Coronavirus guidance

Updated 31/03/2020

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If you're concerned about how your holiday will be affected by the coronavirus, and if your travel insurance will cover you, we've provided information here to help answer any queries you might have.


Please note that this information is full and correct to the best of our knowledge, and we'll provide updates as the situation develops.


The cover your travel insurance policy provides depends on the date your policy was issued. If your policy was issued after 12 March 2020, the section headed Travel insurance issued after 12th March 2020 will confirm your cover. If your policy was issued on or before 12 March, the section headed Travel insurance issued on or before 12th March 2020 will confirm your cover.


Travel insurance issued after 12th March 2020


The World Health Organisation has declared that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached pandemic status.


Our travel insurance policies are designed to protect you against the unexpected, so they can't provide cancellation cover for events that could reasonably be expected to cause a claim.


Because of this, any new policy issued after 12 March 2020 will not cover you to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason related to coronavirus.


We will continue to cover all valid medical claims caused by coronavirus if you're travelling to an area where no regulatory advice against travel is in place.


Newly issued policies will benefit from all other cover, including emergency medical costs and baggage.


Travel insurance issued on or before 12th March 2020


The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) can issue warnings against all or all but essential travel if they decide a country or area becomes unsafe.


If there are no FCO or WHO warnings in place against travel to your intended destination, your insurance will still protect you for the full duration of your travel.


If you need to cancel your trip because of the coronavirus, please check if you have cancellation cover using the information provided below.


If you decide to change your travel arrangements, we may be able to help amend your travel insurance to suit your new plans.



Cancelling your trip


Will I have cover if I cancel my trip to a destination with confirmed cases of the coronavirus?


Having confirmed cases of the coronavirus doesn't always mean that an area is unsafe to visit.


You'll only have cover to cancel your trip if:


  1. You booked your trip and purchased your travel insurance on or before 12 March 2020.
  2. The FCO or WHO hadn't issued any warnings against travel to your intended destination before you booked your trip and purchased your insurance.
  3. The FCO or WHO have since issued a warning against all or all but essential travel to your intended destination.
  4. Cancellation of your trip is both necessary and reasonable. For example if you're due to travel in the near future, so it wouldn't be reasonable to expect the warning against travel to be lifted before your travel.

If all of the above apply, both independent and package holiday travellers should request a full refund from their airline or tour operator.


If you paid for your trip with a credit card, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act can give you legal protection if things go wrong. If this is the case, you can contact your credit card company directly to make a claim.


If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


Will I have cover if I cancel a trip I no longer want to go on because of the coronavirus?


If you don't feel comfortable with your trip, you should discuss the possibility of changing your travel dates or destination with your:


  • tour operator
  • transport and accommodation providers

If there are no warnings in place against travel to your intended destination, your insurance policy will not provide cover for cancellation due to unwillingness to travel.


If you decide to rearrange your trip, we can look into amending your insurance policy by:


  • changing your cover start date as long as there is no change to the length of your trip
  • discuss alternative destination options to any other area it's safe to travel to

If you'd like to discuss making changes to your cover, please contact us by phone on 01903 255 650.


What can I do if my travel company has cancelled my trip because of the coronavirus, and I need to rearrange?


If your travel company cancels your trip because of the coronavirus, they should offer either a full refund or an alternative trip.


You'll need to discuss your options with your:


  • airline
  • tour operator
  • travel and accommodation providers
  • supplementary service providers, such as car hire and transfers

If you paid for your trip with a credit card, including flights, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act gives you legal protection if things go wrong. If this is the case, you can contact your credit card company directly to make a claim.


If you decide to rearrange your trip, we can look into amending your insurance policy by:


  • changing your cover start date as long as there is no change to the length of your trip
  • considering alternative destination options to any other area it's safe to travel to

If you'd like to discuss making changes to your cover, please contact us by phone on 01903 255 650.


Will I have cover if I cancel my trip because an event I was due to attend has been called off?


There is currently no cover for cancellation of a trip due to any event being cancelled.


I've paid a deposit for my travel and have now been asked to pay the remaining balance. Will I have cover if I pay?


Your cover will depend on:


  • the date you purchased your travel insurance policy
  • the date any FCO or WHO warnings against travel were issued against your intended destination

If you're travelling to a destination with confirmed cases of the coronavirus and decide to request a refund, you should first check that you have cancellation cover.


Cutting your trip short


Will I have cover if I cut my trip short due to the coronavirus?


Having confirmed cases of the coronavirus doesn't always mean that an area is unsafe to visit.


You'll only have cover to cut your trip short if:


  1. The area you're currently travelling in is now subject to an FCO or WHO warning against travel that wasn't in place when you departed.
  2. You're due to travel to an area that is now subject to an FCO or WHO warning as part of a multi-destination trip.

If either of the above apply, both independent and package holiday travellers should request a full refund from their airline or tour operator.


If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


This also applies if you 'skip' a destination of your multi-destination trip to avoid visiting an area that has become subject to a regulatory warning, as you wouldn't have cover to visit that area.


Requesting a refund on your trip


I booked my trip independently, including flights and accommodation. How can I get a refund if I can't go on my trip due to the coronavirus?


You should first check that you have cancellation cover, if you're travelling to a destination with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.


If you booked your trip independently and didn't use a tour operator or travel agent, you should request a full refund from your:


  • airline
  • travel and accommodation providers
  • supplementary service providers such as car hire and transfers

If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


I booked my trip through a package holiday service. How can I get a refund if I can't go on my trip due to the coronavirus?


