Friday, 5 Jun 2020

Martin Lewis: Will travel insurance pay out amid coronavirus holiday crisis? Expert advice

Coronavirus has affected the travel plans of a plethora of Britons. Flights have been cancelled and numerous countries have gone into lockdown. Consequently, holidays have taken a real battering – and many people are unsure of what’s coming next.

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Martin Lewis, 47, today advised the nation in his ITV programme The Martin Lewis Money Show.

One question worrying people is whether they should cancel holidays and whether travel insurance will pay out.

One woman called into the TV show to ask Martin about a holiday she had booked.

She explained she and her husband had booked to go to Dubai on May 30.

They had already paid a deposit of £250 but still had to pay the balance of £2,200 – and it’s due tomorrow.

The caller – who said she had travel insurance – wanted to know whether she should pay the full balance given the precarious situation.

Martin explained: “The trigger for paying out on travel insurance is when the FCO advises against travelling.”

The current FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) advise is very strict indeed.

The FCO explains online: “The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide.

“This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions.

“All countries may restrict travel without notice.” 

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So, Martin summarised: “Travel insurance will pay out but only until the 16th April.”

So what about holidays that are due to take place after this date?

“I strongly suspect it will be extended beyond that point but we don’t know exactly when it will be extended to,” said Martin.

He clarified that if the woman pays the money and the FCO advice isn’t extended and she chooses not to go they she will lose her money.

“If you are disinclined to travel you don’t get a payout,” he said.

“Talk to your travel insurance company and see what they say and see what the prediction would be,” the Money Saving Expert advised.

“You have to balance up what’s more important to you. Are you actually going to go?” Martin asked

“If you’re not going to go even if they don’t extend the advice I would take the hit and lose the money,” he said.

However, Martin added: “If you are going to go, then pay it.”

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