Zurich has also released a statement explaining what it covered and what is not for travel insurance policies

Zurich-backed insurtech Pluto has stopped providing extended travel insurance disruption add-ons as well as not covering trip cancellations anymore.

This applies only to new customers.

Alex Rainey chief executive at Pluto said in an FAQ that it has stopped offering extended travel disruption cover for new policies for all trip cancellations that are related to the coronavirus.

He said: “As of the 11th March we’ve stopped allowing this extra to be added to our policies.

”This means that our insurance will no longer cover your trip if you need to cancel it because of changes in FCO/WHO advice or because of airline or event cancellation related to coronavirus.

But he stressed that existing policies are not impacted by this change.

This is due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. Given that insurance is supposed to protect policyholders from the unknown the “very fluid situation with countries on lockdown” but this is no longer and known event and as such it is now unable to cover it anymore.

Known event

Meanwhile, Zurich published a statement on 11 March about its position on travel insurance under policies sold and existing cover whether they are directly purchased or via a comparison website.

It echoed Rainey’s statement that coronavirus is now a known event and now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

It said that although it cannot provide cover for cancellation and cutting short your trip and some other covers for known events/circumstances, it appreciates that customers may want to continue to make travel plans.

It released a summary of what is covered and what is not under existing and new travel insurance policies.

What is not covered:

  •  Any claim under the Cancellation or cutting short a trip section due to Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  •  Any claim under the Catastrophe, natural disaster and airspace closure section of Extra and Ultimate policies, due to Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • Quarantine during a trip or any related costs (except where you are quarantined on the orders of a treating medical practitioner)
  • You travelling to a country or area against the advice of the Foreign Commonwealth Office or equivalent government or national authority, or the World Health Organisation.

What is covered:

  • Emergency medical assistance and expenses if you are ill, injured or quarantined (on the orders of a treating medical practitioner) whilst abroad, during a trip (not UK) whether due to coronavirus or any other circumstances that are not explicitly excluded under the policy wording for the relevant section.
  • Claims for cancellation and cutting short your trip due to Accidental death, injury, illness of you, a close relative, travel companion, or someone with whom you have arranged to reside with during your trip (provided that it is not caused by coronavirus or other known circumstances)
  • Baggage, Personal Money Personal Liability, and all of the other coverages normally enjoyed by Zurich customers

Source: Zurich

“Please rest assured that if you catch corona virus when abroad it will be covered under your Zurich travel policy, and that if you buy cover now but cannot or do not want to travel at your intended departure date, we will refund 80% of your premium (if you buy single trip cover and do not intend to make a claim).

“If you are booking a new trip we suggest you are as flexible as possible with your travel plans, booking flights that are refundable and accommodation that can be cancelled up to your departure date (this will minimise your costs if you cannot travel), and advise your tour operator.travel agent/carrier and accommodation as soon as possible if you know you cannot travel.,” the statement said.