New guidance on the impact of the pandemic on travel insurance cover has been issued for members who subscribe to the Group Insurance Scheme.
The scheme is run on behalf of Dyfed Powys Police Federation by Philip Williams and Co Insurance Management.
Ian Leyland from Philip Williams says cover on the travel policy is dependent upon Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice at the time of booking and the date of departure.
“The FCO is currently advising against all but essential travel and as a result there is no cover under any section of the policy if you were to travel while this advice was in force,” he explained.
“While the FCO is advising against all but essential travel if you were to book a holiday for a date later in the year there is no cover under the sections for Cancellation and Curtailment and Change of Itinerary and Travel Delay.”
This, he explains, is because of the general exclusion on Page 16 Point 7 of the policy:
Any circumstance that could have been reasonably foreseen as giving rise to a claim for Cancellation, Curtailment & Change of Itinerary or Travel Delay or Missed Departure at the time an Insured Journey was booked and paid for in part or in full.
Ian continues: “If the FCO changes its advice and permits travel to your intended destination prior to your departure date then cover would be in place for medical emergencies abroad but there remains no cover under the above sections. This means that if the holiday is going ahead, but you would be unable to travel for medical reasons the insurer are unlikely to meet a claim for your cancellation costs.
“If FCO advice changes and are permitting travel to your intended destination when you book the holiday then full policy cover is in place.”
Ian also provided some generic guidance in the current circumstances:
1. Due to current Package Holiday Regulations a package holiday provides better protection than accommodation/flights booked separately.
2. If you do book flights/accommodation separately it is worth speaking to the travel provider about its refund policy in the event FCO advice prevent travel. For example, if you use booking agents such as Booking.Com there is usually a facility to take out full refund option. While this is slightly more expensive, it makes recovery of money easier and you would get all your money back as opposed to losing the excess charged by the insurer.
3. Pay on a credit card as this provides protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act should your travel provider go into liquidation. There is no cover on the travel policy for such eventualities
4. Make sure your travel provider is backed by ABTA/ATOL. This not only provides further protection should a company go into liquidation but also means that your travel provider has signed up to a set of standards and code of conduct.
Philip Williams (G Ins) Insurance Management is following Government guidance, and operations are currently being serviced remotely. Please be aware that there may be some disruption to service due to reduced staffing levels as a result of Covid-19. It will monitor the advice and guidance from the World Health Organisation and the Government.