Covid-19 and cancelled travel

Check your policy exclusions. Most travel insurers exclude global pandemics.

Covid-19: cancelled travel

In January 2020, Barry* purchased travel insurance for a trip to Bali in April. He cancelled the trip in February due to Covid-19. Barry received a partial refund of his flight costs from the airline. He made an insurance claim for the remainder of his flight and accommodation costs.

Barry’s claim was declined due to the pandemic policy exclusion. Barry complained, stating he didn’t know about Covid-19 when he purchased the cover.

The IFSO Scheme case manager said the wording of the pandemic policy exclusion was broad, including a “likely pandemic” or “threat of a pandemic”. Because Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic in March, it was a “likely pandemic” in February. The exclusion applied to Barry’s claim, regardless of Barry’s knowledge of the pandemic.

After discussions with the IFSO Scheme, the insurer offered to cancel the policy and reimburse Barry’s premiums.

Complaint settled

*Names have been changed

See the full case study.