PolicyDirect Travel Insurance Update
We have received several questions from our policyholders concerning Leisure Travel Insurance such as what the changes in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice mean and how Travel Insurance renewals might be affected.
As you will no doubt be aware, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has changed its travel advice concerning some 50 countries.
When you travel to an EU country you should have both:
- a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
- travel insurance with healthcare cover
You can use an EHIC until the end of 2020.
Please continue reading to understand how the changes affect the cover that is available on our Travel Insurance policies
- We are pleased to advise that unlike some policies, our Section 2 – Emergency Medical Expenses Cover is available, including cover for COVID-19 contracted while away providing that the FCO has NOT advised ‘All but essential’ or ‘All Travel’ prior to commencing your trip.
- Unfortunately other than Section 2 – Emergency Medical Expenses as noted above, our policy will not provide cover for any claims directly or indirectly related to, or the fear or threat of, a pandemic and/or epidemic, including but not limited to Coronavirus (COVID-19), including any related and/or similar condition(s) howsoever named or any mutation of these. This will include Section 1 - Cancellation or Curtailment. Most airlines and providers have been helpful with offering refunds and re bookings as a result of trips being cancelled due to lockdown.
As the FCO travel advice is likely to be updated over the coming weeks and months, as the situation changes, we will aim to provide you with regular updates to the guidance above as and when we are made aware of it.
Should you have any specific questions please contact us at [email protected]
The FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) has recently updated its travel advice regarding North Korea given the increased tensions in that area, and is currently advising against all but essential travel. Due to this change, hasour insurers have temporarily moved North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) into Zone A of our Territorial Limit Zone, of the High Risk Voyager product. Most standard travel insurance policies are unlikely to cover anyone travelling to North Korea following these FCO updates.
They have recently received a number of queries from customers who are looking to travel to North Korea for an air show and require specialist travel insurance. If you are looking to travel to North Korea, or another high risk area, speak to us about High Risk Voyager – a specially designed travel and medical insurance for individuals and groups travelling to high risk territorial zones and areas where the FCO have advised against travel. This includes war zones, crisis zones, and disaster relief zones such as Afghanistan, Syria, or Iraq, as well as hazardous areas of places such as Egypt, Thailand, and India.
High Risk Voyager offers cover for both Business and Leisure Trips, designed for travelling professionals and pioneers such as Journalists, Photographers, Film Makers, Teachers, Charity Workers, Aid workers, Interpreters, Volunteers, Students and Engineers etc who would not be able to get cover on a standard travel insurance policy for this sort of trip.
Call us on 01603 613531
REMINDER OF THE COVER WE OFFER THROUGH policydirect.co.uk:
- No Upper Age Limit on Single Trip Policies
- ‘Light touch’ medical screening meaning 1,000s of stable conditions do not require screening or an additional premium
- Single Trip maximum durations up to 18 months (24 months on referral)
- Sports Equipment and Cycle Insurance Option
- Available in GBP£ & Euros€ for UK and EEA Residents
- Annual Multi Trip cover option up to 62 days per trip
- Cancellation cover can be increased from £5,000 up to £10,000
- Wide range of options including:
- Gadget Insurance
- Business Plus
- Cruise Plus
- Holiday From Hell Protection
- Can even be bought if the customer has already travelled
Terrorism Disruption Protection within Voyager Plus Travel Insurance
Our travel insurance can now offer financial peace of mind with a unique Enhanced Travel or Terrorism Disruption Option.
Research has shown that over 51% of travellers now rate the risk of their holiday or travel plans being disrupted by an act of terrorism as the biggest single thing they are most concerned about in these troubled times.
This recently added cover against terror related travel disruption increases the cover already available in the popular Enhanced Travel Disruption Option. This option extends the reasons claims can be made under the standard policy and now includes:
Up to £5,000 Terrorism Disruption cover for cancellation, curtailment, travel delay, abandonment, missed departure or additional accommodation costs as a result of an act of terrorism affecting any point of arrival or departure in a pre-booked itinerary or occurring within 40 miles of the booked accommodation within 31 days prior to departure or during the trip.
