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Holidays and Covid: What we can do to help

Posted on October 4, 2021 by Kelly Johnstone
travellers walking through the airport

Find out about how we’re covering our customers for travel insurance with Cover for COVID-19. We answer questions on whether you’re covered, and what your next steps should be.

Am I covered for COVID-19?

The level of cover you have in place will depend on when you bought your policy. If you’re unsure, it’s best to check your policy documents. Here’s a summary of your policy benefits:

If you bought your policy on or after 16 March 2020, for a holiday on or after 17 July 2020, COVID-19 cover includes:

  • Cancelling your trip if you have COVID-19 up to 14 days before you’re due to travel*
  • Emergency medical expenses abroad**
  • Repatriation to help you get back home**
  • Cancellation cover if you’re denied boarding with a positive test for COVID-19
  • Additional accommodation and transport if deemed necessary by our medical officer
  • Daily benefit if you are ordered to self-isolate in your holiday accommodation if you have COVID-19
  • Cancelling or cutting your trip short after hospitalisation or death of a close relative from COVID-19
  • Your travelling companion(s), people you live with, or people you’re staying with on holiday being diagnosed with COVID-19 up to 14 days before you’re due to travel***

If you bought your policy on or after 29 April 2021 your COVID-19 cover includes everything above, as well as:

  • Cancelling your trip if you’re told to self-isolate by the government’s Test & Trace system
  • Cancellation and repatriation cover if you’re denied boarding with a confirmed temperature above 38 degrees Celsius
  • Cancelling your trip if you can’t complete your vaccine course due to other illnesses or have an allergic reaction to the vaccine that would stop you travelling
  • Cancelling or cutting your trip short after hospitalisation or death of a member of your household from COVID-19

Am I covered to travel against FCDO advice?

It’s important that you check the FCDO’s travel advice regularly before you go on a trip, and while you’re away, as things can change.

If you have a trip to Europe planned, and the FCDO advises against ‘all but essential’ travel to your destination because of COVID-19, simply add the European FCDO Travel Advice Extension to your policy to travel with a level of cover.

Travelling without this add-on to a country the FCDO has advised against ‘all but essential’ travel would invalidate your policy, even if travel advice changes when you are away as your destination was listed as unsafe when you first travelled.

To check your destination is safe to travel to, take a look at the FCDO’s travel advice.

Can I travel to a country on the red list?

Neither the traffic light system nor the new travel rules determine which countries you can travel to, they only tell what you need to do when you get back (i.e. testing, self-isolation or hotel quarantine).

While it’s not against the law to travel to a red list country, the government doesn’t recommend taking holidays there due to the risks of COVID-19.

To make sure you can travel, you need to check the FCDO advice and entry requirements for your destination.

Some travel services will be reduced for countries where the FCDO recommended against ‘all but essential travel’ to. This includes travel insurance. If you need to travel against ‘all but essential travel’ advice, read more about our European FCDO Travel Advice Extension.

Generally, tourism to countries where the FCDO advise against ‘all travel’ is not allowed.

What restrictions do I need to follow when travelling?

You need to adhere to the advice from the government, which at the moment just means making sure you pay attention to FCDO advice.

If the UK government says you can travel to your destination, you need to check the entry requirements for where you want to go. There you’ll find out about any testing requirements and if you need to self-isolate when you get there.

You may also find that the rules are different for fully vaccinated travellers. For example, some countries are only accepting fully vaccinated tourists, and there are some that allow fully vaccinated people to travel without self-isolation/quarantine when they arrive.

What do I need to do when I get back to the UK?

The rules for travelling back to the UK depend on the country you’ve been to and where in the UK you arrive. Learn more about the new travel rules that come into force on 4 October 2021.

What tests do I need to take?

The number of tests, and the type of test you’ll need will depend on the entry requirements of your destination, the country you return to and whether you’re fully vaccinated or not. Here, you can find out more about which tests you need to take to travel abroad.

We’ve also teamed up with Randox Health to make it easier for you to get travelling again by reducing the cost of COVID tests for travel.

What if the country I’m in/going to changes lists?

If the country you’re planning on travelling to changes list and you choose not to travel, you won’t be covered to cancel your trip. If your holiday provider offers to move your holiday dates we may be able to change your policy dates, this may be at an additional cost.

If the country you’re currently in changes list and you choose to return home, you won’t be covered for cutting your trip short. If the FCDO advice also changes, your travel insurance may be invalidated.

Any costs you incur due to a change in list, including but not limited to additional testing and hotel quarantine, cannot be claimed on your travel insurance.

My airline cancelled my flights, what do I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the company you booked your flights with to see if they can offer a refund or make changes to your trip.

If you’ve been offered alternative flights, log into My Staysure or use our LiveChat to update your policy with your new travel dates to suit your new holiday plans.

Login to My Staysure

What if my holiday can’t go ahead?

If your trip can’t go ahead due to a travel ban or a change of list, you’ll need to contact your holiday provider. You should be offered either a refund or alternative dates by your provider.

If you decide to travel during a travel ban or against FCDO advice, your travel insurance will be invalidated.

If you need to update your policy because your trip has been affected, then you can find out how we can help you to change your travel plans below.

Can I change the dates I go away?

If your travel company has cancelled your trip because of COVID-19, then it will often be their responsibility to offer you an alternative holiday.

If you rebook a holiday, we can:

  • Change your single trip policy start date as long as it falls within 18 months from the date you bought your policy, or 24 months if you bought your policy from 29 April 2021 and are eligible. (There may be a charge for changes to your policy.)

You can make either of these changes to your policy online using My Staysure to avoid administration charges when calling to make amendments.

If you need to make changes to your Single Trip Travel Insurance policy, please do so before you were originally due to travel.

Login to My Staysure

Can I cancel my trip?

Claiming for cancelling your trip:

It’s important that you contact your travel provider first, before submitting your claim to us. Your travel provider may be able to offer you compensation if your holiday was cancelled because of COVID-19.

You’ll only be covered by your travel insurance to claim for the cancellation of your holiday if:

  • You bought your policy with the optional Travel Disruption Extension before 16 March 2020.

AND

  • There have been no changes to the price of your policy since 16 March 2020.

AND

  • There wasn’t a publicly known outbreak or quarantine in the resort you’re travelling to.

AND

  • The government, FCDO, WHO (World Health Organization) or local authorities haven’t issued any advice before you bought your policy with (or added) the optional Travel Disruption Extension.

AND

  • The FCDO has now, since buying your policy, advised against ‘all travel’ or ‘all but essential travel’ to your destination.

Claim on your cover

Cancelling your travel insurance policy

If you want to cancel your travel insurance policy, you can do so within the cooling off period (14 days from receiving your documents). We can offer you either a full refund as a voucher, for you to use at a later date, or a cash refund.

Any voucher credit will be valid for 36 months, as long as you haven’t travelled and haven’t or aren’t intending to make a claim. The voucher can be used to pay in full or part pay for future policies. More information about cancellations can be found here.

* Subject to medical certification/test result. No cover if symptoms or diagnosis occurred prior to your policy purchase.

** Cover only applies for newly diagnosed cases while travelling.

*** No cover if your relative was already hospitalised before you left on your trip.

Kelly Johnstone

by Kelly Johnstone

Kelly Johnstone is Staysure’s Head of Content. She’s known for a love of tea and shares data-driven and breaking travel news.