The approach aims to support the recovery of the travel insurance industry

Direct Line and Churchill have issued changes to their travel insurance policies, removing restrictions to cancellation cover that was put in place last year at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This results in much more extensive cover where the claim relates to disputes caused by the pandemic.

Alongside this, the policy gives customers the choice of cancelling their trip or continuing to travel in cases where the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) changes its advice after a trip has been booked.

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line and Churchill, said: “As the world begins to reopen and the government relaxes 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.”

Safety net

Direct Line and Churchill customers that are impacted by a change in FCDO advice will have the option of either submitting a cancellation claim or continuing with their plans, knowing they have full protection.

From Tuesday 5 October 2021, Direct Line and Churchill travel insurance policies will cover:

Cancellation of a trip as a result of:

  • A passenger being instructed to quarantine or self-isolate – this includes cases where an individual is contacted by NHS Test and Trace but has not been diagnosed with Covid-19.
  • A government imposed lockdown as result of Covid-19 preventing travel.
  • A pre-booked accommodation no longer being available due to the local area being adversely affected by Covid-19.
  • The 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, these 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 holidaymakers 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, whilst on a trip.
  • Travel to any destination, as long as the FCDO aren’t advising against all travel.

Bishop added: “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.”