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How does coronavirus (COVID-19) affect my Gold account travel insurance?

The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to have a significant impact on travel, especially for trips to a foreign country. The UK government’s stay at home guidance has now been lifted enabling travel to some destinations and similar restrictions are being lifted in some other countries as well, however there are still a number of considerations to take into account if you are planning to travel.

If you do book a trip, it is important to make sure that you keep up to date with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice or the advice of the equivalent government authority in your country of residence for any destination you are planning to travel to or through as part of your journey. You are strongly advised to book through a provider that entitles you to protection through an industry scheme, such as ATOL or ABTA in the UK, and where possible, use a credit card for additional protection. You should also make sure that you fully understand what your travel insurance policy will cover you for and what evidence you might need to provide in the event of a claim. The questions and answers below should help, but please get in contact if you are unclear.

Please note: This page was last updated on 10th June 2021 and to the best of our knowledge is correct at the time of writing. The general advice below does not replace the terms and conditions of your Gold account travel insurance policy which you should read for further information.

For assistance and claims, please contact:

Membership services: 023 9267 6061
From abroad: +44 (0) 23 9267 6061
Email: iombank.insurance@allianz-assistance.co.uk

Useful websites:

Frequently asked questions

Are there any specific policy exclusions for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

There are no exclusions specific to coronavirus (COVID-19). However, the policy does exclude cover for an `Anticipated event`, which is defined as being `any event or occurrence which the Beneficiary knew would occur or could reasonably have expected to occur during their Trip and which they were aware of at the time of booking the Trip`. This includes COVID-19 and so there is only cover for claims related to this where an exception has been granted. The exceptions to the exclusion and therefore circumstances in which you would be covered (all in relation to an epidemic or pandemic disease) are*:

Cancellation and Curtailment

  • Illness or death of a beneficiary, their travelling companion or a relative of either.
  • Quarantine of a beneficiary or their travelling companion on a person basis.
  • Denied boarding of a beneficiary or their travelling companion due to displaying symptoms.

Medical

  • Medical expenses and associated costs if a beneficiary contracts an epidemic or pandemic disease.
  • Additional accommodation costs if a beneficiary has to quarantine on the personal request of a treating doctor.
  • The cost of unused excursions, ski pack or green fees.
  • Hospital benefit per 24 hours of hospital admission.

Please refer to your policy document for further details, or, if you are unsure, please contact us directly to discuss your policy.

* Please note that your claim will only be considered if you have not travelled against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the equivalent government authority in your country of residence.

Is there cover for travel against government advice?

No - travel to areas where, at time of booking the Journey or thereafter but before You travel, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the equivalent government authority in your country of residence has advised against all or all but essential travel to is not covered. The only exception is where essential travel is permitted and you are travelling for an essential reason that you are able to provide evidence of.

You should keep apprised of the advice generally and for your specific destination - especially in the current circumstances where the travel advice is frequently changing. Should your journey begin before any announcement from the FCDO (or equivalent), but then travel restrictions are put in place during travel, you would remain covered by your policy. If you require further clarification, please contact the Allianz Assistance customer service team.

Will I be covered if I travel now?

Yes, cover will apply as per the terms and conditions outlined in your policy document if you travel abroad in line with the travel advice issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or equivalent government authority in your country of residence. If they are advising against travel to your destination, you will not be covered if you travel against the advice. You should read your policy documents carefully to ensure that your cover level meets your requirements and ensure that you keep updated with the latest advice both prior to booking and departure. If the advice for your destination changes before your departure date, you should contact the airline/travel provider to arrange reimbursement or an alternative date/destination of travel.

I have booked a trip abroad but have not received my vaccination yet. Can I still travel?

There are some countries that will not allow travellers to enter unless they can prove that they’ve received a vaccine for COVID-19. Prior to booking a trip, you should check the entry requirements for your destination and prepare any documents of proof in advance of your departure date. If you are denied entry into your country of destination because you have failed to meet the entry requirements, you will not be covered by your travel insurance policy for any financial losses or unexpected additional costs incurred.

Can I claim on my travel insurance if I have to cancel my trip because my destination has banned travellers from my country of residence from entry?

You would need to contact the airline and/or travel provider to discuss your options for amending or cancelling your trip. Your travel insurance policy would not provide cover for cancellation if you are unable to travel to your destination due to a ban on residents from certain countries at your destination.

