COVID-19 can affect your holiday in more ways than you may realise. For example, if you are infected with COVID-19 before you go on holiday and are forced to cancel your plans, you could lose thousands of pounds if you are uninsured. In addition, you could be faced with additional UK testing costs if rules change while you are away.
So, although travel restrictions are beginning to lift across popular travel destinations, it could still be wise to look for travel insurance with COVID-19 cover while on holiday. Before you jet off, there are several factors to consider.
Yes, there are multiple providers who offer travel insurance with COVID-19 cover. However, what they might cover in your plan differs to a great extent.
So, when looking for the best COVID-19 travel insurance, it would be best to look for cover if you catch COVID-19 before or during your trip. As explained, if you catch COVID-19 before your trip it is worth considering cover for cancelled flights, hotels, and other bookings. Alternatively, if you catch COVID-19 during your trip it is worth looking for cover for potential medical bills or for the cost of extending your isolated stay.
What is generally not covered in COVID-19 cover are resulting restrictions from other countries which could affect your travel. In addition, cancelling your plans for fear of feeling unsafe will generally not be included in your cover.
There are several providers which allow added COVID-19 cover onto their travel insurance policies. If you are interested in this type of cover, your insurer will usually need a range of different information, from your vaccination status to pre-existing medical conditions.
There are a number of providers which offer travel insurance. Below we have listed the details of a handful of providers awarded a Four and Five Star Rating from Moneyfacts for their travel insurance products. This will help ensure you receive the best COVID-19 insurance possible.
Please note some providers offer additional COVID-19 cover which is not stated in the article. For a comprehensive comparison of each offer follow the links below.
Alternatively, if you would also like to compare each insurance provider’s main travel insurance benefits, visit our table here.
While this type of cover is available, it is worth raising this with your insurance provider to see if you are covered for domestic travel. If not, it may be worth taking out a “staycation” policy which is used to cover you in general for your trips across the UK. You could be covered for loss of personal belongings, trip cancellations, and business travel. Of course, any unfortunate medical expenses which you could incur while on holiday, should be covered by the NHS.
Even after Brexit, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid while on holiday abroad. In addition to this, the EHIC does cover state treatment of COVID-19.
However, it is key to note that once your EHIC has expired, this will most likely be replaced by a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead. You will only be able to keep your EHIC if you meet certain criteria.
The difference between these cards is that the GHIC does not cover any medical expenses when travelling to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. If you are visiting Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, you will need travel insurance with healthcare cover. Switzerland is structured differently, allowing certain people to use their EHIC or GHIC when on holiday. These conditions, in addition to those eligible for an EHIC, can be found on the Government website here.
Besides COVID-19, not all medical expenses are covered on a EHIC or GHIC. Before travelling, it is worth visiting the Government website for a specific list of what is covered in each EU country.
While it would be best to use COVID-19 cover, there are other ways to protect your holiday from an unexpected COVID-19 impact.
Using a credit card to book your flights and accommodation gives you some level of protection through Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. What this law does is entitle you to a refund if your flight was cancelled or accommodation was shut due to COVID-19 regulations. What this does not cover is a refund for your holiday if you were infected with COVID-19 and therefore forced to cancel it.
If you are more concerned with COVID-19 affecting your travel, rather than any potential medical expenses, then it may be worth booking flexible flights and accommodation stays. What this does is allow you to rebook your flights and/or accommodation to an alternate date if you cannot commit to the original booking. Still, flexible tickets can be expensive, so it may be worth exploring COVID-19 cover anyway for a more comprehensive service.
This will ultimately depend on a number of factors, including your insurance provider and your policy.
However, it is important to note that all insurance policies have a 14-day cancellation period. What this means is that you are legally entitled to a refund within 14 days of you first entering into an insurance contract. As long as there were no claims made, you will receive a refund with a deduction of the days you were covered, which would be the whole premium for single trip cover. In addition to this, some insurers will charge administration fees, so it is always important to read the terms and conditions of your contract before any final decision is made.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.