Covid-19 - Important information 22nd June 2021
International travel has restarted, governed by a traffic light system. The system will help travellers to understand COVID requirements when travelling back to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from a green, amber or red country.
Before buying travel insurance, you should think about what could happen if your destination moves from a green list country to an amber or red list country. You may face extra costs and face travel restrictions that won't be covered by your travel insurance policy.
The traffic light system only tells you what you have to do when returning to England or Scotland, as there will be strict border control measures in place. So even if a country is on the green list, you still need to check your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there. If the Foreign Office has advised against travel to your destination and you still decide to travel, you won’t be covered by any travel insurance policy you buy.
A few insurers do offer cover if you're an essential traveler, but if you have any questions, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy.
What's included in travel insurance?
Some things such as cancellations and baggage cover are included on all travel insurance policies.
All policies bought through Confused.com will cover you for emergency medical expenses and repatriation, even if you contract Covid-19 while abroad. However, for this part of your policy to be valid, you must be travelling in line with Foreign, Commonwealth & Development (FCDO) advice at the time.
Emergency medical expenses or treatment is included on all policies. It’s there in case you, or anyone covered under the policy fall ill while on holiday and needs medical assistance. With it, your travel insurance policy could cover any expenses you’d have to pay.
Since the UK left the EU in December 2020, your European health insurance card won’t cover you when you’re in Europe if it’s expired. You'll need to have a valid EHIC or to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to get state level medical treatment. Both the EHIC and GHIC aren't a replacement for travel insurance, you should still have a travel insurance policy will the right level of medical cover included.
Cancellations cover should cover you if your flight or accommodation is cancelled. Getting a policy with enough cover to pay for the entire cost of your trip is safest. If you're going on a package holiday and your provider goes out of business, your ATOL protection means you'll be able to organise a refund, or arrange to get you back home if you're already on your holiday.
Possessions and baggage cover is a part of your policy that usually covers theft, accidental damage or loss of any personal possessions or baggage on your trip.
What’s not covered with travel insurance?
There are a number of things that aren’t covered with travel insurance:
Travelling against Foreign, Commonwealth & Development (FCDO) advice means your insurer may not cover you if you make a claim, for example if there are known reasons not to visit a country or region.
Failure to declare any pre-existing medical conditions can result in your insurer refusing a claim. If you have a medical condition, you’re better off getting a pre-existing medical quote to make sure you’re covered on your trip. You’ll need to disclose all conditions so an insurer can confirm if any claims relating to the condition will be covered.
Incidents involving alcohol or drugs aren’t normally covered. If you have an accident after taking drugs or alcohol your claim will probably be invalid.
Failure to report incidents as soon after the event as possible means your claim may not be accepted. You need to declare any lost or stolen personal possessions usually within 24 hours, but this will be detailed in the policy.
This makes it all the more important to answer questions honestly when getting a quote or if you’re making a claim. If you don’t, your claim could be void or your policy cancelled, and you’ll be left without protection. When travelling, always follow the latest government advice, declare any incidents as soon as possible and enjoy yourself, just not to the point you’re in trouble!
Need more help?
Since the UK left the EU on 31st December, you’ll now need to have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to ensure you’ve got the right amount of medical cover for your holiday. The EHIC is being replaced by the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) and gives you access to low-cost or free state healthcare in the EU. The new GHIC will also cover pre-existing medical conditions.
The EHIC or GHIC aren’t replacements for travel insurance, you’ll need a valid policy to cover you for things including replacing stolen property or if you need emergency services such as mountain rescue.
We recommend you checking your policy documents or with your insurer before you travel.
Other things you need to consider include:
- Having at least 6 months left on your passport before its expiry date
- Checking if you need an international driving permit to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. These are referred to as green cards, and you can find more information on the FCA website.
- Making sure you have everything you need to travel over the border of the country that you’re visiting. If you can’t show that you meet all immigration rules, you may be refused entry. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/brexit
It depends on the type of policy you are going for. If you need a single-trip policy, you can get a quote for as cheap as £2.10*, or from £12 for a multi-trip policy.
