Coronavirus Update & FAQs

We’re currently experiencing extremely high call volumes, so if you need to know more about your cover and the COVID-19 outbreak, please read more here: FAQs

Coronavirus FAQs

If you’re a Ski Club Travel Insurance customer who is concerned about Coronavirus (COVID -19) or any other virus within the Coronavirus (CoV) family, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and how it may affect you or your travel plans, we’ve compiled your frequently asked questions into one handy place.

Making a Claim

COVID19 and Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice, frequently asked questions and helpful advice.

Please find below our frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) in relation to COVID19 and associated FCO travel advice, which should cover most of the questions you might have.

We have also tried to assist further by including details of where else you could get assistance or obtain refunds from, if you are unable to claim on your insurance policy.

There are some important things we want to highlight:

When did you buy?

Travel  insurance is designed to cover the ‘unforeseen’, so if you had purchased your policy at or after the point that the COVID19 outbreak was known about, then you will be asked for some specific evidence to prove that when you bought your policy you had no intention or reasonable likelihood of claiming.

Who to speak to first?

There is more specific advice below, but in general, airlines, tour operators and travel agents are covering costs associated with events that might lead to the cancellation or curtailment of your trip. This means you should only be submitting a claim to us when you have exhausted those options first. You will be asked to provide proof that you have been denied a refund from the transport and accommodation providers.

Making a claim

I am looking to make a claim for Cancellation or Curtailment – please can you send me a claims form?

Please be aware that claim forms can be downloaded online and we are currently unable to email or post these to you.

As general advice, please be aware that if your trip has been cancelled, rearranged or curtailed as a result of COVID19 and/or FCO advice, then it is likely that your transport and/or accommodation provider is going to be able to refund you. We will only be considering claims where you have approached the appropriate provider for either a refund, reimbursement or change to trip dates, prior to submitting a claim to us. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to our team.

If after approaching your accommodation and transport providers, you are still looking to make a claim for cancellation or curtailment relating to COVID-19 of change in FCO advice, you can download the relevant claim forms here:

For a cancellation claim form – click here

For a curtailment claim form: – click here

Please complete this form fully and send it back to us with all the supporting documentation requested. Missing information could result in delays to the assessment of your claim.

 My flight was cancelled by the airline – can I claim for this on my insurance policy?

Sorry but this is something you would need to approach your airline for. If you had booked accommodation separately then you will need to approach the accommodation provider to see what your options are. You may be able to include this in your claim to the airline and if not then it may be that your bank or credit card company can support with this, via a section 75 claim. Please contact your credit or debit card company for details on the process. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to our team.

 I have cancelled due to local government restrictions at the location I was due to stay. There is no actual FCO advice against all but essential travel.

Unfortunately, most policies do not include this as a reason to cancel. However, if your trip is no longer able to go ahead as originally planned – i.e. excursion cancellations, restriction on use of facility etc. then customers who have booked via a tour operator or travel agent, should in most cases be able to claim from their tour operator or travel agent. Customers who booked accommodation and transport through separate providers will need to approach their booking agents to see if they are able to change dates or offer any refund.

I had a claim declined previously as there was no FCO restriction in place, but now there is – can you reassess the claim?

Unfortunately, we can only assess claims based on the facts and information available that applied at the time of you cancelling and then submitting the claim.

I am in the military and my reporting officer has strongly advised that I do not travel to my trip destination due to COVID-19 – can I submit a claim for cancellation?

If HM forces cover is specified in the cancellation section and your leave orders have been cancelled then you can make a claim. Unfortunately, if your leave orders are not cancelled, then this will not be covered by your travel insurance policy. We would recommend you contact your reporting or commanding officer for advice as to how they can support you.

I am over 70 and/or have ‘Chronic’ Medical conditions and so under current UK advice have been told not to travel – can I claim for cancellation?

We’re afraid, that this isn’t something that is covered by the policy. This is because there is protection for customers elsewhere. In most cases this would relate back to the cover offered by Package Travel Regulations. The current position is that if passengers have a medical condition for which exposure to COVID-19 is particularly dangerous, they should have the right to cancel their package travel contract. This only applies if the risk of infection of COVID-19 at the travel destination or immediate vicinity is declared high by the competent authorities. So please contact your booking agent for further advice.

My close relative, who is not travelling with me has Coronavirus – can I cancel and claim?

Cover is available on most policies for cancellation for this type of situation, there are a few things you’ll need to provide to support this and evidence that it was necessary for you to cancel (relative in a ‘high risk’ category and positive COVID19) as well as confirmation your trip was still going ahead.

