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Travel insurance and Brexit

Travel insurance and Brexit

Many people who have booked a holiday in Europe, or are hoping to very soon, are worried about how Brexit might affect their plans.

One area of most concern regards travel insurance, which is vital to millions of holidaymakers who want to make sure they’re covered financially and can get immediate help if things go wrong while they’re away.

The main areas where problems could occur are in relation to claims for travel disruption and health care on holiday.

Travel disruption

Nearly all policies, sometimes except the cheapest, offer compensation for disruption to travel plans caused by a variety of issues, such as cancelled flights, holiday firms going bust, train delays and disruption caused by industrial action.

However, any Brexit-related delays might not be covered as they’re highly unlikely to feature in the standard claims cause clauses in most policies.

It’s all a bit of a muddle at this stage; some providers have started offering Brexit ‘add ons’ which take into account most problems that may occur, but others haven’t.

Will flights take off?

Flights are, of course, a major area of concern and while it’s not expected that flights will be grounded, it’s not absolutely certain what may happen.

It’s certainly not clear if EU Air Passenger Regulations, which provide protection for passengers who experience difficulties caused by the airline they’re flying with, will be replaced by the UK Government.

It’s best to contact your airline or insurer for more information.

Health care

If the UK leaves the EU with no-deal in place, it’s most likely that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid.

Thousands rely upon the EHIC to ensure they get free, or almost free, medical attention if needed when in an EU country.

This makes it even more vital to ensure you take out travel insurance before you go which has decent cover for serious health issues.

Being hospitalised abroad, and possibly needing an air ambulance home, can prove extremely costly without cover in place, and with the Brexit uncertainty hanging in the air travelling without any would be rash in the extreme.

What to do?

The best thing to do is to check your travel cover, or the cover you’re thinking of taking out, very carefully.

Contact the insurer and ask what they might do in the event of Brexit affecting your travel plans and how comprehensive they’re cover is.

Ask whether the costs associated with transport delays and cancellations, which could lead to you’re not being able to enjoy a holiday you’ve possibly already paid for, would be fully covered.

Also ask about what medical cover you can expect and if this would be affected in the event of a no-deal scenario.

Finding the important info

Some of this might be detailed in the information you receive by email or post summarising the key facts about your travel policy. But if you already have annual cover, which may have been bought a while ago, you might want to ask for an update to be sent.

Either way, check with your insurance provider or broker for more information.

Policy Expert

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Published 16 April 2019