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Old 13.03.2020, 14:22
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Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

I know the ultimate answer is call the insurance company but forewarned is forearmed...


We booked our ferry from Ancona to Greece in the 2nd half of April back in November 2019. I fully expect Italy's lockdown to continue through April, and Greece has also shut schools and reduced transport. Eastern European countries are also locking down. We have annual travel insurance with Allianz, a policy we've held for several years, which is not the same as the ones they are currently selling. The T&Cs for the current policies exclude cover for epidemics and pandemics, but presumably government guidelines will soon advise against travel to or through Italy (if they don't already, and if it were even possible with the lockdown).... What chance we'll be covered for our ferry booking? Or do I just have to write off over Fr 500 through no fault of my own?
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Old 13.03.2020, 14:27
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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I know the ultimate answer is call the insurance company but forewarned is forearmed...


We booked our ferry from Ancona to Greece in the 2nd half of April back in November 2019. I fully expect Italy's lockdown to continue through April, and Greece has also shut schools and reduced transport. Eastern European countries are also locking down. We have annual travel insurance with Allianz, a policy we've held for several years, which is not the same as the ones they are currently selling. The T&Cs for the current policies exclude cover for epidemics and pandemics, but presumably government guidelines will soon advise against travel to or through Italy (if they don't already, and if it were even possible with the lockdown).... What chance we'll be covered for our ferry booking? Or do I just have to write off over Fr 500 through no fault of my own?
Yesterday I spoke to Zurich Relax. They advised that if my holiday was cancelled because of legal requirements, such as a hotel having to close due to potential infection by the virus, they would refund all costs.

Basically if you don‘t fancy due to a pandemic = tough.
If you can‘t go due to third parties or own illness = covered.

PS the Zurich contact was working from here „home office“...
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Old 13.03.2020, 14:34
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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If you can‘t go due to third parties or own illness = covered.

Yes, it's not "don't fancy" (I would need to change the booking for other reasons anyway, but would fully expect to pay for that); but this is a travel ban rather than just an epidemic at the destination. So does it count as epidemic? Or force majeure imposed by the authorities? Guess I'll have to phone
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Old 13.03.2020, 14:44
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

To an extent, bugger - the EDA has said it's not going to issue any more country-specific advice because Coronavirus is global, and that includes Italy. Without EDA advice, insurers are not obliged to pay

https://www.tagblatt.ch/news-service...igt-ld.1202924
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Old 13.03.2020, 15:08
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

What about your credit card company if you paid for the trip with one? Does their insurance cover it?

And what if the borders are closed and you can't get out of Switzerland? Surely, you'd be able to claim a refund then.
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Old 13.03.2020, 15:12
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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To an extent, bugger - the EDA has said it's not going to issue any more country-specific advice because Coronavirus is global, and that includes Italy. Without EDA advice, insurers are not obliged to pay

https://www.tagblatt.ch/news-service...igt-ld.1202924
Yup. But if Greece does not allow you in, it is again a clear case to get money from the insurance for cancelling.
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Old 13.03.2020, 15:20
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

Austria closes border with Switzerland/Lichtenstein.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/coronav...rland/45615144
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Old 03.04.2020, 15:49
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

Well I've just phoned Allianz about this, as Greece's lockdown is getting increasingly more strict, and their answer - a very nice girl who sounded incredibly embarrassed, but nonetheless - was simply tough, it's not covered.

I have an e-mail address, but I imagine everyone's asking.

I also phoned the credit card company for the card I used to book the ferry, and they just have a recorded message saying contact your travel provider. Already done that - the ferry company is refusing to cancel the booking because it was under the early booking in November. That's why I was trying the travel insurances.

So basically, I'm being shoved from pillar to post and sent round in circles.

What is the point of travel insurance when it won't pay out for you being prevented from travelling through no fault of your own?

Last edited by eng_ch; 03.04.2020 at 16:00.
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:01
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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.....What is the point of travel insurance when it won't pay out for you being prevented from travelling?
Which is why I never ever had travel insurance (except the one that seems to come with mastercard but I never used it).

There are a few must-have insurances and any other is - throwing money out the window.
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:09
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

Well, I've written back to the ferry company pointing out that I am not *cancelling* the trip, I'm *prohibited* from embarking upon it by government orders. Don't suppose they'll budge either but if you don't ask you don't get
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:18
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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Which is why I never ever had travel insurance (except the one that seems to come with mastercard but I never used it).

There are a few must-have insurances and any other is - throwing money out the window.
It all depends on what kind of holiday one takes, I once had my car break down, gave the travel insurance a call , they send a truck to pick up the car and they would send it back home and they send a cab towards a rental center where I could pick whatever was sort of equal on size and just send them the bill. When I came home after the holiday my car stoor repaired at my local garage.

On another accession I became ill and could not drive back, they just paid 5 more days hotel without asking questions.

Surely such comfort is worth something. Travel insurance is pretty cheap and great to have when needed across the border.
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:19
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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What is the point of travel insurance when it won't pay out for you being prevented from travelling through no fault of your own?
Have you read the T&C and are they obliged to pay or are there exclusions to refunding which are valid?
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:20
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

We've got a similar situation.

