Excited to get back to holidays abroad but wondering what the vaccine rollout means for your travel insurance?
Holidays are back on the cards and while it’s a time to celebrate, it’s also important to realise even when travel restrictions are lifted there will be a few changes you need to be aware of.
Proof of vaccination
A number of popular destinations, travel companies and airlines have already stated they will require proof of vaccination from visitors.
Your travel insurance may also require documentation showing that you have received your vaccination(s) should you contract COVID-19 when abroad and need to make a COVID-related claim.
With international travel due to restart on May 17, the UK vaccine rollout is not expected to reach every adult until the end of July, meaning many would-be travellers will not be vaccinated before their first holiday of the year.
Whether you’ve had the jab or are still waiting, it’s vital to understand what vaccines mean for your travel insurance before you head off for your first holiday of 2021.
Will COVID-19 vaccines affect travel insurance?
Vaccines may impact your travel insurance so you should check the policy to be clear on what you are covered for, and what you’re not.
If you refuse to get the vaccine when offered one by the NHS, travel and then contract COVID-19 and require treatment when on holiday, your insurance may not be able to cover your claim.
Levels of cover can vary according to the insurer, so it’s important to check the details in your policy, particularly the exclusions.
Refusing the COVID-19 vaccination
If you have denied the vaccine offered to you by the NHS, or have not yet been called for the jab then your level of cover may be reduced.
When taking out travel insurance, all customers are expected to exercise reasonable care for their own safety and must take reasonable steps to avoid a claim.
As vaccinations are recommended by the NHS and government – and encouraged by overseas destinations looking to welcome Brits on holiday – ignoring this advice may lead to a claim being denied.
Travel insurance with cover for COVID-19
Staysure’s travel insurance policy will provide you with COVID-related emergency medical cover even if you have not yet been offered a vaccine, provided you’re not travelling against FCDO advice. If the FCDO has advised against travelling to your destination, you will not have COVID-related emergency medical cover.
If you need to make essential travel against FCDO advice, Staysure’s policy with the FCDO add-on can provide cover when travelling. But, this policy will only cover you for COVID-19 related emergency medical care if you have had the vaccination(s) when offered to you.
You can also get 10% off PCR test packages with your new travel insurance policy from Staysure.
So, as you can see, it’s important to understand that both the type of policy and destination you choose can have an impact on your cover.
Requiring vaccination before travel is not a new concept. Many places already require vaccination against diseases such as typhoid before you can travel and this has an impact on your health cover.
Will vaccines be essential for booking a holiday?
Travel insurance is just one area that will be impacted by COVID-19 vaccines as the UK gets back to foreign travel.
You will also need to provide proof of vaccine to other organisations such as airlines, with Australia’s Qantas announcing it will only allow vaccinated passengers when international flights restart.
Cruise companies such as P&O Cruises have also said they will require Brits to be vaccinated, as have travel companies like Saga.
And foreign governments including Cyprus and Portugal have announced they will welcome Brits who have been fully vaccinated this summer for holidays.
So, COVID-19 vaccines are set to be an essential part of travel going forward. If you choose not to get vaccinated or have not yet been called for vaccination, you will need to check what options you have to ensure you have adequate travel insurance cover.
This may include providing proof of a negative test before you depart for your trip and picking a destination that is on the UK’s green travel list.
The key for travellers will be to book through an ATOL protected holiday provider, get comprehensive travel insurance that covers coronavirus and double check the guidance at their destination as well as the UK Foreign Office before departure to ensure a stress-free trip.
For more useful information, check out Staysure’s guide to travelling after the coronavirus lockdown.