Coronavirus: Insurers halt travel cover

by Brean Horne from Moneywise |

Some of the UK's leading insurance companies cut back on travel policies because of coronavirus

Insurance provider LV= has temporarily suspended the sale of travel insurance to new customers due to the spread of coronavirus.

It reported that the number of travel insurance polices sold had doubled over the last couple of weeks, as travellers rushed to get cover.

LV= decided to stop selling new policies instead of hiking prices.

Existing LV= customers will still be covered by the policies they purchased.

LV= says that it will continue to monitor the situation and review its decision on an ongoing basis.

Insurers; Churchill, Direct Line and Admiral have since suspended travel insurance sales to new customers as well. 

A spokesperson from LV= says: “In light of the significant impact that coronavirus is having globally, LV= General Insurance has taken the difficult decision to pause the sale of travel insurance to new customers.

“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen the number of policies sold double. 

“We considered a number of different options, such as excluding cover or significantly increasing prices for new customers but we strongly believe this temporary measure of pausing the sale of new policies and focusing on our existing customers is the right decision.

“There is no change for existing customers who already have a policy with us.

“They can contact us in the normal way if they need to make a claim, and we are also still offering renewals to our existing customers so they can continue to be insured with us. “

“LV= General Insurance remains committed to the travel insurance market and this is only a temporary move given the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in.“

Insurers limit cover due to coronavirus

Insurance giant, Aviva, has cut back the cover available in new travel insurance policies to “reflect the current risks posed by coronavirus.”

New travel policies will no longer have the option to add travel disruption. Existing customers who have already purchased travel disruption and airspace closure add-ons will not be affected.

Aviva has also halted the sale of single-trip travel insurance to Italy. Customers who have already bought a policy will still have cover.

Axa has also decided to restrict travel cover for claims relating to coronavirus. Policies bought after 3pm on 13 March 2020 "will not cover any cancellation claim in relation to coronavirus" it said.

It follows, InsureandGo which announced earlier this week that customers who bought a policy from 11:59pm on 11 March will not be able to claim for disruption related to coronavirus.

Those who purchased policies prior to the 11 March will still be able to claim.  

A spokesperson from Aviva says: “Insurance is designed to provide cover for unforeseen and unexpected events and is priced on this basis. The outbreak of the Coronavirus means there is an increased likelihood of disruption to people’s travel plans.

We envisage that these decisions, affecting only Aviva’s travel insurance new business, will be temporary actions.”

How to find the right travel insurance

These simple steps can help you find the right insurance policy to cover your holiday.

1. Buy early

It’s important to buy your travel insurance as early as possible.

As well as covering issues while you’re away, travel insurance also covers any unexpected incidents before you go on your trip.

So, if you have to make any cancellations before going away, having a policy in place can help ensure you can recoup your costs. 

2. Shop around

Price comparison websites are a great place to start your travel insurance search.

They allow you compare hundreds of deals quickly and will give you an idea of the types of the deals available.

3. Read the terms and conditions carefully

Before buying an insurance policy it’s vital that you read the terms and conditions.

Insurance small print is notoriously tricky to understand so if you have any questions, get in touch with the provider for clarification.

Once you agree to the terms of a policy, making a claim will be impossible for things that are expressly excluded.

This could result in you having to pay more to cover the cost for any unforeseen incidents which aren’t covered, in addition to the policy itself.

 

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise. Click here to subscribe.

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