PLEASE BE AWARE: Following the UK Governments announcements relating to both national and international travel advice, we will be unable to provide cover for any trips which you intend to take during a period of time where the Government advice is that all but essential travel is restricted.
You can however still purchase cover for future trips. We restrict trip dates based on the latest Government advice and continue or remove these restrictions as we get new information.
Please Note: We cannot provide cover for anyone to travel against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). More information on our cover and Coronavirus can be found below.
If you are a Spectrum customer who is concerned about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect you or your travel plans, we’ve complied your frequently asked questions into one handy place which can be found below.
If you are an existing customer who purchased their policy before 14th March 2020, please check your policy wording to see what cover was provided under your policy. To access copies of your policy documents, you can quickly register for your free customer area access by clicking here. Alternatively, you can find copies of policy wordings by purchase date by clicking here.
If you are an existing customer who purchased their policy between 14th March 2020 and 24th August 2020, all of our policies provide cover for:
If you purchased a Diamond Single or Multi Trip policy on or after the 25th August 2020, you will have:
From 24th September 2020 our Staycation Plus Single Trip and Multi Trip policies also include enhanced cover for COVID-19 – click here for more details.
For full details please visit our policy wording page.
If you have purchased any policy on or after the 5th May 2021, you will have:
Please note, based on current and ongoing advice from Public Health England, the FCDO is currently advising against ALL cruise ship travel for British travellers due to the ongoing pandemic. Please be aware that we cannot provide cover for anyone to travel against the advice of the FCDO. Please check with your cruise provider before purchasing a policy.
Before you read on
Please note, these FAQs have been collated specifically for customers who purchased their policy BEFORE the change in FCDO advice. Travel insurance is designed to cover the ‘unforeseen and unexpected’, so if you had purchased your policy on or after 3rd March 2020, the point that the COVID-19 outbreak was widely known about, then you will be asked for some specific evidence to prove that when you purchased your policy you had NO intention or reasonably likelihood of claiming. To better understand the cover offered by your policy, please check your policy wording. Please also check the ‘Our Cover for Coronavirus’ section above.
Who should you speak to first?
We have provided more specific advice below, but in general, airlines, tour operators and travel agents are coving costs associated with events that might lead the cancellation or curtailment (cutting short) of your trip. This means you should only be submitting claims to us after you have exhausted those options first. You will be after by our claims team to provide proof that you have been denied a refund from the transport and accommodation providers before they consider your claim.
I am looking to make a claim for Cancellation or Curtailment – please can you send me a claim form?
Please be aware that all of our claim form can be downloaded from our website. Cancellation and Curtailment claims can now be submitted through our website. We are currently unable to send these forms to you as we are prioritising the safety of our team.
As general advice, please be aware that if your trip is cancelled, rearranged or curtailed as a result of COVID-19 and/or FCDO advice, then it is likely that your transport and/or accommodation provider will be able to refund you. We will only be considering claims where you have approached the appropriate provider for either a refund, reimbursement or change in trip dates, prior to submitting a claim to us. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to us.
If after approaching your accommodation and transport providers, you are still looking to make a claim for cancellation or curtailment relating to COVID-19 or change in FCDO advice, you can download the relevant claim forms here:
To start your cancellation claims – Click Here
For a Curtailment claim form – Click Here
Please complete this form fully and send it back to us with all the supporting documentation requested. Missing information could result in delays to the assessment of your claim.
My flight was cancelled by the airline – can I claim for this on my travel insurance policy?
This is something you would need to approach your airline about. If you had booked accommodation separately, then you will need to approach the accommodation provider to see what your options are. You may be able to include this in your claim to the airline. If the airline will not accept the claim for the accommodation costs then it may be that you bank or credit card provider can support with this via Section 75 of the consumer credit act. Please contact your credit or debit card company for details on the process. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach for help and support before submitting a claim to us.
I had to cancel due to local government restrictions at the location I was due to stay before the FCDO advice against all but essential travel was announced
Unfortunately, most travel insurance policies do not include this as a reason to cancel. However, if your trip is no longer able to go ahead as originally planned – i.e. excursion cancellations, restrictions on use of the facility etc. then customer who have booked via a tour operator or travel agent, should in most cases be able to claim a refund from their tour operator or travel agent. Customer who booked accommodation and transport through separate providers will need to approach their booking agents to see if they are able to change dates or offer a refund.
I had a claim declined previously as there was no FCDO restrictions in place, but now there is – can you reassess my claim?
Unfortunately, this is not an option, we can only assess claims based on facts and information available that applied at the time of you cancelling the trip and submitting the claim.
I am in the military and my reporting office has strongly advised that I do no travel to my trip destination due to COVID-19 – can I submit a claim for cancellation?
