Covid-19 - What's covered under M&S Travel Insurance?

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* Please note advice around travel may differ between the government traffic light system and FCDO advice. For example, there may be green, amber and red list countries that do not have FCDO advice against travel in place and others that do. It is important you check if there is any FCDO advice in place for the country you are travelling to as this may impact your cover.

Please check the rules in England (link opens in a new tab), Scotland (link opens in a new tab), Wales (link opens in a new tab), and Northern Ireland (link opens in a new tab) to see what current UK Government Covid-19 restrictions are in your area and the travel advice for British citizens travelling abroad.

Before you book a trip or travel, it’s essential you check the entry requirements for any country you are travelling to or will transit through and the entry requirements for return to the UK. Countries have different entry requirements, for example, you may require a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination. There may also be a requirement for you to quarantine on arrival.

For international travel, you also need to be aware of border closures and travel restrictions abroad. For example, where the UK government has placed a country on the green list, border restrictions may still apply to that country that will stop you from entering. If you book a trip while these restrictions are in place and the restrictions result in you having to cancel your trip, then you will not be covered.

You will not be covered if you decide to travel against FCDO advice unless your travel is essential and legally permitted. (This exclusion will not apply to some existing policies – please refer to the ‘Will I still be covered to travel to an Amber/Red list country or a country in the green watchlist?’ question for more details).

Please be aware, you may not be covered for cancelling your trip depending on what the travel restrictions are at home and abroad at the time you book your trip or purchase your cover (whichever is later).

If you book a trip or purchase your policy (whichever is later) whilst FCDO advice against travel is in place, then you will not be covered if you then have to cancel your trip as a result of FCDO advice.

If all of the travel restrictions at home and abroad have been removed when you book your trip, then you will be fully covered if the restrictions are reintroduced, preventing you from travelling or forcing you to return home early.

Travel insurance covers you for non-refundable costs. Before making a claim or if your travel provider has changed the terms of your booking, you should first contact your travel or accommodation provider to discuss your options.

We continue to review the government’s advice and update our FAQs in line with this. If you’re currently abroad, please visit the FCDO website for advice on getting home.

I want to make a claim

What will I need to make a travel insurance claim?

You’ll need to provide:

  • confirmation of the original booking and booking terms, and which parts of it are non-refundable
  • evidence you’ve contacted your travel or accommodation provider to claim a refund
  • if you’ve approached your payment provider for a refund, any evidence they have provided to show that they have declined your request
  • where appropriate, details of any self-isolation advice you’ve been given by either your GP, the NHS track and trace service, or from NHS 111

For all claims, normal policy terms and conditions, exclusions and claims assessments apply.

How long will it take for my claim to be processed?

Please notify the Aviva claims team of your intention to claim at the earliest opportunity. Due to the high volume of claims relating to Covid-19, claims will be assessed within 28 days of receipt. As such, it is important that you follow the guidance provided in the claims pack which will have been issued following notification of your claim.

I'm about to travel

Am I covered to cancel if the country I am travelling to changes from the green list to the amber/red list or green watchlist?

You are covered to cancel within 31 days before departure, providing FCDO advice against travel is in place. There is no cover if FCDO advice was in place at the time you booked your trip or purchased your cover (whichever is later).

Will I still be covered to travel to an Amber/Red list country or a country in the green watchlist?

You will be covered to travel as long as no FCDO advice was in place at the time of travel.

For M&S Travel Insurance Customers

If you purchased your policy or your renewal date was before 17 January 2021, we recommend you follow the advice of the Foreign Office and local authorities and not place yourself at additional risk.

If you do decide to travel, you’re covered, providing you follow the advice of the local authorities.

However, there is no cover to come home early if Foreign Office advice was in place at the start of your trip.

If you bought your policy or your renewal date was on or after 17 January 2021, you are not covered for travel that goes against the advice of the Foreign Office or the local authorities in the area you want to travel.

For M&S Premium Club Travel Insurance and Current Account with Insurance customers

If you took out cover or booked your trip (whichever is later) before 8 February 2021, we recommend you follow the advice of the Foreign Office and local authorities and not place yourself at additional risk.

If you do decide to travel, you’re covered providing you follow the advice of the local authorities.

However, there is no cover to come home early if Foreign Office advice was in place at the start of your trip.

If you took out cover or booked your trip on or after 8 February 2021, you are not covered for travel that goes against the advice of the Foreign Office or the local authorities in the area you want to travel.

Am I covered if I have to come home early if the country I am in changes or will change from the green list to the amber/red list or green watchlist while on my trip?

As long as there is no FCDO advice against travel in place when you leave the UK you will be covered to come home early if FCDO advice comes into place whilst you are on your trip.

If no FCDO advice against travel is in place, but you want to return home early, please contact us to see if we can consider your claim.

If the country I am in goes into red unexpectedly during my stay, will you cover costs for hotel quarantine on return to the UK?

If the country was not on the red list or on the watchlist to move to the red list at the time you left the UK, and there was no FCDO advice in place at the time you left the UK - we will cover hotel quarantine costs on return.

Am I covered to cancel if entry restrictions are imposed on the country I am travelling to (for example, border closures or quarantine)?

Yes, providing there were no entry restrictions or FCDO advice in place at the time of booking the trip or purchasing your cover, whichever is later. However, you should first contact your travel or accommodation provider to discuss your options.

Am I covered if I have to cancel my trip abroad due to Government or local lockdown restrictions in the UK preventing me from travelling?

