Allianz revamps travel insurance to cover Covid-19
Allianz has changed its Allianz Assistance single trip, backpacker and annual multi-trip policies to cover Covid-19 and future pandemics.
Any policy purchased directly from Allianz Assistance now includes pandemic-related cancellation cover for insured events, as well as medical assistance abroad. However, policyholders won’t be covered if they travel against Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice.
All existing customers yet to travel will be issued with a new policy document and automatically upgraded to the new cover, enabling them to benefit from the new policy terms at no additional cost.
Rachel Temperton, head of travel and tourism at Allianz Assistance UK, said: “The Covid-19 global crisis has demonstrated the devastating impact a pandemic can have. Travellers and the travel industry – including insurers – faced a wide range of unexpected situations that never had to be dealt with before.
“Plans were interrupted or cancelled and medical emergencies abroad were complicated by many new and challenging hurdles. It is vital that in the new world we find ourselves in, we offer a comprehensive insurance product that enables people not only to travel abroad again, but to travel with confidence.”
What does Allianz cover?
Allianz’s new offering covers pandemic-related medical expenses whilst abroad, as well as cancellation.
If a policyholder contracts a disease – including Covid-19 – whilst abroad, they will be covered for additional expenses if they need medical treatment or to return home early as a result of their condition.
Policyholders will also be covered if they contract a disease, or are required to quarantine abroad following direct exposure, and need to extend their policy.
They will also be covered for additional accommodation and transport costs, until its safe for them to return home.
Cancellation cover will apply if a trip is cancelled because the policyholder or their travel companion either has symptoms, is diagnosed with a disease, or is in quarantine (including being told to self-isolate).
They don’t necessarily need to take a test, but they will need to provide a doctor’s certificate confirming their diagnosis or suspected diagnosis, or evidence that they’ve been instructed to self-isolate via the government’s track and trace system or NHS 111.
Cancellation cover will also apply if a policyholder is denied boarding on their pre-booked public transport because they or their travel companion are showing signs of any contagious illness, leaving them unable to travel.
Cancellation cover also applies if a close relative such as a parent, child, sibling or grandparent falls seriously ill and the policyholder or their travel companion need to remain at home as a result. Again, they would need to provide a doctor’s certificate to support the claim.
Temperton said: “We regularly review and enhance our travel insurance policies to make sure we provide holidaymakers with the highest quality protection. The new level of cover we are now providing does inevitably come at a slightly higher premium, but this is far outweighed by the greater protection and peace of mind it provides to our customers.
“A survey we conducted during lockdown confirmed that as many as 69% of consumers wanted to book a holiday post-lockdown, once the FCO confirms it is safe to resume foreign travel. With travel restrictions now lifting across Europe, we can offer the much-needed reassurance people are looking for to get their travel plans back on track.”