The policy wording will define what the insurer considers to be a close relative.

Will I still be covered if I am on my cruise and the FCO change their advice on travel to a country I am due to travel to and the cruise ship has to go to a different location outside of the geographical area covered by my policy?

Yes, we would continue to cover you as normal, without charge and without the need to contact us, as we understand that this is outside of your control and not an intended change to your insurance demands and needs.

I am on or going on a cruise and am confined to my cabin because of the Coronavirus, even though I am not ill and do not need emergency medical treatment – can I claim for cabin confinement?

If you bought a policy that included cruise cover with a cabin confinement section, if the circumstances of your confinement are included, then we will consider claims under this section of the policy.

If when I am on my cruise, they cannot stop at one of the scheduled ports due to the Coronavirus – can I claim for missed port?

We’re afraid missed port cover is usually only provided for missed port due to adverse weather conditions or timetable restrictions. However, under package travel regulations because the cruise was not as ‘sold’ then it would be something you can approach your booking agent to discuss. reimbursement.

Will I still be covered if I am on my cruise and the FCO change their advice on travel to a country I am due to travel to and the cruise ship has to go to a different location outside of the geographical area covered by my policy?

Yes, we would continue to cover you as normal, without charge and without the need to contact us, as we understand that this is outside of your control and not an intended change to your insurance demands and needs.

Cancel My Policy – Refund

What can I do with my policy if I am no longer travelling and have received a refund for my holiday?

  • In the event that you are unable to move the trip to an alternative destination, and are offered a refund from your travel agent or tour operator, we are happy to offer a full refund of premium if you are within your 14 day cooling-off period, on the understanding that no claim is to be made against the policy.

To cancel your policy for a refund – please click here.

For full T&C’s for policy cancellation please click here.

Amending My Policy

Can my policy be changed to suit a ‘new/different’ holiday or trip?

If you are offered an alternative destination and or dates from your travel agent, we are pleased to advise that we will shift your insurance policy to fit the new trip without any administration charges, providing the new trip is for the same duration and to the same location or geographical area. please email with ‘Policy Amend Request’ in the subject line –  Click Here to Email Us

Currently Abroad

If I am stranded abroad due to the Coronavirus and cannot come home on my planned return date – will my travel insurance be extended to cover me until I can get home?

Cover may be extended for the following reasons:

  • If you are hospitalised, require medical treatment and are unable to fly.
  • If your transport is disrupted or delayed.
  • If you cannot return home for any reason beyond your control

I’m in a country affected by the outbreak – will I still be covered if I’m affected by the virus?

  • As long as you did not travel against the FCO advice, then we will provide cover for emergency medical expenses if you contract the virus and require treatment. You should contact the local medical authorities and follow their instructions, as they will be able to direct you to a public hospital that will be set up to provide optimal care and quarantine.  You should then contact the assistance team so that they can liaise with the treating doctors. We would recommend that you avoid the ‘dangerous/infected’ areas and follow the published guidelines to minimise your risk of exposure.

I want to return home early – what can I do?

If you are considering returning to the UK earlier than originally planned as a result of the viral outbreak, you may be able to claim to cut short your trip, but this will depend on the following criteria:

Unfortunately, Ski Club policies do not provide cover cutting short your trip as a result of a change in FCO advice, therefore if you need to return home you may be able to claim to cancel your trip from the following sources instead:

  • Your tour operator, travel agent or airline. Please contact your tour operator, travel agent or airline to see if they are able to either refund any monies paid, or offer alternative trip options and dates. More information on your rights can be found here.

If you have booked a package holiday to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cut your trip short, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights in the first instance.

If you are travelling independently from a tour operator or travel agent, you should make your own arrangements to leave by either altering your return tickets, where possible, or booking onto an alternative commercial flight. Claims for independent travellers’ additional expenses in returning home earlier, where medically justified, will be treated sympathetically.

If I am quarantined due to the Coronavirus, what cover is in place?

  • If you are admitted to hospital your policy will usually provide assistance with returning home when you have been discharged. Please contact our Assistance Team if you are admitted to hospital.

If we get to the airport and one of our temperatures spike, and we are refused boarding – what is covered?

Unfortunately, travel insurance policies across the market do not provide cover for refusal of boarding for any reason. You would need to approach your airline or tour operator for advice.

I am currently travelling abroad, is my policy still valid?

If when your trip started there was no FCO advice against all but essential travel, then your policy is still valid.

However, the FCO currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. The government have urged people to return to the UK. Therefore we would recommend coming back to the UK. You will need to speak to your booking agent about finding an alternative flight home as soon as possible.