You should first check that you have cancellation cover, if you're travelling to a destination with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.


If you booked your trip through a package holiday service, you should request a full refund from your tour operator or travel agent.


If you paid for parts of your booking outside of your package arrangement, you should also request a full refund from the providers of those services.


If you can't get a full refund for the parts of your booking outside of your package arrangements, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


Please note that the travel advisory, via ABTA, has confirmed they will currently meet trip cancellation costs for the coronavirus.


Cruise trips


What can I do if my planned or current cruise will now miss certain stops due to the coronavirus?


You should contact your cruise or tour operator for advice on your holiday and how they plan on compensating you for the missed stops.


Your insurance will not provide cover for any missed stops on any cruise.


What can I do if the departure location of my cruise has changed due to the coronavirus?


If you still want to go on your trip, you should:


  • find out the costs of alternative transport arrangements to reach your new departure location
  • contact the AXA Travel Insurance claims team to discuss your situation

If you no longer want to go on your trip or can't make alternative arrangements, you should request a full refund from your cruise or tour operator.


If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


Quarantine, lockdown and refusal of entry


Will I have to pay for additional costs if I'm quarantined while on holiday?


If the hotel or cruise ship you're staying in is quarantined because of the coronavirus, or you're stuck in an area locked down by an authority, it's expected that the local government will pay for any additional costs incurred.


The British Government may also arrange to return you home by evacuation.


If you have to pay additional costs and you don't receive compensation from any other source, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


Will my insurance policy be extended if I'm quarantined while on holiday?


If the hotel or cruise ship you're staying in is quarantined because of the coronavirus, or you're stuck in an area locked down by an authority, we'll extend the length of your cover until you've returned home safely.


This applies to both single trip and annual multi trip policies.


Will I have cover for loss of earnings if I'm self-employed and quarantined while travelling?


If you have insurance that specifically covers your business, you should check if you have business interruption cover as part of your annual package.


Our travel insurance policies will not provide cover for loss of earnings abroad.


I've been told I may not be able to enter my intended destination if I travel through specific areas on the way to reach it. What can I do?


You should establish the options available to make changes to your journey that will not impact entry to your intended destination by contacting your:


  • tour operator or travel agent
  • transport and accommodation providers

Will I have cover if I cancel my trip because I've been told to self-isolate over the date I'm due to travel?


You should first discuss the possibility of changing your travel dates with your:


  • tour operator
  • transport and accommodation providers

If they can't offer you alternative arrangements, both independent and package holiday travellers should request a full refund from them.


If you can't get a full refund and your GP can confirm the dates you've been advised to self-isolate, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


What happens if the UK is locked down and I can't travel to my departure location, or I've booked a UK trip?


In the event of a UK lockdown, you should first discuss the possibility of changing your travel arrangements with your:


  • tour operator
  • transport and accommodation providers

If they can't offer you alternative arrangements, both independent and package holiday travellers should request a full refund from them.


If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


What happens if I can't get into or out of my independently booked accommodation, such as Airbnb, because it's been quarantined?


If you book your accommodation independently and have to make alternative arrangements due to quarantine, you should first contact your original accommodation provider.


The Airbnb Help Centre has coronavirus advice specific to Airbnb accommodation for both guests and hosts.


If your accommodation provider can't help, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


If I arrive in a country where no FCO warning against travel is in place and I'm refused entry, what can I do?


You may be refused entry as a result of the coronavirus due to recent travel you've undertaken.


If you've travelled to other countries within 14 days of your intended departure from the UK, we recommend you carry out as much research as possible before you travel to another destination.


If refused entry, both independent and package holiday travellers should request a full refund from their airline or tour operator.


If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


Please note that there would be no cover for your flights if they have been used.


If the country I'm due to travel to bans all UK citizens from entry before I depart, what can I do?


Both independent and package holiday travellers should request a full refund from their airline or tour operator.


If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


If the country I'm due to travel to changes their visa application process due to coronavirus, what can I do if:


Their new application process won't give me a response before my planned UK departure date?


OR


I had the correct visa, had to apply for the new visa introduced as a result of the coronavirus, and the new application was declined?


Both independent and package holiday travellers should request a full refund from their airline or tour operator.


If you can't get a full refund, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.


Please note that you will be asked to provide evidence to support your claim.


Medical conditions


Will I have cover if I need medical assistance in an area that has had a regulatory warning against travel issued against it?


You'll have medical assistance cover if:


  1. The area you're travelling in wasn't subject to a regulatory warning against travel before you travelled to it.
  2. The area has since become subject to a regulatory warning against all or all but essential travel.

If both of the above apply, you can contact the AXA Emergency Assistance team on 0203 126 4042.


This number is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Will I have cancellation cover if my doctor advises against going on my trip because the coronavirus poses risks to my pre-existing medical conditions?


If your doctor or GP recommends not going on your booked trip, you'll have cancellation cover if:


  1. You purchased your travel insurance and booked your holiday before the outbreak was a known event at your intended destination.
  2. There is a specific risk either directly or indirectly related to your pre-existing medical conditions.
  3. You declared your conditions honestly, accurately and completely during our insurance booking process.

If all of the above apply, you can submit an AXA claims notification and the AXA Travel Insurance claims team will be in touch when they've registered your claim.