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Nationwide curbs travel insurance cover for FlexPlus customers

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Nationwide confirmed there will be changes to the travel insurance cover offered to FlexPlus customers from January, due to the impact of coronavirus.

The mutual offers a packaged bank account called FlexPlus which costs £13 a month and includes travel insurance as part of the paid-for benefits.

Currently if customers book a trip and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) changes its travel advice for a particular destination/country due to Covid-19, they are still able to submit a claim.

However, any customer who books a trip or opens an account on or after 1 January, will no longer be covered for trip cancellation, as a result of Covid-19 or any other pandemic unless this is due to medical reasons.

As an example, Nationwide will only permit customers to claim if they can’t travel due to medical reasons such as the account holder or one of the booking party being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Nationwide added that all other cover remains unchanged, so if a customer goes on holiday and needs to curtail the trip due to Covid-19, they can still make a claim.

Further, if the change in FCDO advice is due to another reason, such as civil unrest, customers can still claim.

Nationwide added that if customers have already booked their trip or are due to book on/before 31 December then they will still be covered as normal.

The change comes as Nationwide and UKI, its travel insurance provider, said travel insurance is designed to protect against unforeseen events and the frequent changes to FCDO guidance means trip cancellation due to a pandemic is “highly likely”.

Therefore, the change is reflective of the wider travel insurance market, with many other insurers having adapted their products already.

A Nationwide spokesperson said: “From 1 January 2021 in line with the wider insurance industry, our insurance provider UKI have confirmed they are no longer able to cover trips cancelled due to a non-medical reason as a result of Covid-19 or any other pandemic.

“This will impact existing members who book trips or new accounts opened after that date. Despite this change, Nationwide will still continue to have a higher level of cover for Covid-19 than many other providers as the majority have removed all cover.”

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