If you choose to ignore this advice, then we will be unable to continue insurance coverage beyond the date that you were physically able to return back to the UK.

I am currently travelling abroad, how do I get home?

You would need to urgently speak with your booking agent in order to get a flight back to the UK.

Please note: We are not be able to assist in getting you home unfortunately, unless this is due to your injury or illness, and this has been agreed by our assistance team. It is important to note that medical repatriations are currently being prioritised to ensure the safety of those who are unwell and the assistance team will not be able to

I am currently travelling abroad and need to come home, are the costs of returning home early covered under my travel insurance policy?

This type of situation is not usually covered under travel insurance policies. We understand however that many transport providers are offering ticket changes at little or no cost to customers affected by change in FCO advice.

In the first instance, we would recommend that you contact your tour operator/travel agent to see if they are able to re-arrange your return travel for you. If you are travelling independently from a tour operator/travel agent, you should contact your airline/transport provider to see if they are able to alter your return ticket. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to our team.

You will need to evidence that you have approached and been refused a refund for these costs before we will consider a claim. You should also check that you purchased a policy which covers curtailment due to FCO advice changes.

You can look at the curtailment (cutting short your trip) section of your policy wording to see if a change of FCO advice is covered.

If you have more questions which have not been answered here, please click here to visit our claims and assistance provider’s dedicated FAQs page. Alternatively, please email;

Not Yet Travelled

I don’t want to travel as I am worried due to the worsening outbreak – am I/would I be covered?

We are afraid this would be considered as disinclination to travel and most policies in the market do not include this as a reason to cancel.

I’m due to travel to an affected country and want to cancel my trip – what can I do?

On Tuesday 17th March the UK Government advised against all but essential travel from the UK for the next 30 days. If you had a trip due to take place in that time period, you should contact your travel agent, tour operator or airline to discuss either a refund or alternative travel options at a later date.

Unfortunately, Ski Club policies do not provide cover for a change in Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice, therefore if you have booked a trip due to take place after the 30-day advice has ended, you may be able to claim to cancel your trip from the following sources instead:

  • Your tour operator, travel agent or airline. Please contact your tour operator, travel agent or airline to see if they are able to either refund any monies paid, or offer alternative trip options and dates. More information on your rights can be found here.

Please check your policy wording for specific information on the cover you purchased.

Am I insured if I travel against the advice if the FCO?

  • None of our policies will provide cover if you decide to travel against the advice of the FCO. This would be for ‘All Travel’ and ‘All but Essential Travel’ unless customers have contacted us in advance with their reasons for travel and cover has been agreed by the Underwriters.

What classes as essential travel (FCO)?

  • The FCO does not have a definition of what they class as ‘Essential Travel’. The FCO website states ‘Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision. You may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. Circumstances differ from person to person. Only you can make an informed decision based on the risks’.
  • We will only cover ‘all but essential travel’ if customers have contacted us with their reasons for travel and cover has been agreed by the Underwriters.

Will my policy cover medical treatment for the Coronavirus? And will repatriation be covered?

  • If you catch Coronavirus or require medical treatment, then yes cover will be in place for emergency and necessary treatment. Customers should be aware that our policies are travel insurance policies and not private medical insurance meaning that there is no cover for any medical expenses incurred in private medical facilities if we have confirmed that medically capable public facilities are available. Please contact our Assistance Team if you require medical treatment.
  • Our policies will provide cover for repatriation (bringing you home) that is medically necessary. Our Assistance Team will liaise with your treating doctor(s) about your treatment plan and if required obtain a ‘fit to fly’ certificate. We also liaise with you and advise on, and put in place, suitable repatriation plans to get you home as soon as it is medically safe to do so in order to achieve your optimal recovery. Our team are unable to make arrangements to repatriate you where it is against local advice, where travel is restricted or where you would pose a risk to other passengers.

Once the UK borders re-open, what happens if I arrive at my holiday destination and they refuse entry due to the virus?

  • If you travel to an area which the FCO advise against travel to, there would be no cover under the travel insurance policies as this would be considered as a known event.
  • If you travel to an area and the FCO advice changes after leaving home, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights or refunds in the first instance.
  • If you are refused entry at passport/border control, you should contact your airline or transport provider to arrange changing your return ticket to allow you to come home early.

Will you cover me if I have to cancel my trip because I am in quarantine/isolation in the UK because of COVID19?

For all cases we would need confirmation that your trip was still going ahead as planned and had not been rearranged or cancelled due to FCO/COVID19 advice/restrictions.

