How does the Coronavirus affect Private Medical Insurance and Travel Insurance?

Feb 7, 2020

The outbreak of the Coronavirus in parts of China is a rapidly developing global situation and we would strongly advise anyone travelling to the country to look at the guidance issued on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) web site which is updated on a regular basis.

Travel Insurance

The Foreign Office has warned Britons against all but essential travel to China. Anyone travelling to a country or region against government advice risks invalidating their travel insurance. Any Britons who are in China and are able to leave, are advised to do so.

Our trade association, the British Insurance Brokers Association, has advised they expect that consumers who had purchased travel insurance and travelled before the FCO issued its advice on 23rd January will be covered while in China. Travel insurance includes medical expenses and treatment costs for a traveller who becomes unwell in China should be covered up to the limit in the policy.

For people who have chosen to travel to China after 23rd January, insurers are now excluding cover since the FCO is advising against travel. Concerned travellers who had booked their trip via a tour operator or travel agent or using a credit card may wish should contact them to see if they can get a refund or have their trip re-arranged.

Private Medical Insurance

It goes without saying that the Coronavirus is highly contagious and will require a specialised response in terms of treatment and the surroundings in which it is delivered.

If a UK private medical policyholder contracts the Coronavirus, it would be highly unlikely they’d be treated in any of the UK private hospitals as these hospitals are not properly set up for patient isolation. According to leading insurers, patients diagnosed with Coronavirus would be sent and treated in NHS isolation units.

Travelling elsewhere?

Before travel, check with your health insurance and/or travel insurance provider to confirm your level of cover and identify in-country healthcare resources in advance of travelling. While you are away, if you feel unwell, including presenting a fever or respiratory symptoms, call a healthcare provider for advice.

Take precautions, wherever you are in the world

As with other infectious illnesses, one of the most important preventive practices is frequent hand washing and hand sanitiser.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus in China is a rapidly developing situation which is changing daily and we would strongly advise anyone travelling to the country to keep up to date with the FCO guidance which is updated on a regular basis.

The World Health Organisation are monitoring the ever-changing situation and, alongside our insurer partners, we will continue to stay close to developments to provide advice to our clients.

Travel and medical insurance policies may differ in terms of the cover. If you have any questions relating to your travel insurance or private medical insurance arranged through Yutree please contact us on 01638 660651.

Tags: , ,

News & Insights

A hub for Yutree and industry thinking