Insurance and coronavirus (Covid-19): information for consumers

We are working closely with firms to understand the potential impact on consumers caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. We continue to make clear that firms must treat customers fairly and consider the needs of anyone potentially affected by the pandemic. Read here for more how coronavirus could impact your insurance.

Travel insurance

Holidays booked before 1 March 2020

In most cases, if you booked your travel or holiday before 1 March 2020, and had travel insurance in place at that time, travel insurance providers will cover claims for cancellation or curtailment, depending on their policy terms and conditions. You should speak to your insurer in the first instance.

Booking a holiday

Anyone planning to travel should check Government advice.  You will need to speak to insurance providers and discuss the cover that will best suit your needs. There may be instances where cover is not available.

My holiday has been cancelled

If your holiday is cancelled, and your provider is ABTA or ATOL protected, you should speak to your holiday provider directly about a refund or re-booking for another date.

If your holiday provider doesn’t offer a refund or alternative, contact your travel insurance provider.

My flight has been cancelled

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued specific guidance about coronavirus with information if your flight has been delayed or cancelled. You should also read the section on compensation.

If your flight operator does not offer a refund or alternative, contact your travel insurance provider.

Deciding not to travel to areas that the FCO has not advised against visiting

You should check your travel insurance policy to understand what is covered. Travel insurance does not usually cover ‘disinclination to travel’ (which means you have decided not to travel but the FCO advice has not changed to advise against travel). If you have decided not to travel, your travel insurer will not offer compensation.

Essential and non-essential travel

Anyone planning to travel should check Government advice.  You will need to speak to insurance providers and discuss the cover that will best suit your needs. There may be instances where cover is not available. If you are travelling against Government advice, your travel insurance will not be valid unless it is essential.

Coronavirus exclusion

Some travel insurance policies bought before 1 March 2020 did not have coronavirus as an exclusion. If you are trying to buy travel insurance today, you will need to speak to insurance providers and discuss the cover that will best suit your needs. There may be instances where cover is not available.

If your insurer has advised that coronavirus is not covered as part of your policy (ie it is an exclusion) and you catch the virus while abroad, your travel insurance will not be valid. Speak to your insurer before travelling and ask what is and what is not covered. 

Renewing your travel insurance

If your travel insurance is due for renewal, contact your provider to discuss it in good time. It may be that, after renewal, the policy will no longer cover claims because of coronavirus.

Self-isolation

Cover available for self-isolation (eg extended hotel accommodation) while travelling will vary depending on the policy. If you have to self-isolate due to coronavirus while you are travelling, contact your travel insurer.

Motor and home insurance

Many people will be changing the locations from which they perform certain activities and where they keep certain items. For example, people may need to use their home much more as a work place during the current situation and keep some work-related assets at their home address. You may be concerned that this conflicts with the cover under your current policy.

We expect insurers to take into account any change in a customer’s circumstances because of coronavirus (eg, working from home or driving to work). Insurers should ensure that any change in circumstances to comply with government advice and requirements does not impact their customer’s current home contents or motor policy. 

If your car is due for MOT soon

Many people will have their MOT due in the next couple of months and may be unable to have this service carried out because of the Government's coronavirus restrictions. 

The Department for Transport has said that, from 30 March 2020, all cars, motorcycles and vans that require an MOT will be exempt from testing for 6 months. We encourage consumers to read the full guidance.

We expect insurers to take into account the guidance and ensure that consumers’ car, motorcycle or van insurance is not negatively affected in terms of their cover - including at renewal to ensure that customers are able to shop around for the cover that meets their needs.

Event cancellation

If an event that you were due to attend has been cancelled, you will need to contact ticket operator or the venue who may reschedule the event or offer a refund. In some instances, they may have contacted ticketholders already.  

Renewing your insurance policy

If your insurance is due for renewal, contact your insurance company to discuss in good time. It may be that, after renewal, the policy will no longer cover claims due to coronavirus.

If your insurance company can’t engage with you at the point of renewal as they would normally do so, for example because you are ill and in hospital, they may decide that it’s in your best interests to renew the policy, providing you with continuity of cover.

If, once you are better, you think the policy no longer meets your needs or you have other concerns, you should contact your insurance company. We expect them to treat you fairly.

Product suspension

We’re aware that some insurance firms are considering or have stopped selling new insurance policies to customers. We are not able to prevent firms from removing or amending products from the market for new customers as it is a decision for individual insurers. If you are looking for insurance, we suggest you speak directly to an insurer or insurance broker and ensure you buy insurance that fits with your demands and needs. 

Unable to pay monthly premium

If you’ve bought an insurance policy and are paying the premiums in monthly instalments, this is known as ’premium finance’. If for any reason, you are, or will be, in financial difficulty, contact your insurer in the first instance and explain your situation.  In some instances, the insurer may refer the consumer to the credit broker.

Page updates

31/03/2020: Information added Updated advice for consumers renewing their insurance policy