Fewer than one in 100 travel insurance policies offer complete cover for Covid-19 disruption
Fewer than one in 100 travel insurance policies provide ‘Complete’ cover for Covid disruption, a Which? analysis of more than 250 policies revealed on Tuesday.
The consumer group found that some travel insurers boast of offering impressive-sounding ‘Covid cover’ when in reality Which? found many policies exclude possible and expensive scenarios such as new lockdowns in the UK or the country of choice.
Which? looked at 263 travel insurance policies’ Covid cover and gave them ratings ranging from ‘Basic’, to ‘Low’, ‘Superior’ and ‘Complete’.
Just two policies, HSBC Select and Cover and Barclays Travel Pack, were rated as ‘Complete’, which meant that they protected travellers against disruptions such as cancellations, testing positive, medical costs and repatriation.
A further 85 policies were ranked ‘Superior’, providing cancellation cover for travellers having to self-isolate without a positive test, but not for FCDO advice changing.
Just over half of the policies (142) were ranked ‘Low’, including policies from Nationwide, Admiral and the Post Office.
There were 34 policies ranked ‘Basic’, the lowest ranking. ‘Basic’ policies provide travellers with cover for Covid-related emergency medical costs and repatriation, but not for cancelling a trip if a traveller contracts Covid. Among well known providers offering some ‘Basic’ policies were Direct Travel, esure and Sheilas’ Wheels.
In May, Which? research revealed that many travellers were being left with a false impression about the level of protection they would benefit from if the pandemic was to impact their plans.
Which? called on government to work with regulators, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to make every effort to ensure all travellers adequately understand their travel insurance cover and can access cover that protects them fully from changes to travel.
Gareth Shaw, Head of Which? Money, said: “As the removal of Portugal from the green list shows, last-minute disruption to holiday plans can happen – and our research shows that many travel insurers don’t offer much protection if it does.
“The government should work with regulators to ensure that travellers, should they choose to go abroad, are given clear information about what they will and won’t be covered for – and make sure that providers don’t make bold and confusing claims about their cover without being clear about the limitations. ”