Published on : Thursday, April 2, 2020
Which? the consumer organisation found out from 75 insurance providers if and how they were changing their provisions of travel insurance after the global outbreak.
It was found that the sale of travel insurance to new customers was temporarily suspended, 31 insurers including companies like Aviva, LV and Direct Line have done the same.
Axa, Saga and Staysure, have changed aspects of their policies making them more restrictive.
For the existing customers who booked their trips and purchased their insurance before the outbreak, or before insurers amended their terms to exclude claims related to coronavirus, should still be able to claim for any non-refundable costs of cancelled holidays or travel plans as a result of the virus.
Those people looking to buy new cover for future holidays, there is now a shrinking pool of providers offering cover for travel.
Some insurers are potentially treating customers who have been affected by coronavirus disruption unfairly, using little known exclusions to reject claims.
They are not covering claims where the holiday has been cancelled because of a change in advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
It is suggested to check policy details and exclusions prior to buying, or book new trips with an existing annual multi-trip policy where possible.
Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which?, said that Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the travel insurance market, with dozens of providers amending policies or pulling them altogether.
There is a confusion and uncertainty for consumers, who may feel they simply cannot make plans for future trips in the circumstances.
He went on saying that government, insurers and the travel industry must work together to tackle the huge challenge posed by coronavirus, to ensure people feel confident enough to travel in the knowledge that they will be covered.