Up to £5,000 of additional accommodation costs due to abandonment if events such as volcanic ash causes the closure of airspace, or a change in the travel advice of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to the country being travelled to, forcing cancellation or curtailment.
For a quote for this enhanced cover please speak to one of our advisers on 01603 613531
Travel Delay know your rights!
If you have experienced a flight delay or cancellation in the last 6 years you may be entitled to claim up to 600 euro per person in compensation from your airline. EU legislation enables eligible travellers to claim compensation if their flight was delayed for more than 3 hours, cancelled or over-booked.
For Citizens advice on this subject and ways to claim go to https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/holiday-cancellations-and-compensation/if-your-flights-delayed-or-cancelled/
Seven tips for preventing theft on holiday
Theft can happen to anyone, even on holiday. Just imagine that sickening feeling of realising that your purse has been snatched or your wallet pickpocketed in a busy market or, even worse, coming back to your holiday apartment to see it has been broken into and ransacked.
Unfortunately, in many popular holiday destinations thieves attempt to break into holiday accommodation and hire cars because they see them as an easy target. In fact, the Foreign Office recently warned that burglaries and thefts at tourist hotspots in Spain are on the increase.
As holidaymakers, there isn’t a lot we can do to change the mindset of these criminals, but we can do our best to look after our belongings and stop them from being taken from us.
Theft on holiday is something that we all want to avoid if we can. Here are seven tips to help prevent against theft:
Don't leave valuables in view
Always remove your belongings from the hire car, even opportunist thieves won’t find anything that way.
Safe equals secure
Always lock valuables, including passports, money and electronic items, in a safe when leaving the accommodation and even when you go to sleep at night.
Out of sight, out of mind
If you wish to bring items out with you, always keep them in your front pockets or in a bag that is front facing, so you can keep an eye on them.
Lock doors and windows
When leaving your accommodation, ensure all doors and windows are locked. If you wish to leave the shutters open, make sure that these can be securely locked too.
Nowhere to hide
Park your car in a well-lit area if possible - thieves don't want to be seen, and operate best in darkness.
Lock up your hire car - and double check!
Ensure the sunroof and all windows are closed, as well as double checking that the car is locked. Leave the car keys in your locked safe.
Know where to turn for help
If, for whatever reason, you are caught out, at least make sure that you know the number for the nearest embassy or consulate and the location of the local police station.
Travel insurance for your personal property on holiday
You can protect your personal property on holiday by buying appropriate travel insurance cover for your trip.
Policies from www.policydirect.co.uk can provide cover for your personal possessions, to protect against the risk of loss, damage or theft when you are on holiday.
Your home contents insurance may also provide cover for your possessions when you are away from home.
If you do become a victim of theft on holiday you will need to obtain a police report within 24 hours in order to make a successful claim on your insurance.
This information was provided by one of our travel insurance underwriters Goodtogo Insurance
The Children's Trust
Policy Direct are proud to announce that they are sponsoring a "Gig Night" in London, organised by the Fat Boys (and Girls!) team who for the last five years have been raising money for The Children’s Trust https://www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/ So far they have raised almost £50,000 for the charity with a combination of sporting events and fundraising evenings.
Every year over 40,000 children in the UK are left with a brain injury as a result of an accident or illness. The Children’s Trust offers the largest residential brain injury rehabilitation unit in the country. Its offers nursing and medical care for children with severe disabilities and complex health needs. It also has an extensive research programme and provides online support for families all over the UK.
DID YOU KNOW?……….
Try to remember that just because something is legal in the UK, it may not be so in the country you are travelling to. All countries are different, even in Europe, so don’t think it’s only the trips requiring long haul travel that you need to worry about, for example:
In France, sat navs that warn the driver about speed traps are illegal – whether they are being used or not!
Also in France, you must not conceal your face in public places. This includes full veils, balaclavas, or any other garment or mask that is used for that purpose. Doing so breaks the law!
In Venice, it is against the law to feed the pigeons!
In Dubai, e-cigarettes are also illegal
In Nigeria, don’t take mineral water in (not that you can with the liquid restrictions anyway) because that is also against the law.
It really does pay to know before you go. When you start your research for your trip the best places to start is the travel advice pages provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the Gov.uk website.
