Direct Line and Churchill lift Covid-19 cancellation restrictions in travel cover

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Direct Line and Churchill have lifted restrictions to travel insurance cancellation cover that were implemented last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The insurance providers say the changes mean policyholders will have much more extensive cover where the claim relates to disruption caused by Covid-19.

The policy updates also give customers a choice of cancelling their trip or continuing to travel where the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) changes its advice to against ‘all but essential travel’ after a trip has been booked. 

Should Direct Line or Churchill customers’ travel plans be affected by such a change in FCDO advice, they will have the option of either submitting a cancellation claim or continuing with their trip in the knowledge that they will continue to receive full protection from their policy if they choose to travel.

Direct Line and Churchill travel policies now cover cancellation of a trip as a result of: 

  • A passenger being instructed to quarantine or self-isolate, including cases where an individual is contacted by NHS Test and Trace but has not been diagnosed with Covid-19 
  • A government lockdown as result of Covid-19 preventing travel 
  • Pre-booked accommodation no longer being available due to the local area being adversely affected by Covid-19 
  • FCDO advising against all travel—or all but essential travel—to a destination within 28 days of departure due to Covid-19 restrictions, as long as the advice wasn’t in place at the point of purchase of either the trip or the travel insurance

Alongside these updates, the policies will continue to cover: 

  • Any emergency medical costs relating to a new Covid-19 diagnosis once the trip has started, including additional accommodation and travel costs if you are unable to return home as planned due to being quarantined 
  • Cancellation where the policyholder, a close relative or travelling companion have received a positive Covid-19 diagnosis in the UK and are unable to commence their trip 
  • Cutting short a trip due to a change in FCDO advice, while on a trip 
  • Travel to any destination, as long as the FCDO is not advising against ‘all travel’

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line and Churchill said: “As the world begins to reopen and the government relax Covid-19 travel restrictions, Direct Line and Churchill want to give customers back their freedom and allow greater choice when planning to travel.”

“Our new approach aims to support the recovery of the travel industry and will give customers greater confidence to travel if they wish to, whilst offering the choice of cancelling or travelling where FCDO advice is against ‘all but essential’ travel.”

“It’s important to remember that when preparing for a trip, all required documentation and testing requirements are organised ahead of travelling. If customers are unable to travel, then we require them to seek the recovery of costs or to rebook with their travel provider where possible. However, our policies are there to act as a safety net for our customers when they need us.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk