At first, as holidays and flights started to get cancelled in response to travel restrictions, holidaymakers could turn to their policies to recoup the costs. Then, as the number of claims soared, insurers began introducing clauses saying they would not be paying for any Covid-related cancellations. Finally, things have almost come full circle: a range of providers have launched policies that cover coronavirus in some shape or form.
It’s a welcome change for anxious holidaymakers, but buyer beware: not all travel insurance is created equal. Here’s everything you need to know.
Medical expenses versus cancellation and curtailment
Many of the insurers that say they cover coronavirus mean, in reality, that they specifically cover medical costs abroad, rather than the cancellation or curtailment of a trip due to the pandemic. That means, in the event that you catch Covid-19 while on holiday, they’ll provide any medical expenses, and possibly extras including repatriation and extra accommodation costs if you have to quarantine.
Other insurers might cover you in the event you have to cancel a trip as a result of catching the virus before you go, or because you’ve been told to self-isolate by the NHS test and trace team. And some companies will even cover you if the Foreign Office (FCDO) advice changes while you’re away, for example if they now advise against all but essential travel to your holiday destination.
Here are some of the best policies covering coronavirus: