Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Insurance implications

You will have no doubt been following the news regarding the initial outbreak of the Coronavirus in China’s Wuhan Province, along with the subsequent updates for many other locations around the world with currently 40 people having been diagnosed as being infected in the UK.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising people travelling back to the UK to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for a minimum of 14 days if they have returned from:

  • Hubei province in China in the last 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms
  • Iran, lockdown areas in northern Italy or special care zones in South Korea since 19 February, even if they do not have symptoms
  • other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if their symptoms are mild)
  • other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if their symptoms are mild).

Travel Insurance Cover

Travel Insurance policies usually cover your medical expenses whilst you are travelling as well as any cancellation, curtailment and/or rearrangement costs incurred and this would continue to be the case should your trip be amended by a Third Party. Please note this would not be provided if you decided to cancel your trip for fear of getting infected as this is not accepted within your policy.

Furthermore, it is a standard exclusion within such policies to note there is no cover for trips to specific places mentioned by the FCO as not being suitable to travel to at the time of the booking though some policies would even exclude cover if the guidance were to change at a later date so this needs to be checked in each and every case.

Cancellation Insurance

There is currently no cover available in respect of cancellation of any events and/or Loss of Revenue you may incur as a result or a perceived result of this outbreak. There are currently no insurers willing to extend cover to include this even under the extensions you may currently have for Communicable Diseases under your policy as this is not noted as being one.

 

Useful links:

General

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0854gfl

Travel insurance

https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-qa/

Employers and Businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19