As concerns grow over coronavirus (covid-19), putting businesses on hold and even convincing travellers to cancel their trips altogether, consumers are turning to their travel insurance to make sense of the options they have.

New information released by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, shows that travellers are clarifying with their travel insurance companies to see whether they will be covered if they have to cancel their trip.

The survey found that Spain, the US, France, Greece and Italy are the most popular destinations among consumers purchasing travel insurance from inside the UK.

With 86 per cent of policyholders being holidaymakers, it’s important to know that travel insurance covers destinations where government agencies have warned against travel.

Coronavirus: Cathedral - Milan - Italy
The FCO has issued advise against travelling to Milan

 

In accordance with advice given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), it is not advised to travel to China, Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea. Several towns in Italy’s Lombardy region and Veneto.

However, this coverage is only valid if the insurance is purchased before a region or country is added onto the list, meaning those booking holidays to affected regions after being advised not to travel will not be covered.

Countries and areas where the FCO has not advised against travel will not be covered, however, there may be changes to policies if the government declared coronavirus and an epidemic or pandemic.

“Consumers are more likely to buy single-trip policies ahead of their trip, with 41.5 per cent of respondents indicating this was the type of cover they bought in 2019,” said Beatriz Benito, senior insurance analyst at GlobalData.

“A holiday is the most common reason for travel, as cited by 86 per cent of policyholders, while just 1.1 per cent of respondents indicated that they were travelling for business purposes.

With coronavirus hitting all of the popular destinations, fears of contracting the virus mounting, and many finding that their travel is non-essential, consumers are turning to insurers to clarify their options.”

The report also revealed that travel insurance comparison sites in the US have reported an increase in sales of pricer ‘cancel-for-any-reason’ travel policies.