Insurance risks being invalid if you visit France from UK

Visitors from the UK to France should beware that British travel insurance policies currently risk being invalidated due to ongoing UK government advice against non-essential trips.

15 June 2020
By Liv Rowland

The Association of British Insurers has told Connexion that most travel insurance policies may be affected if choosing to travel for pleasure outside the UK at this time.

As France opens up from today to tourists from the European area, including the EU, Schengen Area and UK, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against “all but essential international travel”.

An FCO spokeswoman said this could change at any time, but they cannot make any predictions as to when that may be. 

"We are monitoring the global travel situation closely and keeping our advice against all non-essential travel under continuous review," she said.

It comes as the UK is also maintaining a strict 14-day self-isolation quarantine rule, including for UK residents returning from trips away, as part of its fight against Covid-19.

An ABI spokeswoman said: “It is likely to apply to most British travel insurance policies. They are usually based on what the government is saying; generally if you travel against FCO advice then you are likely to invalidate your cover.

“However if you are unsure, you should check the terms and conditions of your policy and check with your insurer.”

Insurance firms can also advise on how they interpret 'essential' but it will not include a holiday.

Travel insurance typically covers matters such as private healthcare you may have while on your trip, mountain rescue, repatriation, lost or stolen baggage, or refunds where you cannot use a travel ticket in situations not covered by EU guarantees, such as due to you falling ill.

The ABI said that if people choose to drive overseas, their car insurance policies would still cover them abroad, nonetheless they strongly encourage everyone to follow the advice.

With regard to breakdown cover the RAC and AA told Connexion they will still help people who break down in France, if they have European breakdown cover, despite the FCO advice. Even so, the AA also stressed that they encourage their customers to follow it.

We would advise checking with any relevant insurers if coming from the UK for a holiday, including a stay at a French second home, as opposed for example to travelling due to a family emergency. 

The FCO travel advice can be found here https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france and will be updated as the situation evolves.

Previous articles

France opens to visitors from Europe from Monday

UK France travel from June 15: your options by air, train, ferry

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