If I need to travel abroad for essential travel for business or education to a destination that the FCDO or the equivalent government authority is advising against all but essential travel to, how do I know if I will be covered for this trip under the travel protection policy?

In the event of a claim, you would have to be able to prove your reason for travel was legally permitted but also that it was necessary, urgent and could not have been postponed. If you are unsure whether your proof is acceptable, please contact the Allianz Assistance customer service team to confirm, before you depart for your trip.

If I am abroad and the area I travelled to is going into lockdown, what should I do?

If the country or local area that you are in goes into lockdown you should contact your airline/travel provider as soon as possible to discuss your options for amending your return travel. If you are unable to arrange travel to return home, please contact the local embassy or consulate for advice.

What happens if I contract coronavirus (COVID-19) whilst I’m away?

There are certain exceptions to the `Anticipated event` exclusion from cover, including medical expenses and associated costs if you contract an epidemic or pandemic disease, such as coronavirus. Please note that your claim will only be considered if you have not travelled against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the equivalent government authority in your country of residence. Should you contract coronavirus during travel, please follow any advice given by the local authorities and contact your travel provider to notify them as soon as possible. It is important that you contact our 24-hour medical emergency helpline for advice and assistance if you are admitted to hospital or are unable to travel home as planned.

What happens if I am denied boarding due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

There are certain exceptions to the `Anticipated event` exclusion from cover, including cancellation, curtailment or trip extension if you or your travelling companion are denied boarding due to displaying symptoms and/or diagnosis of an epidemic or pandemic disease (including coronavirus). You will be covered for any unused and unrecoverable trip costs or for additional unexpected accommodation costs. When making a claim, you will be required to provide written confirmation of the denied boarding order from your airline/travel provider. Please note that your claim will only be considered if you have not travelled against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the equivalent government authority in your country of residence.

Please note that cover would not apply if you are refused boarding upon re-entry into the UK or your country of residence because you did not take a COVID-19 test prior to departure. This is because failure to comply with entry requirements for any country is excluded from cover. If you are unable to obtain your test result in time for your planned return travel, you should contact the travel provider to make alternative arrangements for returning home.

What happens if I am subject to compulsory quarantine whilst abroad due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you fall ill with an epidemic or pandemic disease (including coronavirus) or are requested to quarantine as a result of your exposure to the disease, you will be covered for medical costs incurred if you are outside your home country when falling ill. You will also be covered for cutting your trip short, repatriation and/or extending your trip if you are not well enough or able to travel home as planned.

Your travel insurance policy will also cover the cost for one member of your travel party to stay abroad with you, where medically necessary, until you are fit enough to return home. It is important that you contact our 24-hour medical emergency helpline for advice and assistance if you are admitted to hospital or are unable to travel home as planned.

Please note that your claim will only be considered if you have not travelled against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the equivalent government authority in your country of residence.

I am abroad at the moment, should I self-isolate when I return?

Please follow government guidance on self-isolating when returning to your country of residence from a trip abroad.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Cancellation cover will apply if your trip is cancelled because you or your travel companion either have symptoms or are diagnosed with an epidemic or pandemic disease (including coronavirus). There is also cover if you or your travelling companion are required to quarantine (self-isolate) as a result of your individual circumstances, such as being requested to by the NHS 111 or equivalent service or a government test and trace scheme.

What happens if I need to cancel/curtail my trip to take care of or be with a loved one?

Your travel insurance policy would cover you for unexpected additional or unused costs if you have to cancel your trip or return home early due to a close relative (such as a parent, child, sibling or grandparent) of you or your travel companion falling seriously ill with an epidemic or pandemic disease (including coronavirus). Please be advised that you will need to provide a Doctor’s certificate to support your claim.

Will I be covered to curtail my trip if I am unable to stay at my pre-booked accommodation due to a local/national lockdown at my destination and/or I am advised to return home by the government authority in my country of residence due to COVID-19?

No - you would need to seek reimbursement or a refund from the accommodation provider. If unsuccessful, you may be able to reclaim certain losses from other sources, especially if it is a package booking and the travel provider is ATOL or ABTA protected. Costs over £100 that are not recoverable from your travel or accommodation provider may be recoverable from your credit card company if your credit card was used to make the purchase. You may also have buyer protection if payments were made through PayPal.

Can I claim on my travel insurance if my trip has been cancelled by the airline/travel provider, but is only offering to reschedule or provide a voucher, rather than a refund?

