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babs135

Let's talk insurance ; UK passengers

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Let's talk about insurance. I've just seen a question and answer which raised my eyebrows rather high. The question was by someone whose annual insurance expires next month and as they had just booked a holiday in Portugal next year he wanted to know whether to renew the policy now. As I always thought that you should have insurance in place from day one, I was surprised to read the answer was a definite No. Apparently as the FCO is still advising against non-essential travel at the moment any policy would be invalid until this changes.

 

As we are hoping to transfer our cruise to next year and our policy expires in August I'm not sure where that leaves us. Will have to contact our insurance company for advice.

 

Anyone else come across this?

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That would surprise me as well, but it all depends on the wording of the insurance.

A holiday booked now is booked against FCO advice, so it is debatable whether or not you are covered if you need to cancel before the holiday.

If the FCO advice is still in force, or is re-instated, when the holiday is due to depart, then the insurance would probably not cover you.

If the holiday was booked prior to FCO advice, then the existing insurance will cover you - but it all depends on the insurance company whether a renewal will be treated as a continuation, meaning that you are still covered, or a new policy, meaning you are not covered.

This is the big problem with annual insurance as opposed to single-trip - in most cases, each time you renew an annual insurance it is treated as a new insurance, so things that were covered under the previous policy (such as coronavirus) will not be covered under the new one.

Personally, if somebody has booked a new holiday now, even for next year, they are taking a gamble.

All you can do is talk to your insurance company and see what they say - as yours will be a deferred holiday, rather than a new booking, they may agree to keep you covered. Let's hope.

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babs135

We have an annual insurance policy that covers us for foreign travel and cruising. At present all holidays are cancelled with our cruise deposits used for an Iceland cruise next summer (July 2021). I have always thought that holiday insurance was for emergency medical care and repatriation to UK. The loss of shoes or clothing I would just bear myself. Our annual policy is due for renewal in September and we have discussed whether to renew. I am sure the price will rocket due to Covid 19 and as I have had medical problems in the past though now resolved historically they still seem to count it. We are siding on not renewing in September but renewing prior to paying the balance. In the background I am thinking international travel may just not occur ( conference on zoom, facetime for pitching for work etc)  and we may just staycation  until a vaccine or the Covid 19 just disappears.  I can see enhanced screening at each boarding and prior to meals, no buffets, people being allocated a meal time for all meals so enhanced cleaning may take place etc. The buffet areas becoming restaurants etc. Use of face masks on board etc.  

The Cunard deposits for the cruise we may just write off,  we had 2 holidays booked in UK in 2020 staying at a certain hotel chain and when cancelled we received a full refund, we will patronise that chain again.  Another thought is that Cunard and the cruise industry may have to sell competitively its own insurance to cruisers to keep the industry viable? 

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The 2020 holiday was booked in February before everything went pear-shaped so whether that will make a difference I don't know.  We will just have to ask the question.  Our insurance company do not ask for medical information, simply wanting to know if either of us has a mental health problem or is terminally ill.

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5 hours ago, babs135 said:

Our insurance company do not ask for medical information, simply wanting to know if either of us has a mental health problem or is terminally ill.

Hi can you share the Ins co name.  We have always had an annual policy for maybe 30 years

and have never claimed. We had   1mm melanomas removed around 8 years ago and they still ask for a full medical review and obviously charge extra for it.  Another odd thing is that if you have something that

is  not terminal but they wont provide cover for they still charge for it.

We fell lucky this year we cruised in Jan and almost in march policy was for renewal in May but

didnt cover anything that might in some way be considered covid related , however slim the connection.

For maybe the first time since we started cruising 6 years ago we didnt have 3 cruises booked so

felt it was unlikely we would cruise before next May and didnt renew.  However we will have (at some point we hope)  a load of FCCs   so will need to look for ins in the future.   Mind you my wife might reckon

we couldnt use yours as she says I am "mental" most of the time 🙂

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Ok, bear with me as I try and explain our situation.  It is a Group Policy (rather than individual) with AXA PPP.  To qualify you, your spouse or a close relative must be or was a member of the Armed Forces - all branches.  You prove this by having the service number of the said person and then you join the Forcespensionsociety.org by paying an annual fee.  Their insurance company of choice is AXA who add you to their policy.  Price is extremely competitive and if you are worried that it sounds too good to be true don't.  In 2018 DH took ill, was admitted to hospital and then declared unfit to travel meaning we had to cancel our Christmas cruise.  From the first phone call it took just 4 weeks to get a refund less a small excess.  At this point we had to declares DH's other health problems  (not asked for when we took out the policy) but they still paid out.  Pre existing issues Include diabetes and a minor stroke.

