Insurance giants Direct Line and Churchill have stopped the sale of all travel insurance to new customers due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, the travel insurance firm said: “Due to the impact that coronavirus is having across the world we have experienced a huge increase in demand for travel insurance.
“Our priority is to protect and service our existing customers and therefore we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the sale of travel insurance to new customers so that we can focus on our existing customers.
“We have not taken this decision lightly and we carefully considered many different options prior to reaching this decision.
“For our customers who already hold a travel insurance policy with us there is no change and they can continue to contact us to make a claim or amend their policy.
“We remain committed to the travel insurance market and would reiterate that this is a temporary measure and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“More information for current Direct Line Travel Insurance customers can be found at: https://www.directline.com/travel-insurance/coronavirus
“More information for current Churchill Travel Insurance customers can be found at: https://www.churchill.com/travel-insurance/coronavirus.”
On Thursday Insurance giant Aviva said, they havereviewed 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 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.”