The FCO recommendation
The outbreak of Coronavirus in some regions of China is a rapidly developing situation and we would strongly advise anyone travelling to the country to look at the guidance issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) which is updated on a regular basis.
This can be found at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china.
Additional information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/wuhan/-novel-coronaviris-and-avian-flu-advice-for-travel-to-china.
As at 29 January 2020 , the FCO is advising against ‘all but essential travel’ to China.
From a travel insurance perspective, we expect that customers who had purchased travel insurance and travelled before the FCO issued its advice on 29 January will be covered while in China (including in Hubei province if they travelled there before the original advice issued on 23 January). Travel insurance includes medical expenses and so treatment costs for a traveller who becomes unwell in China should be covered up to the limit in the policy.
Most travel insurers offer a 24-hour emergency medical advice hotline and travellers who feel they might have been affected by this event are encouraged to call their insurers for help.
If you purchased travel insurance before 29th January 2020, and had booked travel to or transiting through China, then Fiveways would expect you will be covered for cancellation. Your policy should also cover you for any additional costs should you have to make alternative arrangements or cut your trip short..
For people intending to travel to China after 29 January, insurers are now excluding cover since the FCO is advising against travel. This is a standard response.
What can you do?
Concerned customers who had booked their trip via a tour operator or travel agent, or using a credit card may wish to contact them to see if they can get a refund or have their trip re-arranged.
We would advise you to check your travel insurance policy carefully to see exactly what is covered. If you purchased insurance through Fiveways, then please feel free to call us for any advice regarding your policy.
Please call us on 01952 812380 for further information or visit our office in Newport or Stafford.