 

I am a senior citizen but still have my late father's army paybook from when he served in World War 2 so time is not a problem.

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks - no close family in armed forces as such. One uncle killed in the war and another who survived.

 My dad used to work in a factory making parts for Whittles jet engine, but that doesnt count 🙂

 

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I’m also very concerned about this. We’re about to shift a cruise from this September to August next year, but told by our insurers that when we next take out a policy with them it will not cover coronavirus. We’ve got annual too so any coronavirus cover we had ends next January. My concern is not getting it myself and getting ill on the trip, but getting it shortly before, having to cancel, and not being covered (or being turned away on the day if cruises test prior to boarding, not that I’d willingly try to get on if I had symptoms!). 

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Posted (edited)

It is all rather a "chrystal ball" situation at the minute. It may well be that before too much longer insurance companies will start to offer add-ons for coronavirus cover - but that itself is a will-they?won't-they? gamble.

Bear in mind that your insurer may regard a rolled over cruise as a new booking, so you will not be covered anyway even on the current insurance.

What are the conditions offered by the cruise company for rolling over the cruise?

Will they let you cancel or roll-over again if you are unable to get cover?

If not, are you able to cancel now?

Alternatively, you could hold your nerve and keep the September booking and wait for it to be cancelled.

It all boils down to how much you want the cruise, how worried you are about the lack of insurance cover - everybody is different, and there is no straightforward answer. (We are assuming/hoping that our December cruise will be cancelled and the delayed September cruise will not happen until next year).

 

Edited by nosapphire
changed WILL to MAY

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DH rung our insurance company who said they'd get back to us within 48 hours.  That was 10 days ago!  In the meantime our travel agent phoned and we have made the decision to transfer the cruise to next year whilst there is still availability.

 

Interestingly the 'new' booking has the same reference as the original one and I'm hoping this may work in our favour.  We will probably ring the insurers next week and if I have anything of note I will report back.

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I was able to transfer one of my insurances to a new  land holiday booking that was cancelled for travel next year and hope to do the same with my cruise that I did a lift and shift on if the cruise is cancelled.

I wondered if my August cruise is cancelled which I think it will be can I claim my insurance for the hotel and parking I've booked even though I've done a shift on my cruise.

The company I booked  the hotel with offer a voucher for cancellations but would I get this offer if I have already shifted my cruise to next year. It was a non refundable booking

Thoughts please.

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If they offer a voucher for cancellations then I would have thought that you could use it for your new cruise.  Only way to find out is to give them a ring.  After all they are not completely losing a booking as you want to stay with them next year.

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Wasn't sure what would happen because I've already  shifted my cruise before its been cancelled.

The voucher would  be fine then I could change my isurance to next year if I don't  use it.

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As far as i am aware, new policies in the UK will cover for Medical bills if you catch Covid 19 when abroad. they will not cover cancellations. The cruise lines will refund your fare if they deny you boarding, or at least that's what they done this year. They may pass the responsibility onto you in the future.

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1 hour ago, clarky213 said:

As far as i am aware, new policies in the UK will cover for Medical bills if you catch Covid 19 when abroad. they will not cover cancellations. The cruise lines will refund your fare if they deny you boarding, or at least that's what they done this year. They may pass the responsibility onto you in the future.

Very much depends on the insurance.

Staysure does cover emergency medical care and repatriation if you catch coronavirus while abroad, on their new policies.

Saga travel insurance does not - their quote page starts off with :

QUOTE: This policy will not provide cover for claims caused by or relating to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). All claims caused by or relating to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) or any mutation of this disease will be excluded.END QUOTE:

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi,..very interesting topic and glad I found this as we are in a similar situation.

We normally use Saga worldwide annual cover and our current policy is due to expire next  month.  We have used this for several years and once had to make a minor claim for medical expense. 

 

We have a cruise booked for Feb 2021 which was moved from March 2020, and it is unlikely that we will be going on that one as well.  I called Saga today and asked about the Covid-19 cover, and as per the previous poster stated, I was reminded that any new policy would not cover for that.

The lady also pointed out that at this moment in time, very few companies will offer cover,....but that may change.  

 

We have just booked a Transpacific trip for 2022 and in light of the current situation, I have no intention of taking out cover for that until within 12 months of the sailing and also once we get serious about air travel and hotels etc.

