Zurich Travel FAQs for Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Flybe

The following applies to customers that have or are considering buying a Zurich Basic, Standard, Extra, Essential, Enhanced or Ultimate travel insurance policy.

Please note these FAQs are here to help guide you in relation to general queries relating to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and; Flybe closure. Each and any claim will be reviewed individually based on the policy wording in force and you should always ensure you have read and understood your insurance schedule and policy documents for full terms and conditions.

Who are the FCO?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides advice for British travelers about travelling abroad to foreign countries. In certain situations the FCO will advise against travelling to certain areas for safety reasons. You can visit the FCO website at the following address. If you travel against FCO advice at time of booking, your travel policy will be invalid.

What is a known event?

We will not provide cover for claims under the Cancellation or cutting short a trip (or under Extra and Ultimate policies the Catastrophe, natural disaster and airspace closure) section of cover, due to known circumstances/events at the start date of your cover or at the time of booking a trip (whichever is later) or pay claims in any way related to 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.

Please refer to your policy documents and insurance schedule for full coverage details and cover levels applicable to your specific policy.

Is Coronavirus (Covid-19) a known event?

Yes. Effective from 4.27pm on 11th March 2020, Coronavirus (Covid-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and became a global known event. All policies sold after this time (or new trips booked under existing policies) will not cover claims under the Cancellation or cutting short a trip section due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Customers that buy extra or ultimate cover after this date and time (or book new trips under existing policies) will also not be covered under the Catastrophe, natural disaster, and airspace closure section for any claim due to Coronavirus (Covid-19). This applies to all claims under this section including claims where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or an equivalent government or national authority, or the World Health Organisation issuing notice or advice against all travel or all but essential travel to the area in which they were due to travel, where the change of advice is due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Prior to this time Coronavirus (Covid-19) was a known event affecting a limited number of specific areas/countries, starting in December 2019 in Hubei province, China. The countries/areas affected and dates from which Coronavirus became a known event in respect of policies purchased/trips booked to these countries/areas can be checked on referral to Zurich.

I have a trip booked and although the FCO states it is safe to travel, I don’t want to because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, can I claim for a refund for my trip?

No, unwillingness to travel is excluded for claims purposes. However if you wish to cancel your policy because you do not wish to travel due to the developing Coronavirus situation and providing you have; a single trip policy; no claims have or will be made and cover had not commenced, then we will issue an 80% refund.

If you have an annual policy you will only be eligible for a full refund within 14 days of purchase as long as your trip has not commenced and no claims have or will be made.  If your annual policy is within 6 months you will be eligible for a pro-rata refund and if your policy is outside of 6 months, no refund will be given.

Will my policy cover me for medical expenses abroad if I contracted Coronavirus (Covid-19)?

Provided that you do not travel to a country or area against the advice of the Foreign Commonwealth Office or equivalent government or national authority, or the World Health Organisation, your policy includes medical cover while abroad and will cover you if you are ill due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Can I upgrade my level of cover?

If you wish to upgrade your level of cover, you can do so provided that you are within 14 days of purchase, have not/are not intending to claim and your trip has not already started.

Please note we will not cover any claim related to Coronavirus (Covid-19), or which is the result of any other events announced on television, news bulletins, in the media, including the FCO website in the UK before the start date of cover or at the time of booking a trip (whichever is later). Please refer to your policy documents and insurance schedule for full coverage details and cover levels applicable to your specific policy.

If I were to book cover at a time when the FCO advise against travel would I be covered?

If you buy cover or book a trip at a time when the Foreign Commonwealth Office or equivalent government or national authority,or the World Health Organisation advise against travelling to your destination country or area, you will not be covered if the advice remains in force at the time you are start the trip.

If you plan to buy cover for a future trip on the basis that the FCO or WHO may withdraw their advice against all or all but essential travel by the time your trip is due to start, please be aware that:

  • You can cancel your policy (including cancelling outside of the 14 day cooling off period) and receive a full refund if the advice is not withdrawn (subject to no claims made or pending on the policy).
  • If the advice is withdrawn and then reinstated due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) it will be considered as a known event and not covered and we will also not cover you travelling against FCO or WHO advice. You can however cancel your policy (including cancelling outside of the 14 day cooling off period) and receive a full refund (subject to no claims made or pending on the policy).

If I were to catch the Coronavirus (Covid-19) before I travel, am I covered?

Yes if you need to cancel your trip, provided that you booked your trip and purchased your travel insurance policy prior to 4.27pm on 11th March 2020. For policies purchased after this date and time, note that no cancellation cover is provided for any customer needing to cancel owing to contracting Covid-19 within the UK and needing to cancel their trip- as this is now deemed to be a known event.

If I am quarantined before departure due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) and as such cannot travel, am I covered?

Yes. As long as you booked your trip and purchased your travel insurance policy prior to 4.27pm on 11th March 2020, and provided that you are quarantined on the order of a treating medical practitioner Please note we may require and request additional supporting evidence to enable us to process any claims and that the policy does not cover mass quarantine i.e. your home town being on lockdown.

Should I wait until closer to my travel dates before I try to make a claim?

