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LV= stops selling travel insurance as others tweak terms over coronavirus

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12/03/2020
LV= has paused the sale of all new travel insurance policies to customers in the wake of the coronavirus threat.

The insurer said it made the “difficult decision” after considering a number of different options such as excluding cover or significantly increasing prices for new customers.

However, it confirms there’s no change for existing customers who already hold a policy with LV=. These customers can continue to contact the insurer and make a claim if necessary. They will also be able to renew policies with LV=.

A statement on the website read: “We strongly believe this temporary measure of pausing the sale of new policies and focusing on our existing customers is the right decision.

“We remain committed to the travel insurance market and this is only a temporary move given the exceptional circumstances. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

What are other travel insurers doing?

It appears AA Insurance has stopped providing travel insurance quotes for trips to France, Italy and Spain as the destinations are no longer listed on its European destinations list for holidaymakers to buy cover for, according to business information site Defaqto.

But the insurer states it will allow any travel insurance policy to cover cancellation for any trips due to depart on or before 30 April, where there is official advice not to travel (typically excludes bronze travel products).

Insure and Go has amended its policies (as of 12 March) to exclude all claims – cancellation, medical costs, repatriation etc – relating to Covid-19 (coronavirus) and SARS.

And earlier this week Aviva removed its optional ‘catastrophe cover’ which would protect holders if the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against travelling to an affected country.

Axa Insurance has updated its website FAQs to state that even if your policy doesn’t have ‘travel disruption cover, it will pay claims for cancellation if the FCO advises against travel to a precise location – for all trips due to depart on or before 30 April.

Brian Brown, consumer finance expert at Defaqto, said this is a great benefit to customers, when others in the market appear to be restricting cover.

“The travel insurance market is changing very quickly in response to coronavirus. We believe that the changes we are seeing are only the beginning, and it’s quite likely that over the next few days or weeks we will see other insurers follow suit.

“Our advice for people travelling this spring/summer is to check their existing policy NOW to make sure it covers them for cancellation due to FCO advice, and if they are not covered they should buy insurance from another insurer while they still can.”

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