Yes. Providing there were no UK government or local lockdown restrictions in place or had been announced when you took out the cover or booked your trip - whichever is later.

Am I covered if I have to cancel my UK-based trip due to Government or local lockdown restrictions in the UK preventing me from travelling?

Yes, providing you have at least two consecutive nights’ pre-booked accommodation (or have prepaid flights or ferry crossings if you have M&S Premium Club or M&S Premium Current Account Travel insurance) and there was no UK Government or local lockdown restrictions in place or had been announced at the time of took out the cover or booked the trip, whichever is later.

Am I covered if I am quarantined at an airport and cannot continue my trip as a result of a medical assessment or temperature check?

Yes. We’ll pay costs for accommodation you haven't been able to use, and that you can't recover from elsewhere, if you have to abandon your trip and come home early. We'll also cover additional travel and accommodation costs to let everyone insured under the policy return home, providing a return trip home was booked.

Am I covered if I need to cancel my trip if due to contracting Covid-19 or I’m advised to isolate e.g. by the NHS Test and Trace service?

Yes, you’ll be covered by your M&S Travel Insurance policy if you need to cancel.

If you contract Covid-19 or get a notification while you are abroad, you would be covered under the emergency medical section if you need to quarantine.

I’ve previously been diagnosed with Covid-19, do I need to tell you and how will this affect my cover?

Cover will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the medical treatment required. You should check the ‘Your Health’ section of your policy booklet to find out what you need to tell Aviva. You must disclose medical conditions as stated in the policy terms and conditions.

My travel provider has made it a requirement to have had Coronavirus vaccinations before being allowed to travel with them, what should I do?

If your travel provider has changed the terms of your booking and now require you to have been vaccinated before travelling, you should contact your travel provider to discuss your options.

My tour operator has asked me to provide proof of insurance, where can I get this?

If you have a single or annual multi-trip policy from M&S Travel Insurance and have been asked to provide proof of insurance to your tour operator and require written confirmation, your policy and policy booklet, contain all the required information. Your policy booklet can be found here.

If you have an M&S Premium Club with travel insurance or M&S Premium Current Account with travel insurance, please visit our proof of insurance page where you can request this along with a copy of your policy booklet.

I’m currently stuck abroad. Can you help?

If you’re stuck abroad and couldn’t get home before your travel insurance cover ended, you must contact us. Please also check with your airline or travel provider and the FCDO website for advice about the country that you’re in. If you’re in real need, contact the FCDO’s consular assistance helpline on 020 7008 1500.

I booked my trip with an M&S Credit Card. What rights do I have to claim on my credit card?

Is there anything I should do before making a claim?

In the first instance you should contact the travel provider where you have purchased the goods or services (e.g. the airline if you have purchased airline tickets, hotel booking etc.). If flights, package holidays, or events are cancelled, make sure you refer to your contract and follow the supplier's refund/re-booking terms. You should attempt to resolve the matter with the travel provider directly. This may result in a refund or offer of an acceptable alternative such as booking for an alternative date or credit vouchers.

M&S Bank may be able to help you if you have been unable to resolve the matter with your travel provider via a chargeback or a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (if the total purchase price is greater than £100 and less than £30,000). We will need details of your booking, the supplier's terms and all subsequent correspondence you've had with the suppliers to review your claim.

If flights, package holidays, or events are cancelled, make sure you refer to your contract and follow the supplier's refund/re-booking terms in the first instance. You should do this before raising any dispute with M&S Bank as this information may be needed to support any claim.

What if I have future travel plans?

If travel arrangements are still operational, but you want to cancel (or have already cancelled), any refunds will be subject to the refund policy within the supplier's terms and conditions.

You may not be entitled to a refund if you have voluntarily opted to cancel. Try contacting the supplier to see if they're willing to offer a refund or alternative as a gesture of goodwill.

If your date of travel is some time in the future, you may want to wait until nearer the time of travel before making a decision to voluntarily cancel.

You will only be able to raise a dispute or claim under section 75 if the supplier's terms and conditions have a refund policy which they decline to honour.

What can I do if I've booked my flights and hotel independently (not as a package) and the flights are no longer available? 

You should contact the hotel to recover the costs, or arrange a new booking with them. The hotel costs may not be recoverable unless you have cancellation rights in the hotel supplier's terms. If you're unable to recover the costs, you may be able to dispute the transaction.

Can I reclaim a refund for the value of my holiday if most of the facilities are closed when I'm there?

This will depend on the travel provider's terms and the specific circumstances of your case. You may not be entitled to claim a refund if the closures are outside of their control. If the travel provider is aware of any closures booked prior to and during your stay they should notify you. 

What can I do if I've booked a holiday to a location where the embassy is no longer issuing visas?

We would urge you to avoid additional risk by following the FCDO and local authority's advice.

You should contact the airline, travel operator or tour organiser and explain that you're unable to travel. Depending on the supplier's terms, you may be able to recover the cost or arrange an alternative trip.

In order to raise a dispute or claim under section 75, please provide us with full details of the booking and all correspondence you've had with the suppliers and insurers. We'll then review your case.

For help on how to dispute a transaction, please read our guide.

What can I do if the event I booked flights and hotels for is cancelled?

Contact the airline, travel or accommodation provider and check if you're eligible for a refund due to the event being cancelled. Some companies may offer a refund or allow you to move your booking. Make sure you refer to your contract and follow the supplier's refund/re-booking terms in the first instance. You should do this before raising any dispute with M&S Bank as this information may be needed to support any claim.

For help on how to dispute a transaction, please read our guide.