*The cheapest Europe policy is £2.10 (based on 1 adult aged 31, with no previous medical conditions travelling in Europe for up to 3 nights). Prices correct on the 20/07/2021.
Excess is the amount you’ll have to pay towards any claim you make on your travel insurance policy. The amount of excess you pay depends on your policy and the type of claim you’re making.
For example, if you have an excess of £250 and claim £1,000 for a cancelled flight, then your insurer would pay the remaining £750.
If you’re planning on travelling only once in the year, then a single-trip travel insurance policy will suit you. It could be cheaper and should give you the level of cover you need.
If you plan on travelling multiple times a year and want the same cover for all your trips, then an annual travel insurance policy is probably best and could work out cheaper. With an annual policy, you’ll need to let the insurer know where you’re travelling. You can either do this by telling us each individual country or by choosing a specific area from the following list:
United Kingdom, Europe, Worldwide, (including USA, Caribbean, Canada and Mexico), Worldwide (excluding USA, Caribbean, Canada and Mexico) and Australia & New Zealand.
Unfortunately, if you’re already on holiday and are outside the UK, we can’t help you get a new policy or extend it if you already have one.
If you’re looking for travel insurance that provides cruise cover, please make sure you select the cruise option in the extras when getting a quote.
With cruise cover included, you should be covered against everything you’ll need while you’re on your trip including cabin confinement, missed port, emergency transport to hospital (if needed) and unused excursion. As always, we recommend checking your policy details carefully before buying to ensure you have the right level of cover.
You can easily get a ski travel insurance quote with us. When getting a quote, just select winter sports cover as an extra. Once selected, we’ll only show you offers from insurers that include it in their policies.
Some insurers exclude coronavirus and other similar infections as standard. You may still find others that are offering cover. If it’s something you’re specifically looking for cover against, it’s important that you check your travel insurance policy to make sure it properly covers you.
If you buy your policy at a time the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is advising against all non-essential travel to your destination, then you won’t be covered by your policy. If you bought your insurance policy a few weeks or months ago and the advice on travel to the destination changes, you may be covered. As always, please read your policy documents carefully.
We recommend that you get a travel insurance policy before you go anywhere, even if your trip is a staycation here in the UK. A UK travel insurance policy will usually cover you for all the things you would be covered for when abroad, including:
- Cancelled accommodation – if you have to change your UK travel plans due to local lockdowns or other circumstances, your UK travel insurance policy may be able to help you recover your accommodation costs. We always recommend checking the details of your policy to be sure. However, if you’re in lockdown and plan to travel abroad, then you won’t be covered by your policy.
- Cancelled travel – if you’re travelling in the UK and your flight, train or bus gets cancelled, then your travel insurance policy could cover it. As always, it’s worth checking the policy details to be sure.
- Luggage - if your luggage goes missing, gets damaged, or is stolen, your policy may cover you. Any valuables you have in your luggage should also be covered.
Check your policy wording. Some insurance companies are changing their policies to specifically exclude coronavirus and other similar infections.
If you need emergency medical attention while you’re abroad, you could be covered. It’s best to check your policy wording. You won’t be covered if you ignore travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), World Health Organisation (WHO), any local government or authority. At the moment, the FCDO has advised essential travel only to countries abroad.
You’ll still be covered for any medical issue that’s not related to the coronavirus.
Early indications suggest that premiums may have gone up, but it’s too soon to say.
After Brexit, the signs are that premiums may have gone up. But right now it’s too soon to say.
What our travel insurance expert says
Don’t leave travel insurance on your ‘things-to-do’ list - Make sure you buy as soon as you book your trip as travel insurance doesn’t just cover you while you’re away. Buying early means you can be covered for cancellations leading up to your trip and leave you with peace of mind prior to your holiday.
Travel Insurance Product Executive
Our service is free and compares a wide range of trusted household names. Confused.com is an intermediary and receives commission from theidol.com if you decide to buy through our website which is based on a percentage of the total annual premium. We pride ourselves on impartiality and independence – therefore we don't promote any one insurance provider over another.