In light of impending government announcements around easing travel restrictions, ROCK Insurance Group has launched two new COVID-19 protection products to protect travel businesses and travel agents should customers need to cancel or postpone their trips due to COVID-related issues. The products have been launched in response to research that ROCK Insurance recently carried out with travel companies on ‘identifying the gaps’ in travel insurance to instill confidence to book holidays.
The first is a business policy – the first to market – that covers agents against cancellation costs in the event that a customer books a holiday and needs to cancel due to testing positive to COVID-19, giving the opportunity for the agent to change the booking and recover additional costs in doing so.
The second product is travel insurance that can be sold to consumers and the key benefit is that it includes pre-departure cancellation if travellers test positive for COVID-19 (even if this is at the airport) and cannot travel. It also covers emergency medical care and repatriation whilst travelling should they contract the virus whilst abroad. The product is flexible so if there is a COVID-19 flare up in a destination, customers will be allowed to change dates or destination ahead of their trip without admin fees.
The new travel insurance policy (including cancellation as standard) includes:
Before a trip:
- Cover if a customer tests positive for coronavirus within 14 days before their holiday
- Cover if they have been hospitalised within 28 days of their holiday
- Cover if they are not allowed to board their flight as a result of a positive coronavirus test or raised temperature
- The policy can be cancelled if the UK or the customer’s local area enters lockdown again within 14 days of purchase
During a trip:
- Cover if they have checked in at their holiday accommodation but the property needs to close as a result of the coronavirus
- Medical cover included if they catch coronavirus whilst abroad
- Cover if it is medically necessary to bring the customer home
- Cover for additional accommodation and travelling costs if they contract coronavirus whilst abroad
Antony Martin, Managing Director at ROCK Insurance Group says: “We are excited to be leading the charge in launching our new COVID-19 protection products. There has been a great deal of confusion around travel insurance recently and the travel industry has incurred significant costs because of it. We noticed a gap in the market for a solid COVID-protection policy so we wanted to create robust products which clearly outline what is and isn’t included. As the world is starting to open up for travel again, we feel it is really important to re-instate traveller confidence by offering pre-departure cover for the elements that are not covered under Package Travel Regulations as well as cover during their trips. This new product will help drive customer bookings whilst ensuring the travel trade is better prepared for any potential repercussions if the COVID-19 worsens and if any new pandemics emerge.”