Tourists are at risk of losing due to confusion about the extent to which the coronavirus-related disruption is included in travel insurance policies. Which? is warning you.
His research suggests that many travel insurance customers are having a false impression about their level of protection if the pandemic has affected their vacation plans.
What? believes that part of this is due to poor communication by travel insurance providers and the use of general terms, such as “Covid coverage” or “enhanced Covid coverage” on insurers’ websites.
Which? A survey of more than 2,800 travel insurance customers between February and March revealed that three out of 10 (29%) committed to making reservations or arrangements for international travel this year.
More than one in 10 (12%) said that although they have not booked or organized the trip, they have specific plans.
What? asked people if they believe their policies will cover them in certain scenarios, such as in the case of new blocks or if they need to isolate themselves or test positive for coronavirus.
Half (50%) said they believe they are covered if the government’s travel advice changes after booking the trip, and almost half (47%) think their policy covers them in the event of local or national blockages preventing them from traveling.
Almost half (46%) believe that their policy covers them if their airline or vacation company postpones their trip, but does not offer a cash refund.
But when which one? analyzed 73 travel insurance providers between October and November 2020, and found that coverage for these three eventualities – especially for when government travel advice changes – was very rare, with large discrepancies between the policies included.
The consumer champion believes that little has changed in recent months.
Since March 2020, many insurers have considered the pandemic to be a “known event” and have excluded cancellation coverage from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) from new policies and recently booked travel.
What? we found that customers with policies purchased after March 2020 are more likely to believe they are covered by this type of disruption than those who purchased policies before that.
Two-thirds (65%) who purchased travel insurance less than six months before participating in the survey believe they would be covered if the FCDO board changes and advises against travel after they have made the reservation, while less than half (48%) of those who bought policies more than a year ago, yes.
What? he stated that he believes that suppliers should present what is included and excluded in their Covid policies clearly on their websites, and not bury exclusions in their “Frequently Asked Questions”.
What? it is also urging the Department of Transport to work closely with the Treasury, industry regulators and the industry to ensure that all travelers properly understand their insurance coverage and can access coverage that protects them against FCDO advice. related to the pandemic.
Jenny Ross, which one? The cash editor said: “The continuing threat of Covid-related disruptions means that getting the right travel insurance for your vacation is more important than ever.
“Without a closer look at the government and regulators about the clarity with which insurers present their policies, there is a very real chance that many travelers will be pushed aside again this summer.”
A spokesman for the British Insurance Association (ABI) said: “With the relaxation of travel restrictions abroad, it is important that travelers take out travel insurance when booking their holidays, mainly to cover potentially emergency medical treatment bills. very expensive that can easily be paid in tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“We ask people to read your policy to understand the scope of coverage, as policies purchased after the pandemic was declared are unlikely to cover cancellation due to Covid, as it is a known risk, and travel insurance is designed and price to cover unforeseen events.
“Travelers should always be aware of and follow the advice of the government and the border requirements of the country they are visiting. And always follow the advice of the FCDO, to avoid invalidating your travel insurance. “
People can check the FCDO travel guidelines at www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.
Here are some travel insurance tips from which?
Be aware of the variation in the amount of information that insurers provide on their websites about their basic levels of coverage, especially in scenarios related to the pandemic.
Terms like Covid coverage or enhanced Covid coverage mean different things to different insurers, so avoid making assumptions. Be careful if the information provided lists only the benefits of the policy, not exclusions.
Some protections will only apply to customers who took out travel insurance before the pandemic was declared last year.
Take time to read the policy document – in particular, check medical expenses, cancellation and general policy conditions and exclusions. If there are protections you want, but find the policy document confusing, contact the insurance company directly to confirm before booking.
Refer to the insurance product information document for information on the main areas of coverage and exclusions, although it does not say everything about the policy.
Look for a flexible booking policy that covers countries that change from “green” to “amber” or “red” between booking and traveling.