How does Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect your BMC Travel Insurance policy?

Posted by Emma Travers on 17/03/2020

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.

Locked down
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).

What’s covered?
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

Check out: The latest FCO travel advice

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.

READ: How will Brexit affect travel insurance?

 If you're still unsure about your own BMC travel insurance coverage please email our team at: insure@thebmc.co.uk

 


More FAQs about the BMC and Covid-19

🌳 Should I still be climbing / hillwalking? No, it's time to put them on hold. Read More

📜 Will the BMC keep running smoothly? Read More

✈️ I've got a travel insurance question Read More

🏡 Do you have any advice for clubs and huts? All you need to know

⛰️ Which BMC events are cancelled? Read More

🛒 Is the BMC shop open? Nope - it is now closed

 

We hope you stay safe during this unwanted adventure and let's come together as a community to help and support each other.


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Anonymous User
28/02/2020
Can I ask if you buy your insurance now (28/02) would you still be covered if you do not travel because FCO/WHO advice is not to?
Emma Travers(author comment)
28/02/2020
So if the FCO / WHO advice issued advises against travel meaning you cannot go on your trip, or complete it, you may be able to make a claim under Section 8. Journey Disruption including Airspace Closure.
Anonymous User
03/03/2020
Can you just confirm that if the FCO advise "against travel" to a certain country then the standard Alpine & Rock policy covers this. The wording in the policy states that you are covered where the FCO "prohibit" travel. Are prohibiting travel and advising against travel the same thing?
Anonymous User
03/03/2020
Thanks, but my question is more about the wording in your policy. If the FCO "advise against travel" does this necessarily mean they are prohibiting a person from travelling (is it a total ban on travel) - because the wording in the Policy (Section 8, Clause 5a) doesn't actually use the words "where the FCO advise against" instead it uses the word "prohibit" which could be argued as 2 different things. Can you clarify. Thanks
Anonymous User
03/03/2020
Re:-
"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. "

Having missed the scheduled return flight there is likely to be at least the additional cost of a later return journey.
Emma Travers(author comment)
03/03/2020
RE: "Prohibit" vs "Against travel" wording from the FCO, the best place for clarification would be from our insurance team who you can call on 0161 438 3319 and they'll be in the best position to explain further.
Anonymous User
06/03/2020
If I were to be abroad in an area which the FCO had not advised against travel to and was to develop symptoms meaning that I had to self isolate for two weeks, I would need to get accomodation somewhere that I could do this. Would the cost of this be covered by BMC insurance?
Emma Travers(author comment)
06/03/2020
RE: If I were to be abroad in an area which the FCO had not advised against travel to and was to develop symptoms meaning that I had to self isolate for two weeks, I would need to get accommodation somewhere that I could do this. Would the cost of this be covered by BMC insurance?
---
ANSWER:
If you're still unsure about your own BMC travel insurance coverage for your next trip, it's best to contact our team on 0161 438 3319 or email jim@thebmc.co.uk
Anonymous User
10/03/2020
I had booked a flight direct with Flybe, now no longer trading. I have an annual Rock policy. The policy does not specifically cover airline going into administration, but does not explicitly exclude this either. Can you advise whether this is covered.
Emma Travers(author comment)
10/03/2020
Q:I had booked a flight direct with Flybe, now no longer trading. I have an annual Rock policy. The policy does not specifically cover airline going into administration, but does not explicitly exclude this either. Can you advise whether this is covered.
----
A: We have an article where we address what to do when your flights are cancelled:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/how-to-cancelled-delayed-flights-compensation-bmc-insurance

However if you're still unsure of the answer after reading it, my best advice is to phone our insurance team as they will be able to respond with the latest advice and they will know how the Flybe situation is being handled currently. Their number is 0161 438 3319
Anonymous User
12/03/2020
What is the situation if you have an annual policy purchased in early January?

Will existing bookings (made prior to March 11th) be covered if the FCO later says that area/country should not be visited? e.g. say I've a trip booked to the alps in the summer?

Also what is the situation for new bookings made after 6pm on 11th March if the traveler has an annual policy that was taken out in early January?

E.g. if I book a trip for November now will I have any cover for this as my policy was purchased at the start of January or are all trip bookings made after March 11th impacted too?

Many thanks
Emma Travers(author comment)
12/03/2020
Q: What is the situation if you have an annual policy purchased in early January?

Will existing bookings (made prior to March 11th) be covered if the FCO later says that area/country should not be visited? e.g. say I've a trip booked to the alps in the summer?

Also what is the situation for new bookings made after 6pm on 11th March if the traveller has an annual policy that was taken out in early January?

E.g. if I book a trip for November now will I have any cover for this as my policy was purchased at the start of January or are all trip bookings made after March 11th impacted too?
------
A: Our insurance team will shortly be updating this article with information regarding already purchased annual insurances and what that means for your trips, pre-booked or not. In the meantime, for a fast response please email insure@thebmc.co.uk
Anonymous User
13/03/2020
Can you confirm the situation if you have a skiing trip booked and the ski areas have now been closed early due to the corona virus.
Emma Travers(author comment)
13/03/2020
Q: Can you confirm the situation if you have a skiing trip booked and the ski areas have now been closed early due to the corona virus.
-----
A: For an answer from the our expert team, it's best to call 0161 438 3319 or email insure@thebmc.co.uk regarding your own travel circumstances
Anonymous User
16/03/2020
The country I'm insured to visit on holiday(Australia) is now forcing 14 days of self-isolation - the duration of my trip! Can I claim?
My policy was bought before 11th March.
Anonymous User
16/03/2020
What is the insurance status for European travel on holiday? I am due to fly to Sweden on Friday? The flight is still on, and nobody has banned travel. However Boris has just advised everyone avoids "non-essential" travel.

Anonymous User
18/03/2020
What about UK government guidance to "self isolate" if you have a cough

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