I cancel my travel plans, can I claim any cancellation costs on my travel insurance?
If the FCO advises against all but essential travel, you are able to claim non-refundable expenses back through your insurance policy. The amount you can claim for will be documented on your schedule and in your document of insurance, and is dependent on the level of cover you've selected. 
I’m travelling to a country that hasn’t been advised against travel but I’m worried as there are cases of Coronavirus there. Can I cancel my trip?
If the FCO are still advising it is safe to travel to that location, you would not be covered for cancellation. Advice for each country is updated individually on the FCO website, so keep checking prior to travelling. 
My trip includes changing flights in Hong Kong but I don't want to travel there, what should I do?

We are aware that currently the FCO have not advised against travel to Hong Kong, and it is often a common transit airport for destinations such as Australia. If your travel plans involve visiting or traveling via Hong Kong, that you approach your airline or travel agent to request a change to your itinerary or re-book for another destination.

If you are unable to make this change we will consider if we can support cover for cancelling or rebooking as long as your policy and travel plans were made before 24th January 2020.

My airline has cancelled my flight, what do I do?
Usually, if an airline cancels a flight, alternate flights are available or the option for a refund is offered. We are aware that some airlines are cancelling flights to China while they evaluate the current situation. Please visit your airline's website for more information.
 
My trip is later this year but I need to pay the final balance of my holiday now. If I need to cancel later, will I be covered?
Providing your trip was booked, and insurance was in place, before the FCO advice against travel was issued, you will be covered for cancellation if you’ve paid the full balance or a deposit and need to cancel due to FCO advice against travel.  
I took my policy out on or after 25th January. Can I claim for cancellation due to Coronavirus?
The FCO advice against all but essential travel to China was updated on 24th January 2020. Any policies sold after this date for a trip to China will not be covered for cancellation due to Coronavirus, as this was a known event at the time the policy was purchased. 
 
What is a known event?
We define known events by things such as changes to FCO advice or wide media coverage. On your policy, you’ll find an exclusion stating that there is no cover for anything you were aware of at the time of taking out the policy, or booking a trip that you knew could result in making a claim.  

You should not consider travelling against FCO advice as your travel policy will be invalid.