There is growing concern in the industry that consumers booking travel insurance are not properly protected for COVID-19, even though such cover is vital to get customers travelling again.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some travel insurance products did offer cover, however since mid-March, all of these products have been withdrawn, leaving consumers and agents with products that don’t properly protect them.
ROCK believes that the travel industry needs to deal with two key issues to get customers booking again.
- Booking flexibility.
Customers need to know that if there is a Covid-19 flare up in a destination that they will be allowed to change dates or destination without admin fees or ask for an immediate refund.
- Covid-19 cover in travel insurance.
Customers need cancelation cover in case they have Covid-19 or are in self isolation when they are due to go on holiday or become ill in resort.
Antony Martin, MD of ROCK Insurance, “There are insurance policies available that offer some protection once you have departed, covering medical expenses should you become ill with COVID-19. However, what happens if the customer needs to return home and a border is closed or the FCO revises advice to “not to travel”? Consumers and agents need to be very clear on what is covered, by whom and currently this clarity is simply not there.”
ROCK Insurance has already been consulting with its existing partners including Jet2, Mid-Counties and Barrhead Travel, but is now widening the review to include the whole industry and will be running Zoom consultations with interested parties.
Martin commented “It’s important we get a consensus from the travel industry on the products it needs the insurance sector to supply. The more consistent the product the easier it will be to explain to customers and help remove the current confusion over who covers what.”
The consultation is planned to run until the 22nd June and will encourage open discussion between the travel trade and all major insurance providers.