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Insurance companies restrict travel cover over coronavirus

by LLB Reporter
12th Mar 20 2:43 pm

Insurance companies are pausing or restricting the cover they offer to new customers over coronavirus, holidaymakers are urged to read the terms and conditions of their travel policy.

Insurance giant Aviva have reviewed their travel insurance and customers will not be able to select add-on cover for “travel disruption” or “airspace closure.” Existing customers are unaffected by the new restrictions.

A statement from Aviva said, “Insurance is designed to provide cover for unforeseen and unexpected events and is priced on this basis.

“The outbreak of the coronavirus means there is an increased likelihood of disruption to people’s travel plans.

“We envisage that these decisions, affecting only Aviva’s travel insurance new business, will be temporary actions.”

In a statement on its website, LV= said it has paused the sale of travel insurance to new customers.

The statement said, “We considered a number of different options, such as excluding cover or significantly increasing prices for new customers. We strongly believe this temporary measure of pausing the sale of new policies and focusing on our existing customers is the right decision.”

Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which? said, “It’s very alarming that LV= have withdrawn the sale of travel insurance and that other providers have also started restricting the policies they offer customers.

“Anyone planning a holiday should get insurance as soon as they book. If you haven’t already booked insurance and are travelling soon, we urge you to get cover immediately from a reputable insurer.

“The Government, insurers and the travel industry must immediately tackle the huge challenge provided by coronavirus, as the industry depends on people having the confidence that they can travel with the knowledge that they will be covered.”

A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said, “Existing policies remain unaffected. Travel insurance for new customers remains widely available, so people should shop around for the cover that best meets their needs.

“In a competitive insurance market, insurers will be monitoring carefully the fast-moving developments in the coronavirus outbreak, and will keep their position under constant review as the situation develops.

“Insurance is based on assessing the possibility of an event occurring. Insurers will take account of when any risk becomes more of a probability than a possibility, making whatever commercial decisions that they feel are prudent.”

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