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

Latest Update

On 4 July 2020 the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice, to include exemptions for travel to certain countries. Please view the list of exempt destinations regularly as it is frequently updated. The FCDO continue to advise against non-essential international travel, except to those countries and territories listed as exempt.

You also need to be aware of any local quarantine restrictions that apply to where you live or your travel arrangements. When booking a future trip, you should check the status of your chosen destination and whether there are any restrictions still in place, or have been announced, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation periods. If, when you book your trip, there are still restrictions in place at that destination for UK travellers, you would not be covered for cancellation/abandonment.

The FCDO travel advice is under continual review and these FAQs will be updated in line with any changes.

If you’re currently abroad, please visit the FCDO website for up-to-date advice on getting home.

Travel insurance covers you for non-refundable costs. Your first step should be to contact your airline, travel or accommodation provider to find out what your options are.

If you booked a package holiday which has now been cancelled, the travel provider you booked with should provide you with a full refund of any payments made under the Package Travel Regulations 2018.

If you paid for any part of your cancelled trip with your credit or debit card, or PayPal, you may also need to contact your payment provider about obtaining a refund. For any non-refundable costs, please contact the travel insurance claims team.

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

Can I choose to cancel my trip if I’m travelling to a destination where FCDO advice is lifted but I still have to quarantine on arrival?

If FCDO advice has been lifted and there were no restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation periods in place or had been announced at the time of taking out your cover or booking the trip, whichever is later, you would be covered for cancellation/coming home early if a quarantine was later imposed.

There would be no cover to cancel due to Covid-19 if restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation periods were already in place when you booked the trip.

Will I still be covered if I travel to a country where FCDO advice hasn’t been lifted?

Customers should follow the advice as outlined by the FCDO/local authorities and not place themselves at additional risk. If you do decide to travel, you will be covered by your travel policy, so long as you comply with the advice of the local authorities. This includes cover for medical expenses (for new or disclosed and accepted conditions), if you fall ill (including Covid-19) or are quarantined abroad, for example following a temperature check – you must disclose medical conditions as stated in the policy terms and conditions.

There would be no cover to come home early if the FCDO advice was already in place, prior to your departure from the UK.

Am I covered for cancellation if all travel restrictions are lifted but I contract Covid-19 before I travel or I’m advised to isolate by the NHS Test & Trace service and this coincides with my trip?

You will be covered by your M&S Travel Insurance policy if you need to cancel your trip as a result of contracting Covid-19 or being advised to isolate by the NHS Test & Trace service.

If you contract Covid-19 or receive an NHS Test & Trace notification whilst abroad, then you would be covered under the emergency medical section if you needed to go into quarantine.

What cover do I have if UK Government lockdown restrictions have been lifted but I don’t want to risk travelling?

If all travel restrictions have been lifted and you haven’t been told to isolate by the NHS Test & Trace service, then you are not covered if you decide to cancel your trip. However, if you booked your trip before 17 March, and you have concerns about travelling due to medical or government advice regarding your personal circumstances, then please contact Aviva. Please ensure you contact the claims team before making any decisions so that Aviva can consider your claim.

What should I do if the airline or travel provider cancels my flight?

You should contact your airline or travel provider in the first instance to find out what your options are.

If your flight was covered by the EU Passenger Rights Regulations (flights departing from a UK or EU airport and operated by any airline, or arriving at a UK or EU airport and operated by a UK or EU airline), the airline operating the flight you booked with should provide you with a full refund of the price paid for the ticket or an alternative flight.

Your travel insurance covers you for non-recoverable costs. If your flight is covered by the EU Passenger Rights Regulations, any payment made for the cancelled flight should be recoverable from the airline/travel provider, or payment provider, and are not covered by your travel insurance.

The Civil Aviation Authority has published guidance on passenger rights.

If I am quarantined at an airport and cannot continue my trip as a result of a medical assessment or temperature check, will I be covered for a full refund of the cost of my/my family’s trips? Will my policy cover the cost of another flight home?

If you are quarantined at an airport, should you choose to abandon your trip and come home early then you will be covered for any unused non-refundable costs for accommodation, as well additional travel and accommodation costs to get you home.

If there is a mandatory quarantine when returning to the UK from my destination, will my travel insurance cover me if I need to cancel my trip?

You will not be covered to cancel your trip in the event you are told to quarantine after the trip has ended. However, depending on your circumstances, Aviva may consider your claim if the trip was booked before any mandatory quarantine was introduced on 22 May 2020 to the area you are travelling to; please contact the claims team before taking any action.

If I have to go into quarantine when returning from a trip but I am due to depart on a second trip during the quarantine period, will my insurance cover me to cancel?

Your travel insurance policy will cover you to cancel the trip providing both trips were booked prior to quarantine restrictions to the area you travelled to being announced.

