Coronavirus outbreaks have taken place in holiday hotspots such as Italy, Thailand and Tenerife,
Travel insurance is there to cover you if things go wrong – such as holiday cancellations or needing to get back from your trip early.
However, the special circumstances that come with coronavirus has left some holidaymakers confused as to exactly what they're covered for if they travel.
Essentially, it does depend on your policy – and the FCO advice on your chosen destination.
To help shed some light, we've put together a guide on the basics you need to know including if you're covered for holiday cancellations, or if your holiday is affected by an outbreak.
Check out the guide below…
(The information below is subject to change – you should check the FCO travel advice for your destination and get in touch with your travel firm before setting off).
Wanting to cancel a holiday
If the FCO doesn't advise against travel to your destination, but you no longer want to go on holiday, it's unlikely that you will be covered for the costs.
Your first point of call should be the tour operator or travel firm as they may be able to accommodate and rebook you to travel at a later date.
In this case, it's worth getting in touch with your insurance provider as they may be able to transfer the cover to your new travel dates.
Check your policy first and get in touch with your provider – but most insurers don't cover 'disinclination to travel' when the FCO does not advise against travel somewhere.
There are some exceptions – for example if there's medical advice against you travelling – but again, this depends on your policy.
There's a coronavirus outbreak in your destination before you travel
This basically depends on whether the FCO advises against travel to your destination or not; we've got a full guide on coronavirus travel advice to explain what happens in either case.
Essentially, if the FCO advises against travel then your insurance no longer covers you if you go on holiday. However, in this case, your travel firm will be in touch to discuss your options, usually to rebook your trip at a later date. If you make alternative plans, you may be able to transfer your travel insurance to cover your new destination.
Depending on your policy, your insurance may cover you for non-refundable cancellation costs.
If the FCO doesn't advise against travel to a destination but there has been a coronavirus outbreak, technically your holiday can still go ahead.
However, this advice can change overnight so it's worth getting in touch with your travel firm first, as they can advise you on whether the trip will go ahead, or whether there are changes to be made. If you opt to rebook for travel at a later date, you may be able to get your insurance to transfer cover for your new holiday.
Want to find out more? The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has issued a guide around coronavirus for holidaymakers.
If there's an outbreak but the FCO does not change its advice to be against travel to your destination, your holiday can continue as normal.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advice on how to protect yourself from the virus.
If you want to come back early, it's unlikely that your insurance will cover the costs – you should get in touch with your tour operator but again, they're not obligated to help you come back home.
If the FCO advice changes during your holiday
Your first point of call should be your tour operator or travel firm, who should be able to advise and cover the costs of your return to the UK.
If they are unable to cover you, then get in touch with your insurance as they may cover some of your out-of-pocket losses, provided you can prove that you were unable to get assistance from another source.
It's worth noting that some insurers do cover for 'disruption to travel', such as the FCO changing its travel advice to be against travel, so check for this wording in your policy.
Unfortunately, ATOL protection (the protection that helped Thomas Cook customers get home, for example) does not apply in this scenario.
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