If the FCO is advising against ‘all but essential travel’ to your destination, you should speak to your tour operator, travel agent or carrier before cancelling your trip as they may be able to rearrange, refund or offer alternative travel arrangements. If you have to cancel your trip and have not paid the full cost, you should cancel within 5 days of any further payments being due. If you have paid the full trip cost, you should cancel within 5 days of your intended date of departure. If the FCO are not advising against travel at the time of cancelling your trip or if you cancel too early and the FCO withdraw the advice, more than 5 days hours before your trip is due to commence, this may be classed as unwillingness to travel and you may not be able to make a claim as per the terms and conditions in your policy documents.

I have an Extra or Ultimate policy, am I covered for cancelling my trip due to Coronavirus being declared a pandemic and if so, when should I cancel?

As long as you booked your trip and purchased your travel insurance policy prior to 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 you have cover for cancellation and cutting short your trip due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. You should speak to your tour operator, travel agent or carrier before cancelling your trip as they may be able to rearrange, refund or offer alternative travel arrangements. If you have to cancel your trip and have not paid the full cost, you should cancel within 5 days of any further payments being due. If you have paid the full trip cost, you should cancel within 5 days of your intended date of departure. If you cancel too early and the WHO downgrade Coronavirus (Covid-19) from being a pandemic, more than 5 days before your trip is due to commence, this may be classed as unwillingness to travel and you may not be able to make a claim as per the terms and conditions in your policy documents.

I have an Extra or Ultimate policy, I am abroad and want to cut short my trip due to Coronavirus being declared a pandemic, am I covered?

As long as you purchased your travel insurance policy covering your trip and your trip started prior to 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 you have cover for cutting short your trip due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. You should speak to your tour operator, travel agent or carrier and service providers immediately, and submit a claim when you return home.

What happens if the FCO advice changes while I am abroad and they advise against travel to my destination while I am there?

You should contact your tour operator or travel agent in the first instance for advice and or make every effort to leave the area if it is safe to do so. If you are unable to leave and you catch the virus, cover would be provided for medical expenses. 

If I travel to a country or area where there are reported cases am I still covered if I catch the Coronavirus (Covid-19)?

Yes, provided that you are not 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 if I return from a country affected by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and experience symptoms of the virus?

Please ensure you always follow the latest advice from the UK Government which can be found on the following link.

For the latest advice on how to protect yourself please visit the NHS website for full information which can be found on the following link:

Are there any entry restrictions in force?

Many countries and territories have introduced screening measures and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs. Depending on the restrictions in place, if you have recently been in China or other affected countries, you may not be allowed to enter or transit a third country. Alternatively you may be required to enter a period of quarantine after entry.
Screening measures on arrival may include temperature checks, and you could be asked about your general health or recent travel history. Where these checks identify a concern, further medical checks may be required.

For country-specific information, check the FCO travel advice pages for all countries you are planning to visit or transit.

If you’re affected by these changes and need further information about entry requirements, contact the local immigration authorities or the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you’re travelling to. You should also check with your airline or travel company for the latest information.

Basic, Standard, Enhanced, or Essentials policies

If you are required to enter a period of quarantine at your destination country or area, you should speak to their tour operator, travel agent or air carrier. Although your policy will not provide cover for cancelling your trip or for your costs relating to you being quarantined on arrival, it will remain in force if you decide to complete your trip (provided that it is not against FCO or WHO advice).

If you decide to cancel your trip you can cancel your policy (including cancelling outside of the 14 day cooling off period) and receive a full refund (subject to no claims made or pending on the policy).

Extra and Ultimate policies

Please refer to “I have an Extra or Ultimate policy, am I covered for cancelling my trip due to Coronavirus being declared a pandemic and if so, when should I cancel?” (see above).

Flybe

I had a flight booked with Flybe, what should I do?

The Flybe website provides an outline and FAQs covering what you should do. Full details can be found at www.flybe.com

I have a Zurich Travel policy purchased before the collapse was publicly announced on 5th March 2020 what should I do?

You will first need to follow the advice provided by Flybe and the CAA websites

Please note that:

If you are already abroad and the return flight date has been altered your policy will remain in force without additional premium for up to 14 days;

We will not cover any claim due to circumstances known at the start date of cover or at the time of booking a trip (whichever is later).

If you have purchased a single trip insurance policy before the collapse was publicly announced on 5th March 2020 to cover travel including Flybe flights and your trip has not started and you wish to change your travel plans, we may agree to cancel the policy outside of the 14 days period normally allowed, provided that no claim has been made or is intended to be made.

I purchased a Standard/Enhanced/Ultimate/Extra policy before the collapse was publicly announced on 5th March 2020 am I covered?

You will have cover for Scheduled Airline Failure as follows:

We will pay up to the limits specified in the schedule of benefits (for the level of cover you have selected) for each insured person named on the Airline Ticket for either:

1. Financial failure of the scheduled airline before your trip has started, the amount you have already paid to the scheduled airline for your unused flight ticket (which is not recoverable by any other means).

OR

2. Financial failure of the scheduled airline after your trip has started:

a) the additional cost of a one way trip (of a similar standard to that which you had already booked) to replace the original flight arrangements, if you have been offered no other alternative means of travel

OR

b) the pro rata amount you have already paid to the scheduled airline for your unused flight ticket for your original return flight to the United Kingdom (which is not recoverable by any other means)

Whichever is the greater.

Please note that you should always first attempt to obtain a refund from your credit or debit card provider, the airline (where applicable through an affiliate), ATOL (for package holidays/ travel agent bookings). Full details can be found on the Flybe or CAA websites.

Please refer to the policy wording for full terms and conditions of the cover in place.