COVID-19 & Travel Insurance

COVID-19 caused a huge stir in the travel insurance market. Holiday-goers have been left high and dry as social distancing measures cause countries across the world to close their borders.

Some insurers are changing the way they operate at this time – anyone affected must remain aware of any updates regarding their specific situation. How a COVID-19-related claim is responded to will vary hugely depending on the provider.

Most major insurers are now offering pro-rata refunds to policyholders who are unable to travel due to COVID-19. Those requiring a refund will need to request one – only do so if you now have no travel plans and have acquired refunds for any cancellations. These will not be available to anyone with an ongoing claim and will not cover any future claims.

Those with reliable policies should be covered, but this will not be the case for everyone. The first point of contact should always be your travel provider. Many are gaining reparations this way, but failing this, you may be able to fall back on your travel insurance policy.  It won’t necessarily be noted in individual wording whether policies can cover pandemics, but this should be discussed directly with your provider.

Most insurers are now suspending travel policies. You cannot take out a policy for any COVID-19-related cancellations. It is also expected that most providers will not be covering travel disruption until the spread and severity of the virus can be curbed and the travel situation reassessed. If you are thinking of booking any future holidays, please speak with your insurance provider regarding the possible claims implications should COVID-19 continue longer than expected. It may be worth keeping your policy if you are considering this, as it would be very difficult to take out another in the current climate.

All travel providers will be following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice, this can be publicly accessed here.

Many believe that COVID-19’s impact will form future policy wordings, terms and restrictions for travel insurance policies. Be sure to monitor government updates and anything that might affect your travel plans.

Brunel Insurance for People is a fully independent broker with extensive knowledge of the travel sector. Our goal is to provide fast, informal, reassuring and informed client service, tailored to the individual needs of our client’s business. To discuss any of your insurance requirements, please get in touch with a member of our expert team at or 01934 643400.