Direct Line and Churchill Resume Covid Cover for Cancelled Trips
Two major insurers have resumed offering reimbursement to customers forced to cancel holidays due to Covid-19, after limiting coverage in the first weeks of the pandemic.
UK Insurance, owners of the Direct Line and Churchill brands, said the reversal will give customers greater confidence to travel and support the recovery of the travel industry.
In March 2020, as coronavirus fears grounded flights and closed borders, insurers sharply restricted travel cover and even outright yanked policies.
Although travel insurance policies were back on the market by the summer of 2020, they had strict exclusions, with most insurers refusing to pay out if travellers had their trips cancelled or disrupted by the pandemic.
As of this June, just two policies—fewer than 1% of the market—offered comprehensive coverage for cancellations as a result of Covid-19, according to an analysis by Which?
From Tuesday, travel insurance policies from Direct Line and Churchill will join them. Travellers holding these policies will be able to claim for cancellation if they’re required to quarantine or self-isolate, including in cases where they’ve been contacted by NHS Test and Trace but have not personally been diagnosed with Covid.
They can also claim if their trip is cancelled due to a government lockdown, pre-booked accommodation no longer being available due to Covid-19 or the Foreign Office (FCDO) changes its advice on travel to a destination within 28 days of departure, provided that advice wasn’t in place at the point of purchase of either the trip or the insurance policy.
Cover will continue to apply even if travellers opt to continue their trip when the FCDO advises against all but essential travel.
The changes will also apply to the family travel insurance policy offered through Nationwide’s FlexPlus packaged bank account because Direct Line underwrites this cover.
Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line and Churchill said: “Our new approach aims to support the recovery of the travel industry and will give customers greater confidence to travel if they wish to, whilst offering the choice of cancelling or travelling where FCDO advice is against ‘all but essential’ travel.”
“Our new approach aims to support the recovery of the travel industry and will give customers greater confidence to travel if they wish to, whilst offering the choice of cancelling or travelling where FCDO advice is against ‘all but essential’ travel.”
The changes come as the government streamlines its travel rules, jettisoning the traffic light system for a single list of red countries.