 

My very limited research so far, tells me that the only way to get cover for covid-19 is one that has a policy that allows "cancelation for any reason" but that may come with a hefty premium.

I will continue to look into this and will be interested to learn of others experience. 

 

By the way, I did call Saga several months ago to enquire that when the UK Government had impose a travel ban, that in effect made my Insurance void, could they press the "pause button" on my annual cover? ie I made it clear that I was NOT asking for a refund but only wanted my cover to resume once the Travel ban was lifted. I was told that was not possible although I now know that some insurances have done that.  

Edited by ronpes

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A google search shows that  travel insurance from AXA will cover medical costs and repatriation for coronavirus, but not for cancellation or disruption. Existing annual policies will not cover cancellation for trips booked after the pandemic started.

LVE have paused the sale of travel insurance to new customers, but existing customers will be covered for coronavirus if the trips were booked prior to the pandemic, and will cover new trips booked once the FCO have lifted the "all but essential" travel. They are also allowing people who have not made a claim to cancel their policy and get a refund.

So it is certainly worthwhile carrying out some research to see how the various insurance companies have handled this situation, as this would certainly influence my choice of future companies.

 

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Latest from Martin Lewis indicates that a booking made before Coronavirus hit should still be covered on a renewed annual policy:

However, the Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed to us that if you had an annual policy before mid-March and renewed with the same insurer since, you SHOULD still be covered for coronavirus issues (as long as you were covered before you renewed). All the insurers we've spoken to – including all those listed in the table below – have confirmed this. So if you're rejected, go to the Financial Ombudsman and argue the firm isn't following "standard industry practice".

 

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/02/coronavirus-travel-help-and-your-rights/

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Flossie009

Thank you for that. It is interesting that in the list of insurers and under the table of Annual cover it states that Saga would consider this on a case by case bases.   I have been a loyal costumer to Saga over the years buying multiple policies (house and car insurance as well as travel)  and on the subject of pressing the pause button on my insurance or a refund on my Annual cover (which was taken out in July 2019) I was told on two separate occasions by different people and also via e-mail, that a refund in shape in any shape or form was out of the question. 

 

No prizes for guessing which insurance company I wont be using in the near future. 

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On 6/13/2020 at 12:48 PM, ronpes said:

Flossie009

Thank you for that. It is interesting that in the list of insurers and under the table of Annual cover it states that Saga would consider this on a case by case bases.   I have been a loyal costumer to Saga over the years buying multiple policies (house and car insurance as well as travel)  and on the subject of pressing the pause button on my insurance or a refund on my Annual cover (which was taken out in July 2019) I was told on two separate occasions by different people and also via e-mail, that a refund in shape in any shape or form was out of the question. 

 

No prizes for guessing which insurance company I wont be using in the near future. 

 

I decided to call my Travel insurance one more time and this time they were more sympathetic to my case and have agreed to look into it.  It  may take a week or so before they get back to me. 

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On 6/16/2020 at 1:55 PM, ronpes said:

 

I decided to call my Travel insurance one more time and this time they were more sympathetic to my case and have agreed to look into it.  It  may take a week or so before they get back to me. 

Well here we are, over 2 weeks later and not a word from them. 

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18 hours ago, ronpes said:

Well here we are, over 2 weeks later and not a word from them. 

Decided to call Saga and was told no refund.
Only those policies taken out since Jan 2020 and as long no trips has been taken, then some customers were refunded a portion of thier policy. The fact that we had taken out our annual multi trip policy last July and been on one trip made it worthless. 
This was a harsh lesson and I will certainly not be renewing my policy with this company again.

we have been loyal customers for years and treated badly.  
Just to add salt to the wound I also received a reminder that my policy was due fir renewal and the price has gone up by 23%. 

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Today the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised against cruise ship travel for all British citizens at the present time. I wouldn’t want to try to make any insurance claim for travel after this announcement. 

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On 7/9/2020 at 7:14 PM, sandancer said:

Today the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised against cruise ship travel for all British citizens at the present time. I wouldn’t want to try to make any insurance claim for travel after this announcement. 

But it's ok to sit on an aeroplane for several hours. If spacing is reduced to 1m, other than boarding I can see no reason why it is any more dangerous to cruise than sit on a plane for several hours and then to be in a hotel with lots of other people. 

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On 7/11/2020 at 4:02 PM, ovccruiser said:

But it's ok to sit on an aeroplane for several hours. If spacing is reduced to 1m, other than boarding I can see no reason why it is any more dangerous to cruise than sit on a plane for several hours and then to be in a hotel with lots of other people. 

I agree. 

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