I have an existing policy and can’t go on my UK-based trip due to the UK Government or local lockdown. Am I covered for cancelling my trip?

Yes, providing you have at least two consecutive nights’ pre-booked accommodation and there was no UK Government or local lockdown guidelines (for example the area that you live in or the destination you’re travelling to) in place or had been announced at the time of taking out your cover or booking the trip, whichever is later.

You should check first whether you can get a refund or make alternative travel arrangements with your airline, travel, accommodation or payment provider.

I’m planning a new trip

I have an existing policy – am I covered if I book a new trip to a destination where FCDO advice has been lifted and later comes back into place

  1. if I decide to travel - Customers should follow the advice as outlined by the FCDO/local authorities and not place themselves at additional risk. If you do decide to travel, there would be no cover to cancel or come home early due to Covid-19 where FCDO advice or restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation, were in place. You would be covered by your travel policy so long as you comply with the advice of the local authorities. This includes cover for medical expenses, for new or disclosed and accepted conditions, if you fall ill (including Covid-19) or are quarantined abroad, for example following a temperature check.
  2. if I have to cancel or come home early? - If you book a new trip to a destination where FCDO advice, government or local authority advice has been fully removed, and there are no restrictions in place or had been announced at the time of taking out the cover or booking the trip, whichever is later, you would be covered for cancellation/coming home early if restrictions are reintroduced and are still in place within 31 days of your departure date.

Will I still be covered if I book a trip to a country where FCDO advice hasn’t been lifted?

There would be no cover to cancel or come home early due to Covid-19 if FCDO advice or restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation, were already in place when you booked the trip.

Will cover differ for me if the devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland take a different approach to travel restrictions?

FCDO advice applies to all British nationals, however you also have to be aware of any local restrictions that may affect your travel, for example the area that you live in or destination you are travelling to.

If you book a new trip to a destination where FCDO advice, government or local authority advice has been fully removed and there are no restrictions in place at the time of taking out your cover or booking the trip, whichever is later, you would be covered for cancellation/coming home early if restrictions are reintroduced.

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.

I booked my trip with an M&S Credit Card. What rights do I have?

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.

Our designated page will provide you with information on how to dispute a transaction.

If you have M&S Travel Insurance and decide to travel against the FCDO and/or local authority advice, you'll still be covered for medical emergency claims, but won’t be covered for coronavirus related abandonment claims.

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. 

Our designated page will provide you with information on how to dispute a transaction.

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

Latest Update

On 4 July 2020 the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice, to include exemptions for travel to certain countries. Please view the list of exempt destinations regularly as it is frequently updated. The FCDO continue to advise against non-essential international travel, except to those countries and territories listed as exempt.

You also need to be aware of any local quarantine restrictions that apply to where you live or your travel arrangements. When booking a future trip, you should check the status of your chosen destination and whether there are any restrictions still in place, or have been announced, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation periods. If, when you book your trip, there are still restrictions in place at that destination for UK travellers, you would not be covered for cancellation/abandonment.

The FCDO travel advice is under continual review and these FAQs will be updated in line with any changes.

If you’re currently abroad, please visit the FCDO website for up-to-date advice on getting home.

Travel insurance covers you for non-refundable costs. Your first step should be to contact your airline, travel or accommodation provider to find out what your options are.

If you booked a package holiday which has now been cancelled, the travel provider you booked with should provide you with a full refund of any payments made under the Package Travel Regulations 2018.

If you paid for any part of your cancelled trip with your credit or debit card, or PayPal, you may also need to contact your payment provider about obtaining a refund. For any non-refundable costs, please contact the travel insurance claims team.

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

Can I choose to cancel my trip if I’m travelling to a destination where FCDO advice is lifted but I still have to quarantine on arrival?

If FCDO advice has been lifted and there were no restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation periods in place or had been announced at the time of taking out your cover or booking the trip, whichever is later, you would be covered for cancellation/coming home early if a quarantine was later imposed.

There would be no cover to cancel due to Covid-19 if restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation periods were already in place when you booked the trip.

Will I still be covered if I travel to a country where FCDO advice hasn’t been lifted?

Customers should follow the advice as outlined by the FCDO/local authorities and not place themselves at additional risk. If you do decide to travel, you will be covered by your travel policy, so long as you comply with the advice of the local authorities. This includes cover for medical expenses (for new or disclosed and accepted conditions), if you fall ill (including Covid-19) or are quarantined abroad, for example following a temperature check – you must disclose medical conditions as stated in the policy terms and conditions.

There would be no cover to come home early if the FCDO advice was already in place, prior to your departure from the UK.

Am I covered for cancellation if all travel restrictions are lifted but I contract Covid-19 before I travel or I’m advised to isolate by the NHS Test & Trace service and this coincides with my trip?

You will be covered by your M&S Travel Insurance policy if you need to cancel your trip as a result of contracting Covid-19 or being advised to isolate by the NHS Test & Trace service.

