Travel insurance and Covid

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 26 August 2022  | 4 min read

Now that Covid-19 entry requirements and travel restrictions have been lifted in many global destinations, you may be desperate to pack up your suitcase and depart on holiday.

But, while there’s plenty more opportunity to travel now that pandemic limitations have eased, there’s still a risk that your holiday plans could be disrupted by the coronavirus.

New quarantine rules, border closures and movement restrictions may be introduced swiftly in the event of a new Covid-19 variant spreading or a surge in virus cases.

Also, there’s a chance that you could contract Covid-19 while you’re away and be required to self-isolate which could mean unexpectedly having to extend your stay, or you may need expensive hospital treatment.

That’s why it’s important you take out travel insurance that includes Covid-19 cover to ensure you’re protected and won’t be left out of pocket.

Luckily, most providers have moved with the times and now offer a good range of cover.

Here’s all you need to know…

Travel advice

The government removed all travel restrictions for people entering the UK in March 2022.

That means arriving passengers no longer have to take tests or complete a passenger locator form.

However, other countries around the world still require passengers to comply with certain rules and requirements. So before you travel, always check what the rules are for the country (or countries) you’re visiting.

Entry requirements and travel warnings

First, make sure that the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) says it’s safe to travel to your destination.

Then check the current entry requirements on the foreign travel advice pages for the country or countries you’re travelling to or through.

Here, you can find out whether you need to:

  • Show proof of a negative Covid-19 test
  • Show a proof of vaccination status
  • Wear a face covering
  • Complete a passenger locator form to enter the country

You can also check these pages for all the latest information on coronavirus in the countries you’re travelling to, plus any travel warnings and what you should do if you contract Covid-19 while you’re there.

Travel warnings can change at short notice, so it’s also a good idea to sign up to receive email notifications every time the page for the country you’re visiting is updated.

You can also check the TravelHealthPro website for the latest information on Covid-19 where you’re heading.

And the government’s Department for Transport guidance pages have good advice on travelling abroad and coronavirus.

Can I get travel insurance that covers Covid-19?

All travel insurance policies offer limited Covid-19 cover to protect you should the virus interfere with your travel plans in some way.

Your policy will be valid as long as you don’t travel against FCDO advice and it can cover you for a range of instances where you may need to cancel or cut short your holiday because of Covid-19.

What’s covered with Covid-19 holiday insurance?

Travel insurance policies should include the following Covid-19 cover as standard:

  • Emergency medical treatment at your destination if you contract Covid-19
  • Repatriation costs should you require help returning home to the UK due to Covid-19

It then depends on each particular policy as to what else is included. But most will cover certain circumstances where Covid-19 results in you having to cancel or cut short your holiday.

Cancellation before you go

Depending on the level and scope of your policy’s Covid-19 cover, you could be covered if you have to cancel your trip because:

  • You catch Covid-19 within 14 days of your trip and have to self-isolate, or are certified as too ill to travel by a medical practitioner
  • A travelling companion or immediate relative, or someone you’re due to stay with, is hospitalised or dies due to Covid-19 within 14 days of travel
  • A travelling companion, or someone you’re due to stay with is required to self-isolate due to Covid-19
  • You’re denied boarding as you’ve tested positive or have a temperature above 38 degrees celsius
  • You miss a departure from the UK because you’re waiting for a negative Covid-19 test result
  • Your hotel or cruise ship goes into compulsory quarantine due to Covid-19

Cover when you’re on holiday

You may be able to make a claim if:

  • You contract Covid-19 and are required to self-isolate in your holiday accommodation
  • A close relative or travelling companion is hospitalised or dies as a result of Covid-19
  • Quarantine in your hotel or cruise ship means you miss part of your holiday
  • UK rules for your destination change meaning you’d have to quarantine, so you return home early to avoid having to do so. Or you have to pay unforeseen accommodation costs as a result of compulsory quarantining in the UK

What else should I look for in a travel insurance policy?

It’s important to get the full picture when you’re looking for travel insurance, so you’ll want to check:

Covid-19 and pre-existing conditions

If you have a pre-existing condition, you should always tell your provider about it. That way, you can ensure you’re covered if you have to claim for any medical treatment relating to your existing condition while you’re away.

Travel insurance for pre-existing conditions should include Covid-19 cover, so you’re protected if you’re diagnosed with Covid-19 and have to cancel or cut short your holiday.

You can’t declare Covid-19 as a pre-existing medical condition when you buy the policy, though.

Covid-19 cover and domestic travel

Even if you’re holidaying in the UK, it’s a good idea to take out a travel insurance policy that includes a good level of Covid-19 cover. Staycations can be expensive, so it can pay to be well covered for any Covid-19 related issues that result in you having to cancel or curtail your break.

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