Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

Originally posted: 11th Jan 2022

What is COVID-19 travel insurance?

Every single policy we show you will cover you for emergency medical expenses should you, or your travelling companions, catch COVID-19 whilst you are abroad. This means that if you require treatment, you’ll be able to get help with the medical costs or even be brought home for treatment if required.

We’ve also been working hard to make sure you have access to the best cover possible and some of the travel insurance providers on our site are now able to offer you COVID Related Cover. This will give you even more protection against COVID-19 for your holiday.

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What does COVID-19 insurance include?

What’s included with COVID Related Cover will vary depending on who your travel insurance provider is. But, don’t worry, we’ll clearly show you the COVID cover details document, so you can see exactly what you are protected against. Here’s just some of the potential scenarios for which cover may be available for you, and your travelling companions.

Before your holiday

  • You catch COVID-19 before you travel and need to cancel your trip 
  • You are required to quarantine or self-isolate at the time of your trip departure and need to cancel your trip
  • A family member you were due to stay with has to self-isolate and you have nowhere else to stay
  • You have been made redundant and cannot afford to travel anymore
  • Your travel provider goes into administration due to COVID-19
  • You are denied boarding by your airline due to COVID-19 symptoms

During your holiday

  • You are asked to return home early from your trip by the local authorities due to COVID-19
  • Additional accommodation costs if you need to self-isolate and extend your trip
  • A family member becomes ill with COVID-19 or passes away and you need to return home early
  • You have COVID-19 symptoms and need to cancel pre-booked excursions
  • You test positive for COVID-19 and need to return home early to self-isolate (for example if you are holidaying in the UK)
  • You are denied boarding by your airline when coming back to the UK due to COVID-19 symptoms

It’s really important that you do check your policy terms thoroughly. If you’re still unsure, then speak with your chosen travel insurance provider directly who can give you guidance on what they can and cannot cover you for.

In most circumstances, you may be asked for medical certification, or confirmed test results, if your claim is in relation to COVID-19.

And, don’t forget, your policy will include emergency medical cover for COVID-19 even if you don’t choose a policy with additional COVID Related Cover.

Medical Travel Compared Travelling During COVID-19

What doesn’t COVID-19 insurance include?

This will vary, policy by policy, and unless otherwise stated, providers won’t be able to cover you for anything related to COVID-19, other than emergency medical expenses cover whilst you are away. 

It is unlikely that any travel insurance provider will be able to cover you if you can’t travel due to government restrictions (including regional or national lockdowns), advice from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, or a country closing their borders, if this is due to COVID-19.

Most providers will also restrict cover if you decide not to go on holiday. This includes if you are worried about catching the virus whilst you are on your trip, the facilities at your hotel being restricted, or if you are expected to quarantine either when you get to your destination, or when you come back to the UK.

How can I get COVID-19 insurance?

It’s really easy to find a policy with COVID-19 Cover. Just tell us about your trip details, add any medical conditions for you, or your travelling companions, and we’ll show you all the quotes that are available. We will clearly show you a link to that providers specific cover details document so you can see what COVID Related Cover is available.

If you are ready - then start comparing quotes now!

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Medical Travel Compared Airplane Ready To Board

Does COVID-19 insurance cost extra?

If a provider is able to offer additional COVID Related Cover, this will be included within the price shown. There are no additional charges, meaning the price you see is the price you pay.

And don't forget that your policy will continue to provide all other cover for non-COVID-19 incidents.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, MBE

Staying safe from COVID-19

Dr Sarah Jarvis is the Clinical Director of the Patient Platform, an active medical writer, broadcaster, and the resident doctor for BBC Radio 2.

  1. Wash your hands – it’s tip number one for a reason! Coronavirus is likely to be transmitted mostly by droplets. That means if someone sneezes or coughs straight into your face, you can breathe in the germs. But it’s likely that more people are catching it by picking up viruses on their hands and touching their mouth or nose. Really regular handwashing may help reduce the spread of the virus by over 50% - but you need to wash every bit of your hands with soap and water, taking about 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice).

  2. Don’t forget the door. You may have washed your hands when you visit the loo, but sadly not everyone else has. When you finish washing your hands, use your elbow or a paper towel to turn the tap off and keep the paper towel to open the door, then dispose of it in a bin.

  3. Use the right hand sanitiser. In the absence of a sink, the right hand sanitiser is a good second choice. Antibacterial gels and liquids are excellent at killing bacteria, but not always as good at killing viruses. Pick a variety that contains a high proportion of alcohol – ideally at least 60%.

  4. Face masks help control the spread of the virus and are especially useful when in an enclosed environment where social distancing may not always be possible. Remember, face masks don't replace social distancing.

  5. Get the right insurance. If you have a medical condition you don’t declare, it could invalidate your insurance. That means that if you’re taken ill with coronavirus while you’re away, you could be left with an eye-watering bill and serious problems getting home.

What else do I need to know?

There’s a lot of things to consider, and Dr Sarah Jarvis has created some useful guides to give you all the information you need to travel safely.

You can also check out our guide below which has all the very latest information on the impact of COVID-19 on travel and insurance.

Find out more

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Yes, if your policy has Enhanced COVID-19 Cover this will include cancellation protection. The cover will vary by provider and we’ll clearly show you what is covered when you get a quote. Compare COVID-19 cover in minutes with us today.

All of our quotes will include cover if you fall ill with COVID-19 whilst abroad and need emergency treatment, and, if Enhanced COVID-19 Cover is available, this will be included within your quote too. You won’t have to pay any additional extra.

We’ll only show you quotes from providers who are able to cover emergency medical expenses (including repatriation to the UK) if you catch the virus whilst travelling abroad.

Some of our providers are able to offer additional cover, such as cancellation cover should you catch COVID-19 or have to self-isolate because of suspected symptoms before departure. We’ll make it clear who these providers are when you’re comparing quotes so you can choose the policy that is right for you.

This doesn’t apply to all insurance providers, so unless otherwise stated, for all other sections of cover, you wouldn’t be covered if making a claim as a result of COVID-19.

For more information, we recommend reading our full guide here.

If the FCDO are advising against all or all but essential travel to your destination at the time of your trip, there will be no, or extremely limited cover provided by your policy.

You can still choose to take out a policy now for a future holiday, but it is very important to note that if the FCDO are still advising against all but essential travel to your destination at the time of your trip, your cover will not be valid.

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If we're unable to help you find cover for a pre-existing medical condition, the Money Helper Directory has listings of companies that may be able to assist you. Further details can be found on their website.

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