If you contract Covid-19 or receive an NHS Test & Trace notification whilst abroad, then you would be covered under the emergency medical section if you needed to go into quarantine.

What cover do I have if UK Government lockdown restrictions have been lifted but I don’t want to risk travelling?

If all travel restrictions have been lifted and you haven’t been told to isolate by the NHS Test & Trace service, then you are not covered if you decide to cancel your trip. However, if you booked your trip before the 17 March, and you have concerns about travelling due to medical or government advice regarding your personal circumstances, then please contact Aviva. Please ensure you contact the claims team before making any decisions so that Aviva can consider your claim.

What should I do if the airline or travel provider cancels my flight?

You should contact your airline or travel provider in the first instance to find out what your options are.

If your flight was covered by the EU Passenger Rights Regulations (flights departing from a UK or EU airport and operated by any airline, or arriving at a UK or EU airport and operated by a UK or EU airline), the airline operating the flight you booked with should provide you with a full refund of the price paid for the ticket or an alternative flight.

Your travel insurance covers you for non-recoverable costs. If your flight is covered by the EU Passenger Rights Regulations, any payment made for the cancelled flight should be recoverable from the airline/travel provider, or payment provider, and are not covered by your travel insurance.

The Civil Aviation Authority has published guidance on passenger rights.

If I am quarantined at an airport and cannot continue my trip as a result of a medical assessment or temperature check, will I be covered for a full refund of the cost of my/my family’s trips? Will my policy cover the cost of another flight home?

If you are quarantined at an airport, should you choose to abandon your trip and come home early then you will be covered for any unused non-refundable costs for accommodation, as well additional travel and accommodation costs to get you home.

If there is a mandatory quarantine when returning to the UK from my destination, will my travel insurance cover me if I need to cancel my trip?

You will not be covered to cancel your trip in the event you are told to quarantine after the trip has ended. However, depending on your circumstances, Aviva may consider your claim if the trip was booked before any mandatory quarantine was introduced on 22 May 2020 to the area you are travelling to; please contact the claims team before taking any action.

If I have to go into quarantine when returning from a trip but I am due to depart on a second trip during the quarantine period, will my insurance cover me to cancel?

Your travel insurance policy will cover you to cancel the trip providing both trips were booked prior to quarantine restrictions to the area you travelled to being announced.

I have an existing policy and can’t go on my UK-based trip due to the UK Government or local lockdown. Am I covered for cancelling my trip?

Yes, providing you have at least two consecutive nights’ pre-booked accommodation and there was no UK Government or local lockdown guidelines (for example the area that you live in or the destination you’re travelling to) in place or had been announced at the time of taking out your cover or booking the trip, whichever is later.

You should check first whether you can get a refund or make alternative travel arrangements with your airline, travel, accommodation or payment provider.

I’m planning a new trip

I have an existing policy – am I covered if I book a new trip to a destination where FCDO advice has been lifted and later comes back into place

  1. if I decide to travel - Customers should follow the advice as outlined by the FCDO/local authorities and not place themselves at additional risk. If you do decide to travel, there would be no cover to cancel or come home early due to Covid-19 where FCDO advice or restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation, were in place. You would be covered by your travel policy so long as you comply with the advice of the local authorities. This includes cover for medical expenses, for new or disclosed and accepted conditions, if you fall ill (including Covid-19) or are quarantined abroad, for example following a temperature check.
  2. if I have to cancel or come home early? - If you book a new trip to a destination where FCDO advice, government or local authority advice has been fully removed, and there are no restrictions in place or had been announced at the time of taking out the cover or booking the trip, whichever is later, you would be covered for cancellation/coming home early if restrictions are reintroduced and are still in place within 31 days of your departure date.

Will I still be covered if I book a trip to a country where FCDO advice hasn’t been lifted?

There would be no cover to cancel or come home early due to Covid-19 if FCDO advice or restrictions, such as quarantine, local outbreak restrictions or self-isolation, were already in place when you booked the trip.

Will cover differ for me if the devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland take a different approach to travel restrictions?

FCDO advice applies to all British nationals, however you also have to be aware of any local restrictions that may affect your travel, for example the area that you live in or destination you are travelling to.

If you book a new trip to a destination where FCDO advice, government or local authority advice has been fully removed and there are no restrictions in place at the time of taking out your cover or booking the trip, whichever is later, you would be covered for cancellation/coming home early if restrictions are reintroduced.

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.

I booked my trip with an M&S Credit Card. What rights do I have?

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.

Our designated page will provide you with information on how to dispute a transaction.

If you have M&S Travel Insurance and decide to travel against the FCDO and/or local authority advice, you'll still be covered for medical emergency claims, but won’t be covered for coronavirus related abandonment claims.

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. 

Our designated page will provide you with information on how to dispute a transaction.