Coronavirus has hit the headlines and is disrupting travel around the world. If you’re planning a trip and have BMC Travel Insurance, what should you know about Coronavirus?
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS BEING UPDATED AS AND WHEN MORE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE. Last updated 18/03/2020 16:00
Important information for policyholders if you have purchased BMC Travel Insurance after 6pm on 11 March 2020:
All BMC Travel Insurance policies purchased after 6pm on 11 March 2020 do not cover any claim in any way caused by or resulting from:
a) Coronavirus disease (COVID-19);
b) Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2);
c) any mutation or variation of SARS-CoV-2;
d) any fear or threat of a), b) or c) above.
Policies purchased before 6pm on 11 March 2020 are unaffected.
Information for policyholders if you have purchased BMC Travel Insurance before 6pm on 11 March 2020:
Are there added restrictions to the insurance cover?
There are no added restrictions in the cover of existing policies in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak. However, in the event of a serious outbreak of coronavirus the ability of the insurers to react could be very limited because the government of an affected country would probably take over control and treatment with measures similar to those in place currently in China. In this event, it might be that the Emergency Medical Helpline are only able to offer limited assistance, but should still be called as they may still be able to assist in management of the case and be able to assist with any other underlying medical conditions that may present following contracting Covid 19.
Journey Disruption including Airspace Closure
In Section 8 of the BMC policy there is cover for irrecoverable costs (£2,500 max) in the event that the FCO / WHO advises against travel to, and evacuation from the intended destination.
If you have to remain in a ‘locked down’ region, country or cruise ship, cover will be automatically extended until it is possible for you to return to the UK (for up to 60 days of extension).
Normal policy terms (including Section 8 see above)
What’s not covered?
Deciding not to go (in the absence of FCO / WHO advice against travel)
Travel to a region / country where the FCO / advise against all travel.
Cancellation due to circumstances already known
Questions and answers
Q: I’d rather not go on my trip because of coronavirus, can I make a claim? Or can I get a refund of the premium?
A: In the absence of FCO / WHO advice against travel, unfortunately you wouldn’t be able to make a claim because you no longer wish to travel.
Q: I’d rather not go on my trip because of coronavirus, can I get a refund of the premium?
A: If you bought your policy less than 14 days ago, we can cancel your policy and refund the premium in full. If you bought your policy more than 14 days ago, you are not entitled to a refund but special circumstances could be considered.
Q: What if my trip gets cancelled, or cut short because of advice from the FCO / WHO?
A: If the FCO / WHO issues advice which means you can’t go on your trip, or complete your trip, you may be able to make a claim under Section 8. Journey Disruption including Airspace Closure. The limit is £2,500 and is subject to £95 excess.
However, we recommend you contact your travel agent, travel provider or airline (EU Regulation EC 261/2004 covers most regulations for air travel) regarding the best option in altering your trip. Some travel providers may provide penalty free options to amend travel arrangements and we recommend you contact them for further details. You must take all reasonable steps to mitigate your out of pocket expenses.
Q: Is there cover if I get quarantined / locked down overseas.
A: If you are kept in quarantine / lock down by an overseas government or health authority, you should not be expected to pay anything, so there would be no claim. If you are kept beyond the end of your trip, your policy will automatically be extended until you are able to return home (for up to 60 days).
Q: If I already have an Annual Multi-trip policy are my future trips covered?
If you bought an Annual Multi-trip policy before 6pm on 11th March 2020 and you booked a trip before the 6pm on 11th March 2020, then depending upon other circumstances of the policy you may be able to make a claim under Section 8 - Journey Disruption.
If you have an Annual Multi-Trip policy and look to book a trip on or after 11th March for future travel, exclusion 11. under Section 8 of the policy wording will likely apply as the coronavirus outbreak is now classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and can therefore be expected to cause significant disruption to travel plans. Such a trip booking would also fall after the BMC issued their advisory further reinforcing the coronavirus outbreak as known circumstance.
If you're still unsure about your own BMC travel insurance coverage please email our team at: email@example.com
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We hope you stay safe during this unwanted adventure and let's come together as a community to help and support each other.