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Extended Vitality Worldwide Travel Cover FAQs.

This information was updated on 23 July 2021.

Following recent changes, we would like to update our members on the implications for international travel and the cover available under the Worldwide Travel Cover option.

FAQs

International travel is currently prohibited from all nations of the UK, except for legally permitted reasons (such as essential work trips). The Worldwide Travel plan will cover member’s trips abroad if legally permitted, providing the destination is one to which the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is not advising against travel, or all but essential travel. In addition, cancellations for events that were reasonably foreseeable at the time of the booking are not covered. We have clarified to our members that bookings made from 17 March 2020 on existing plans will not be covered for cancellation or disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, given its highly foreseeable nature.
For new plans, and new joiners to existing plans, there will be no cover under the ‘cancelling your trip or cutting it short’ benefit of the Worldwide Travel Cover plan if the reason for the claim is connected to COVID-19. However, for members joining us on switch terms who had travel insurance with their previous insurer, we will cover them under this benefit if they booked their trip before 17 March 2020.

If your clients have Vitality Worldwide Travel Cover:

If your client is admitted to hospital abroad, they and any insured dependants (an “insured member”), are covered up to £10m. This is as long as they follow the latest UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice. However:

  • If, at the time of departure, the FCDO are advising against all travel to the destination, your clients will not be covered
  • If, at the time of departure, the FCDO are advising against all but essential travel to the destination, your clients will not be covered
  • If the FCDO advice changes during the trip, your clients will be covered until they return to the UK. 

No. Your clients travel insurance is designed to cover them for the cost of their trip if they can’t take it in a number of specific situations, including if the FCDO advise against travel to their destination. If, at the time of the departure, the FCDO are not advising against travel to the destination but your clients have changed their mind about going, they can’t make a claim.

No. If the airline or travel provider cancel the trip, they will – in the vast majority of cases – be obliged to refund your client in full, even if the booking was made on a non-refundable basis.
Your clients’ bank or credit card provider may help under these circumstances. There are two things they can do.
  1. Chargeback scheme: This is a voluntary scheme that applies to purchases on debit and credit cards. Your clients can contact their bank and ask them to intervene with the travel provider on their behalf.
  2. Consumer Credit Act: Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, a credit card company is jointly liable, with the vendor, for the provision of the goods and services your clients have purchased. This applies to purchases between £100 and £30,000. If the travel provider doesn’t give your clients a full refund, they can apply for one from their credit card provider. This only applies to credit card payments and not debit cards.

If the FCDO advice is to return to the UK as soon as possible, we would expect your clients to make arrangements to cut short their trip. Your clients should apply to their airline provider to arrange an earlier flight back to the UK. If there is a difference in cost between the flight they had originally booked and the earlier flight of the same fare type back to the UK, they should register a claim with us.

If your clients are having difficulty returning to the UK, they can contact us so we can advise what they are covered for. If the FCDO advice is to return as soon as possible, and they make no attempt to return, your clients won’t be covered under their plan.

If the accommodation provider is unable to provide the accommodation due to restrictions, they should provide your clients with a full refund. If the accommodation provider continues providing the accommodation but your clients can’t travel there (for example, due to continuing FCDO advice not to travel), your clients can register a claim with us.
Yes. If they can’t reach their first destination out of the UK, and they can’t get refunds on flights from that destination to another (which is still going ahead), your clients can register a claim with us.

Your clients should contact the provider to see if the flight is going ahead and/or the accommodation is still available. If not, then – in the vast majority of cases – the provider will be obliged to offer your clients a full refund. Some travel providers have been offering vouchers instead of a full refund. Your clients are not obliged to accept this and can insist on a full refund. Your clients can’t claim on their Worldwide Travel plan when the provider of the flight and/or accommodation is obliged to refund them.

If the FCDO is now advising against travel to the destination, but the flight has not been cancelled, or the accommodation is still available and the provider is unwilling to give a refund, your clients can register a claim with us.

Under the cancellation and curtailment section of their Worldwide Travel plan, your clients are only entitled to recover the losses they incurred. If the travel provider compensates your client in part or in full, we will deduct that compensation from the amount we pay them. If we pay a claim under the cancellation and curtailment benefit on the plan, we reserve the right to recover costs from your client's provider.

If your clients receive a refund from their travel provider after we have made a payment to them, they should get in touch with us as they may need to return some of the money.

We won’t cover your clients for medical expenses or losses if they travel outside the UK when the FCDO has advised against all travel, or against all but essential travel, to the destination.
Yes. For the purposes of their insurance plan, the advice applies equally to all residents of the UK, whether or not they have UK citizenship. The risk of contracting Coronavirus is the same for citizens of other countries resident in the UK, as is the risk of travel disruption. If the FCDO advised against travel, or all but essential travel, at the time of departure, we won’t cover trips to those destinations.
Your clients won’t be covered for any trip they book now that is later cancelled due to Covid-19. Your clients will not be covered for any trip they book now to a country to which the FCDO is advising against travel, or all but essential travel, if that advice remains in place at the time they are due to depart. They will however be covered providing the FCDO is not advising against travel when they leave.
No. The advice of the FCDO can change quickly. Your clients should not cancel their future trips at this point, as they may still be able to travel. If they do cancel their trip before it is clear whether or not it can go ahead, they may not receive a full refund from their travel provider, and they will not be able to claim under their Worldwide Travel plan.

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