If your airline/travel provider has provided a voucher for future use or another alternative form of refund, you will not be able to claim on your travel insurance policy as it only provides cover for losses that are not recoverable from any other source. If you are unhappy with the reimbursement being offered, you should refer to the airline/travel provider’s Conditions of Carriage for details of your contractual rights in regard to receiving a refund in the event of cancellation. If this states they will provide a monetary refund, you will need to take this up with the airline/travel provider directly, or with the appropriate industry regulator if you believe that the contractual obligations are not being fulfilled.

If the airline/travel provider has agreed to provide a monetary refund but is unable to do so immediately, you will need to direct any complaint regarding the delay to the airline/travel provider. A guarantee of refund means that the trip expense is recoverable and so cannot be claimed for. However, if the airline/travel provider is not contractually obliged to reimburse you following cancellation and you cannot recover the losses from any other source, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. Please be advised that all claims are considered on a case by case basis.

If I have been offered a rescheduled flight or voucher but have concerns that the airline/travel provider could go bankrupt or will be unable to redeem my voucher, can I claim for cash reimbursement on my travel insurance?

If your airline/travel provider has provided a voucher for future use or another alternative form of refund, you will not be able to claim on your travel insurance policy as it only provides cover for losses that are not recoverable from any other source. Please refer to the airline/travel provider’s Conditions of Carriage for details of your contractual rights in regard to receiving a refund in the event of cancellation. If this states they will provide a monetary refund, you will need to take this up with the airline/travel provider directly, or with the appropriate industry regulator if you believe that the contractual obligations are not being fulfilled. In the event the airline/travel provider goes into administration before you are able to redeem your voucher, you will need to contact the company Administrators to establish whether your voucher is still valid and, if not, to request your monetary refund. You may become a creditor of the airline at that stage, but the Administrators will be able to provide advice on whether or not a monetary refund can be provided. If it cannot and you are unable to recover this trip expense from any other source, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. Please be advised that all claims are considered on a case by case basis.

If I do accept a voucher and make a new booking for a future date, will I be covered for coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues under any usual policy cancellation reason or for medical expenses once on the trip?

Yes - there are certain exceptions to the `Anticipated event` exclusion from cover, including medical expenses and associated costs if you contract an epidemic or pandemic disease, such as coronavirus. The exceptions to the exclusion and therefore circumstances in which you would be covered (all in relation to an epidemic or pandemic disease) are*:

Cancellation and Curtailment

  • Illness or death of a beneficiary, their travelling companion or a relative of either.
  • Quarantine of a beneficiary or their travelling companion on a person basis.
  • Denied boarding of a beneficiary or their travelling companion due to displaying symptoms.

Medical

  • Medical expenses and associated costs if a beneficiary contracts an epidemic or pandemic disease.
  • Additional accommodation costs if a beneficiary has to quarantine on the personal request of a treating doctor.
  • The cost of unused excursions, ski pack or green fees.
  • Hospital benefit per 24 hours of hospital admission.

*Please note that your claim will only be considered if you have not travelled against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the equivalent government authority in your country of residence.

If I open/upgrade to a Gold account will I be able to claim on my travel insurance if I can’t or don’t want to travel in the future due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You will not be covered for claims arising if you do not wish to travel (disinclination to travel). However, as long as coronavirus is still considered to be an epidemic or pandemic disease, you would be covered for the following circumstances as exceptions to the `Anticipated event` exclusion*:

Cancellation and Curtailment

  • Illness or death of a beneficiary, their travelling companion or a relative of either.
  • Quarantine of a beneficiary or their travelling companion on a person basis.
  • Denied boarding of a beneficiary or their travelling companion due to displaying symptoms.

Medical

  • Medical expenses and associated costs if a beneficiary contracts an epidemic or pandemic disease.
  • Additional accommodation costs if a beneficiary has to quarantine on the personal request of a treating doctor.
  • The cost of unused excursions, ski pack or green fees.
  • Hospital benefit per 24 hours of hospital admission.

* Please note that your claim will only be considered if you have not travelled against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the equivalent government authority in your country of residence.

Do I have to renew my annual medical endorsement even though I am unable to travel due to restrictions and/or government advice against travel abroad?

No - if your annual medical endorsement reaches its expiry date, it will be possible for you to wait until the current travel restrictions have eased and purchase a new one when you are going to be booking to travel again. Please be advised, however, that if you do not renew your medical endorsement before booking a trip or undertaking any travel (whichever is earlier), you will not be covered for any claims related to your pre-existing medical condition(s).