  • Confirmed diagnosis

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer with COVID19 after you bought your insurance, then as long as the diagnosis was within a reasonable timeframe of your trip starting (30 days) then we would consider this under cancellation due to illness. You can submit a claim for cancellation and will be required to evidence a positive COVID19 result from a medical practitioner.

  • Suspected, but no confirmed diagnosis

We are going to have to assess these claims on a case by case basis and with some specific information from you. We are going to need evidence that you have needed to seek medical advice/assistance. This may include phone records to show the date/time you called 111 and/or your GP (this must be prior to you contacting us).

  • Self-isolating

Again, these cases will be assessed by the claims team on a case by case basis. We will need evidence that you are self-isolating, this may include a letter from your employer and proof of SSP/sick pay.

If I have a stop-over in an area which the FCO advices against travel to – am I still covered?

  • We would suggest that if you have not started that part of your journey you contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary. If this is not possible, we will provide cover as long as 1) you do not leave the airport, and 2) you are not at the airport for an unreasonable amount of time.
  • If you arrive at your stop-over airport and entry is denied due to the virus you should contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary.

Can my policy be changed to suit a ‘new/different’ holiday or trip?

  • If you are offered an alternative destination and or dates from your travel agent or tour operator, we are pleased to advise that we will change the dates on your policy to reflect your amended holiday dates. We will not charge an admin fee, but please note there may be an increased cost to your policy if you extend your trip duration or change the area you are travelling to.

Am I covered for travel disruption caused by the Coronavirus?

  • If you are unable to return home on your planned date, Ski Club Travel Insurance policies will contribute towards the cost of things like food and, additional reading material. We would ask that you check your specific policy wording under section B1.

If I go out on an excursion for the day and then am not allowed back to my travel accommodation (or cruise ship) due to quarantine – what cover do I have?

  • You should follow any instructions issued by the local authorities as it is more than likely that you will have to enter some form of quarantine.
  • Traveller’s should contact their travel agent or tour operator for assistance in the first instance.
  • Some policies will contribute towards the cost of food and additional accommodation, some may also include the additional costs of getting home. We would ask that you check your specific policy wording under section 3 – ‘If you need to come home early’.

I have changed my flight arrangements to avoid being denied entry or quarantined – can I claim for this?

We would need to look at these claims on a case by case basis. In most cases flight companies are assisting people with these arrangements with small if any administration fees. Where they do charge you a fee your claim will be reviewed in line with your policy wording, as long as the policy was bought before these restrictions were being widely reported in the media.

My doctor advised that I shouldn’t travel to my holiday destination due to my existing medical problems – will I be covered?

If you declared the conditions at the time of purchasing the policy, (which has to be before the outbreak) then your claim will be considered if your conditions are reliably reported as being ‘high risk’. If you did not declare them, you would not be covered. We would also need confirmation that your trip was still due to go ahead as planned.

If you have more questions which have not been answered here, please click here to visit our claims and assistance provider’s dedicated FAQs page. Alternatively, please email;

 More Info on Travel & Coronavirus

Helpful advice

Flight company and Air Passenger Rights

Flight companies are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. If your flight operator cancels or can’t fulfil your flight then there is protection available under something called the ‘Montreal Convention’. Some airlines are going over and above their requirements and so it is important to contact them in the first instance to find out what support they can give you.

Flight cancellations by the airline need to be claimed directly from them, your insurer will not consider a claim unless you have sought a refund from your airline in the first instance.

All around the world, passenger rights for international flights are protected under the Montreal Convention. Essentially, this piece of law states that the airline is responsible for you if your flight is cancelled and/or you are left stranded at an airport waiting for a flight. These measures of care include:

o             Meals and refreshments

o             Communication to the outside world (two occasions)

o             Hotel accommodations when necessary

o             Rerouting to your final destination

In countries like Canada, Israel and the Member States of the European Union, your rights are protected even further.

Like any piece of law, it is complicated and not that easy to read! But below is a link and if you google CAA and Montreal Convention then you will find some useful information online that may help you.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/How-the-CAA-can-help/Consumer-protection-law/

Complaints/Resolver

If you are getting resistance from your tour operator or booking agent and believe you have a valid claim for refund or reimbursement from them. Then there are several bodies you can approach including ABTA and ATOL. In addition to this there is an independent online resolution service called ‘resolver’ which has had positive outcomes for many consumers with disputes.

https://www.resolver.co.uk/

If you have more questions which have not been answered here, please click here to visit our claims and assistance provider’s dedicated FAQs page. Alternatively, please email;

We hope you aren’t affected by this outbreak, but if you are, we’re here to help.

The Ski Club Travel Insurance Team

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