Majority of travel insurers ‘fail to supply complete Covid cover’

The vast majority of travel insurance policies fail to provide ‘complete’ cover for Covid disruption, according to analysis by consumer association Which?.

The analysis highlighted a range of cover options across 263 policies, with many policies excluding “plausible and often expensive” scenarios such as new lockdowns in the UK or in destinations.

Which? said only two policies were judged to be ‘Complete’ in a range which also included ‘Basic’, ‘Low’ and ‘Superior’ ratings.

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Call for clarity over Covid travel insurance cover

The two ‘complete’ policies – HSBC Select and Cover and Barclays Travel Pack – offered what Which? deemed full cover, including:

  • Cancellation due to changes in advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) or government lockdowns prohibiting travel;
  • Testing positive for Covid or being told to self-isolate;
  • Medical costs and repatriation.

Of the 263 policies analysed, a further 85 were ranked ‘Superior’, providing cancellation cover for travellers having to self-isolate without a positive test, but not for FCDO advice changing.

Just over half the policies (142) were rated ‘Low’, meaning they offer some cancellation cover but not in the case of travellers cancelling in the event of needing to self-isolate without having a positive Covid test result.

The lowest ‘Basic’ ranking was given to 34 policies, which provide travellers with cover for Covid-related emergency medical costs and repatriation, but not for cancelling a trip if a traveller contracts Covid.

Which? has previously raised concerns over levels of cover on offer, claiming many consumers believe they are getting more protection than they are.

The association has urged the government to work with regulators including the Financial Conduct Authority to raise awareness of the cover being offered.

Gareth Shaw, head of Which? Money, said: “As the removal of Portugal from the green list shows, last-minute disruption to holiday plans can happen – and our research shows that many travel insurers don’t offer much protection if it does.

“The government should work with regulators to ensure that travellers, should they choose to go abroad, are given clear information about what they will and won’t be covered for – and make sure that providers don’t make bold and confusing claims about their cover without being clear about the limitations.”

More: Travel organisers warned of accommodation liability and insurance terms

Call for clarity over Covid travel insurance cover

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