Know before you go - staying healthy abroad. May 2016
As the half term holidays approach we thought you might appreciate some tips on how to stay healthy and comfortable on your journey and during your holiday abroad. Being prepared and following some simple advice can help to make things go smoothly.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office web site has excellent advice “Know before you go - staying healthy abroad”. Go to https://www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo to read more.
And of course, don’t forget your travel insurance!
Zika virus update April 2016.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice to recommend that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to countries affected by the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Holidays are considered non-essential. They also continue to advise people, particularly if they’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, to refer to the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
Holiday makers travelling to Aruba, Barbados, Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama and Thailand may be offered an alternative holiday by their Tour Operator or Travel Agent, as long as they have a doctor’s note in line with the advice issued by NaTHNaC, We would advise you talk to your Travel Agent as soon as possible.
The FCO advise everybody to take the following preventative measures to avoid most insect and mosquito bites including:
• Personal protection measures should be applied all day long, and especially during the hours of highest mosquito activity (mid-morning, late afternoon to twilight)
• Apply insect repellent
• Avoid strong-smelling perfumes and soaps
• Avoid areas with a high density of plants
• Avoid open water
Travelling to Belgium
Currently the Foreign and Commomwealth Office (FCO) are not advising against travel to Belgium.
For more information, please visit to the FCO website.
budget update: insurance premium tax
Following the recent budget the Chancellor has further increased Insurance Premium Tax from 9.5% to 10% with effect from 1st October 2016.
This will not affect personal travel insurance which will remain at 20%.
enhancements to our Online Travel Insurance Scheme
From 1st March 2016 we are pleased to announce some updates to our Online Travel Insurance Scheme:
- New underwriters are Sirius International Insurance Corporation an ‘A’ rated global Insurer.
- Single Trip policies will now be available for trips up to 60 days (aged under 75).
- Extended medical screening acceptance.
- Reduction in Long Stay rates, great news for people going abroad for an extended period of time.
- Motorcycle coverage increased to 31 days.
Important News relating to Insurance Premium Tax
New rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) applicable from 1st November 2015
Government will increase the rate of IPT for many classes of insurance from 6% to 9.5% on the 1st of November 2015. This will apply to all insurance premiums excluding travel insurance, which will remain at 20% IPT.
The following products provided by PolicyDirect will be affected by this government change to IPT, and quotes will reflect the changes: Voyager UK & European Breakdown Cover, Wedding Insurance, Cycle Insurance, Household Insurance.
Know Before You Go
Staying safe and healthy abroad
The government has some sensible advice for anyone planning to travel abroad. For more information, see:
Top Travel Tips
- Take the travel policy number and emergency help line number with you. You need to know who to phone in case of an emergency
- Hazardous Activities – Make sure you buy the correct option. There is a long list of Leisure Activities included but check it includes your sport, activity or competition. Call us for further advice.
- Don’t leave valuables in the open, especially while on the beach. Any amount insurers will pay for property left in a public place is limited. Check the policy wording for particular conditions.
- Check how much cash you are covered for, and personal baggage limits etc. refer Sections 7,8 & 9
- Medical Conditions: Make sure you read the medical declaration properly and follow the instructions for making a medical declaration. Call us for advice or assistance.
- Leave enough time to travel to the airport, if you are late because you didn’t leave enough time to get to there – you won’t be able to claim.
- Be aware of the dangers to small children that you may not be used to at home eg.swimming pools
- If you buy goods whilst on holiday, such as sunglasses, .keep the receipts as you need to be able to substantiate your claim if they are stolen or lost.
- If you are a victim of theft: Report this as soon as possible to the local police, the hotel and the tour operator. Insurers may insist on a written report
- Check that your motor breakdown covers Europe and not just the UK. Refer to our Breakdown product
- If you have an expensive item you want to take away with you, mobile phones, tablets, a digital camera or video recorder, ask about including Gadget Cover
- Check your excesses – it is possible to increase or exclude an excess with a premium increase or reduction. When travelling in Europe if an emergency medical claim is made and an EHIC has been used the excess under Section 2 will not apply.