We booked an apartment for Easter in the South of France through Booking.com

Their extremely sparse advice is to contact the renter directly for a refund. The renter has refused to give any refund.

We've also got accommodation booked for the summer in Italy. If we cancel now, we lose a deposit of 600 CHF. If we cancel after the cut off in June, we could lose everything.

I'm contacting my Insurance to see what they say.

What are other people doing about their summer holiday bookings?

I've already written off a couple of flights which weren't cancelled but I couldn't go and see the people due to their age and existing conditions and paid a four-figure sum for a taxi ride from France so would like to limit damages.
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:23
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

The idea is a little crazy but maybe doable. Get a written statement close to the travel date from the Italian border guard that you, Mr. eng, can't get into Italy, not even for transit to Greece. Then try to get the money back from the ferry (or from the insurance after all).

As long as not everybody demands that, it might be doable. Or Tom has a friend in the Italian border-crew who would do this? I mean it's fact, it's just a job which they most likely don't normally do.

As I said, a wild idea which I personally would try. After all, we're talking Fr. 500.00.
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:38
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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We've got a similar situation.

We booked an apartment for Easter in the South of France through Booking.com

Their extremely sparse advice is to contact the renter directly for a refund. The renter has refused to give any refund.

We've also got accommodation booked for the summer in Italy. If we cancel now, we lose a deposit of 600 CHF. If we cancel after the cut off in June, we could lose everything.

I'm contacting my Insurance to see what they say.

What are other people doing about their summer holiday bookings?

.
We have been incredibly lucky with our summer holiday booking for France for July. The renter phoned on Tuesday and said that we could cancel it at any time right up to the very last minute and he would refund our deposit in full.
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:43
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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We have been incredibly lucky with our summer holiday booking for France for July. The renter phoned on Tuesday and said that we could cancel it at any time right up to the very last minute and he would refund our deposit in full.
That's great for you.

Looks like I'm OK with the Easter trip for a refund from the Insurance company but they are not giving out any information for trips commencing after April (but booked before March 14th).
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:50
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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Well I've just phoned Allianz about this, as Greece's lockdown is getting increasingly more strict, and their answer - a very nice girl who sounded incredibly embarrassed, but nonetheless - was simply tough, it's not covered....

...What is the point of travel insurance when it won't pay out for you being prevented from travelling through no fault of your own?
Under normal circumstances, good travel insurance is worth it's weight in gold. However, many found out during the volcanic dust cloud of 2011, that even the best insurance was nigh on useless and millions of people were virtually left to their own devices. That's largely where we're at now.

There's a raft of info here that will still apply in Switzerland because many insurance companies have a presence in both countries. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ne...d-your-rights/

As for Greece, you probably know from contacts there that they have a curfew in place in many areas with heavy fines if you break the curfew. I don't believe it's country wide as some islands haven't been touched by the virus.
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Old 03.04.2020, 16:52
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

I had two hotels booked (last weekend and a week at Easter). Both non-refundable but the hotels cancelled and refunded, so that was ok.
I booked the parking at The Matterhornbahn carpark, I mailed them and they refunded as well.

Flights on Easyjet have been rebooked.

If we get back to normal, I'll try and get a week in Bardolino. It's nice there, and boy are the Italians going to need some help.

I've never had travel insurance, and in 30 odd years of travel, I've never needed it anyhow. I also avoid booking.com and book direct.
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Old 03.04.2020, 18:34
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

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I also avoid booking.com and book direct.

Whereas I always use booking.com as they've been stars for me in the past.
Last year in Rome for my best friend's wedding, the owner of the accommodation I'd booked refused to let us stay as we had a dog - it was listed as pet-friendly when I booked (I always set that filter), we'd had no notice of a change of policy and he'd even spoken to me on the phone the day before to arrange the check-in time. So there we were, lunchtime on a busy Saturday in Rome, the weekend of the final of the Rome Masters tennis tournament and a huge Run for Life the next day, out on our ear with nowhere to stay. Booking.com did all the legwork to find us suitable alternative accommodation, and as the only place they could get us in was 4+-star and way out of our usual budget, they refunded the difference in price to us.
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Old 03.04.2020, 19:42
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Re: Travel insurance - Coronavirus-related

Here are my experiences:
* UBS Travel insurance Plus which I think is Allianz = no go for any cover. Phoned today and nothing is covered. 2minute call, basically told to bugger off! Previously been amazing with any other claim though.
* Booking.com = seems mixed but my Hotels gave full refund even when our booking for May half term was a nonrefundable booking. But i had to get permission from the hotel.
* Premier Inn= Same as booking.com. Non-refundable rooms, full refund given.
* BA, TAP = no refunds yet as flights not cancelled so will prob get a voucher
* Swiss Airlines = full refund given on times that were non-refundable. Tickets cancelled by the airline and not me.
* Green Motion Car Hire = no refund but booking amount i paid can be used in the future.


Thats all i have booked. I hope that helps someone.
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