Brexit & Travel insurance– What does it mean?
Uncertainty remains on whether the UK leaves the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement (a 'no-deal Brexit'). If it does so on a no-deal basis, then travel to and from the UK could be affected. However, we don't know what the full impact will be yet, with or without a deal. There could be delays at the borders, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may not be valid, and entry requirements to EU countries may change.
If you need to make a claim, then, some of the possible sections of cover that may be relevant are the Missed Departure, Delay, Travel Disruption, and Medical Expenses sections.
If I need to make a claim, will I be 'covered for Brexit'?
If Brexit causes disruption to travel arrangements, then it's the airlines and travel companies that take primary responsibility for offering alternative transport or refunds. In the first instance, you should always contact your travel provider(s) first.
I don't want to go to Europe now; can I cancel my trip and make a claim?
Cancellation cover is for specific reasons only. Those reasons unfortunately don't include making a decision not to travel.
Will your travel insurance still be valid in the EU, after we leave the EU?
Yes, your travel insurance will still be valid. Their cover will be the same and you'll get exactly the same levels of service and care if you need emergency medical treatment while you're in an EU country.
What happens if long queues cause a problem?
Missed Departure cover only applies in certain circumstances. These are the circumstances leading to you arriving at an international or final departure point too late to board your booked transport. The circumstances don't include being delayed because of long queues. As longer queues are expected, you should make sure you take potential delays into account and leave enough time in your travel plans.
But what happens if your transport is delayed or cancelled?
The Delay section under your policy should provide cover if your transport (for your outward or return journey) is delayed or cancelled for reasons which you or the tour operator can't control. You will either receive a specified amount per number of hours delay (an example being £20 per 12 hours of the delay) or up to the cancellation limit on your policy (for travel and accommodation costs only) for cancellation if, after a 12-hour delay, you decide not to continue with your trip.
If your policy includes a "Travel Disruption" section (not all policies will), then if you have to make alternative arrangements to reach your destinations, and/or you have to
make alternative accommodation arrangements at any point during the period of insurance, then, after a 12-hour delay they may also be able to claim for the cost of additional travel expenses and extra accommodation (room only) expenses up to a certain limit.
If there's a problem with your travel, then you should contact and follow the recommendations of the transport provider as a first port of call.
If you need medical treatment while you're overseas, can you still use your EHICs?
No. If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, then it's quite likely the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid. This is why it's so important to have appropriate travel insurance in place. If the EHIC is no longer valid, you may have to pay an additional excess on each medical expense claim (previously, insurers waived this if they were using an EHIC).
Can you still get compensation from their airlines if flights are delayed or cancelled?
According to the CAA, the rights to compensation under the EU Flight Compensation Regulation will continue to apply to passengers departing from the United Kingdom to an airport situated in the territory of an EU member state, as long as the airline has an operating licence granted by an EU member state. Customers can find out more about their rights and how to make a claim on the CAA website: https://www.caa.co.uk/passengers/resolving-travel-problems/delays-and-cancellations/
Will your passports still be valid, after we leave the EU? And will you need a Visa?
If you are travelling after 29 March (or when we leave, if later), then the government is recommending that UK travellers have at least six months left on their passports from the date of arrival in an EU country.
If a 10-year adult passport was renewed before it expired, extra months may have been added, which won't count towards the required six months remaining.
Customers may want to renew their passports sooner rather than later, to make sure they have them in time for their holiday or travel plans.
For Visas - The European Commission has confirmed that from 2021, UK citizens would have to pay €7 for a travel permit, as part of the European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS). Travellers will register their details and pay the fee in advance of travel (at least 72 hours before departure is advised), to obtain ETIAS authorisation.
If I get stranded abroad beyond a scheduled return date, will your policy still provide cover?
Most policies will include an extension clause to extend the period of insurance by up to 30 days, at no extra cost, if you have to stay overseas due to events over which you have no control.
If in doubt, or you have any questions please call one of our advisers on 01481 701400 and we will be delighted to help.