France-UK quarantine: how would my insurance be affected?
If I booked and came to France for a holiday and then the UK imposes a quarantine rule on France or advises against travelling to the country, will my travel insurance still be valid?
Short answer: probably yes.
A spokesperson from British price comparison website MoneySupermarket told Connexion that it depends on the insurer.
“Most insurance policies will keep you on cover, as long as you purchased your policy and travelled before this was announced. There are some policies underwritten by AXA that will also cover the cost to get you home in this instance,” the spokesperson said.
It is important then to check with your insurer before travelling.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has fuelled speculation that France could be added to the UK's quarantine list after he said he would “not hesitate” to bring in restrictions for more countries.
This would mean that anyone travelling from France to the UK would be required to self-isolate for two weeks. It could also result in the UK Foriegn Office (FCO) advising against travel to France. In this case, anyone who still chooses to go ahead with travel plans against the advice of the FCO would not be covered by private insurance.
You will still be covered by a valid European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) if you have one. This will only cover basic medical costs, though, and so any additional treatment, which can be expensive, you will have to pay yourself.
There are some important factors to consider if quarantine measures are imposed by the UK on France, but travel advice is not changed.
For example, if anyone has a holiday to France booked with travel insurance and the UK government announces quarantine measures prompting the person to decide to cancel the trip, it is unlikely travellers will be able to claim their money back.
“Customers will not be able to claim on their insurance policy if they choose not to take their trip, as this is classed as ‘disinclination to travel’,” the MoneySupermarket spokesperson said.
However, some insurance companies may pay out for other coronavirus-related reasons, such as cancellation because someone in the travelling group contracts the virus.
A spokesperson for insurance company AllClear said that they recommend people thinking very carefully about the risks of travelling right now.
“We can’t emphasise strongly enough that travel against FCO advice invalidates cover,” they stated.
Travel expert Paul Charles, CEO and founder of tourism consultancy PC Agency is quoted by leading UK media as being in the know on UK government’s decisions on quarantine.
He told Connexion that France, where coronavirus cases are rising sharply, is on a “cliff-edge” and close to falling into the quarantine category.
He said if a decision is made, it should be expected on Thursday, as that is the day the government usually reviews its Covid-19 overseas policies and decides whether new quarantine regulations should be imposed or extended to more countries. However, he said the government could make an announcement earlier and at any time.
Tips from MoneySupermarket:
When you’re looking for holiday insurance, make sure you include these minimum levels of single-trip cover:
- Medical cover of £1.5M will be all anyone should need. (We are not aware of any claim larger than £1.5M in the UK)
- Personal liability cover in the region of £1 million
- Cancellation cover equal to or higher than the value of your holiday (include excursions etc)
- Baggage and personal belongings cover that equals the cost of replacing any personal items you take with you (although remember that most travel policies assume you have expensive items covered on your home insurance so there is usually a low value for a single article limit. Most providers also require receipts, so make sure if you buy anything new for your trip that you hold onto these).
- Personal money cover which matches the amount of cash that you plan to take with you, which could be up to £500
- Excess: aim for a low excess no more than £100, otherwise if you claim for £250 of personal money or a pair of lost sunglasses, you may find you have very little change.