Published: 11:28, 05 March 2020
| Updated: 11:38, 12 March 2020
Are you planning on going on holiday soon but also worried by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak around the world?
Travel insurance is today the best and only way to ensure you have good cover in the event that a holiday is derailed by external factors including outbreaks.
And it never hurts to double-check your rights even if you’ve already taken out travel insurance.
With spring and summer on the way, some Britons are concerned about, or at least reconsidering, their travel plans as the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe.
The coronavirus outbreak has spread from China to at least 45 countries, affecting markets and disrupting travel with more than 85,000 cases worldwide and thousands of deaths.
A recent increase in cases in countries such as the UK, Italy, Iran, Tunisia, Morocco and South Korea has heightened concerns about the ability to contain the spread.
But what does it mean in terms of travel insurance for those who are undeterred and looking to head abroad this year anyway?
As things stand now, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province in China but also advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).
The FCO also advise against all but essential travel to Italy as well as three regions in South Korea.
“If you’re going on holiday, it’s important to check the latest government advice on travel," said Julian Kearney, CEO of Staysure.
"The easiest way you can do this is to check the FCO’s website for any updates before you buy travel insurance and before you go on holiday. Your travel insurance won’t protect you on your trip if you travel against FCO advice.”
“The best way you can protect your holiday is by buying travel insurance as soon as you’ve bought your holiday.
He adds: “Not all travel insurance policies will include cover for unforeseen coronavirus outbreaks, so it’s important that you check the policy you’re buying carefully.
“With Staysure, you’d be covered for unforeseen outbreaks of coronavirus in the resort you’re travelling to if you buy travel disruption cover alongside your travel insurance.
“This can be added for as little as £12.99 on a single trip policy.”
The outbreak of the disease in certain countries doesn’t automatically place them into a ‘no-go’ zone.
“In South Korea’s case, most regions are still safe to travel to and your travel insurance will still cover you if you decide to go on holiday to areas not on the FCO’s list,” continued Julian.
“Having confirmed cases of the coronavirus doesn’t always mean that a place is unsafe to travel to.”
If the FCO lists your destination as unsafe after you’ve bought your travel insurance and you have the optional Travel Disruption Extension, you’ll be covered to cancel your holiday because of the coronavirus if it was an unforeseen outbreak.
Some travel insurance companies - including Staysure - may even be able to help change your policy to suit your new travel plans.
A policy holder with Staysure should be able to claim on their travel insurance for cancelling a holiday because of the coronavirus outbreak if all of the following apply:
If a travel company has cancelled a trip because of the coronavirus then it is often their responsibility to offer travellers an alternative holiday:
Should this happen, Staysure can:
For more information about the coronavirus impact on travel and your rights as a travel insurance policy holder, then visit the official website by clicking here or telephone Staysure direct on 0800 069 6167.
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More by this authorJohn Leonidou