If HM armed forces cover is specified in the cancellation section of your policy wording and your leave orders have been cancelled then you can submit a claim for cancellation. However, if your leave orders are not cancelled, then this would not be covered by your travel insurance policy. We would recommend contacting your reporting or commanding officer for advice as to how they can support you.
I am over 70 years old and/or have ‘Chronic’ medical conditions and so under current UK advice have been told not to travel – can I claim for cancellation?
Unfortunately, this isn’t something that is covered by the travel insurance policy. This is because there is protection provided for customers elsewhere. In most cases this would be covered under the Package Travel Regulations. The current position is that if passengers have a medical condition for which exposure to COVID-19 is particularly dangerous, they should have the right to cancel their package travel contract. This only applies if the risk of infection of COVID-19 at the travel destination or immediate vicinity is declared high by the competent authorities. So please contact your booking agent, tour operator or travel agent for further advice. Customer who booked accommodation and transport through separate providers will need to approach their booking agents to see if they are able to change dates or offer a refund.
My close relative, who is not travelling with me, has COVID-19 – can I cancel and claim?
Cover for this scenario will depend on the type of travel insurance policy you purchased. To better understand the cover offered by your policy, please check the cancellation section of your policy wording.
Will I still be covered if I am on my cruise and the FCDO change their advice on travel to a country I am due to travel to and the cruise ship has to go to a different location outside of the geographical area covered by my policy?
Yes, we would continue to cover you as normal, without charge and without the need to contact us, as we understand that this is outside of your control and not an intended change to your insurance demands and needs.
I am on or going on a cruise and am confined to my cabin because of COVID-19, even though I am not ill and do not need emergency medical treatment – can I claim for cabin confinement?
If you bought a policy that included cruise cover or purchased a cruise extension with a cabin confinement section, if the circumstances of your confinement are included, then we will consider claims under this section of the policy.
If when I am on my cruise, they cannot stop at one of the scheduled ports due to COVID-19 – can I claim for missed port?
We’re afraid missed port cover is usually only provided for missed port due to adverse weather conditions or timetable restrictions. However, under Package Travel Regulations because the cruise was not as ‘sold’ then it would be something you can approach your booking agent to discuss reimbursement of those costs.
Will you cover me if I have to cancel my trip because I am in quarantine/isolation in the UK because of COVID-19?
For all cases we would need confirmation that your trip was still going ahead as planned and had not been rearranged or cancelled due to FCDO/COVID-19 advice/restrictions. Please be aware that different policies have different terms and conditions so please check the cancellation section of your policy wording.
If you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with COVID-19 after you bought your insurance, then as long as the diagnosis was within a reasonable timeframe of your trip starting (14 days) then we would consider this under cancellation due to illness. You can submit a claim for cancellation and will be required to evidence a positive COVID-19 result from a medical practitioner.
We are going to have to assess these claims on a case-by-case basis and with some specific information from you. We are going to need evidence that you have needed to seek medical advice/assistance. This may include phone records to show the date/time you called 111 and/or your GP (this must be prior to you contacting us).
Again, these cases will be assessed by the claims team on a case-by-case basis. We will need evidence that you are self-isolating, this may include a letter from your employer and proof of SSP/sick pay.
I have changed my flight arrangements to avoid being denied entry or quarantined – can I claim for this?
We would need to look at these claims on a case-by-case basis. In most cases flight companies are assisting people with these arrangements with small if any administration fees. Where they do charge you a fee your claim will be reviewed in line with your policy wording, as long as the policy was bought before these restrictions were being widely reported in the media.
My doctor advised that I shouldn’t travel to my holiday destination due to my existing medical problems – will I be covered?
If you declared the conditions at the time of purchasing the policy, (which has to be before the outbreak) then your claim will be considered if your conditions are reliably reported as being ‘high risk’. If you did not declare them, you would not be covered. We would also need confirmation that your trip was still due to go ahead as planned.
I have been offered/given a voucher by my travel agent but I just want the cash – can I claim this from my travel insurance policy?
If you have been provided a voucher by your travel agent/tour operator or transport/accommodation provider and you have accepted this from them, you will not be able to make a claim under your travel insurance policy.
If you do not wish to accept the offer of a voucher, you should contact the tour operator/travel agent or transport/accommodation provider and advise them that you want a refund rather than a voucher/credit note.
Cancellation claims will only be considered if you have the relevant cover under the cancellation section of your policy and you can evidence to us that you have not accepted a voucher/credit note and/or one has not been offered to you.
What can I do with my policy if I am no longer travelling and have received a refund for my holiday?
In the event that you not moving your trip to alternative dates, and are offered a full refund from your travel agent or tour operator and you are within your 14-day cooling off period, we are happy to provide you with a full refund of the premium you have paid providing you have not travelled, claimed or intend to claim on the policy. This will mean that no future claims can be made on the policy.
For our full terms and conditions on policy cancellation outside of the 14-day cooling off period, please click here.
To cancel your policy and request a refund, please click here.
Can my policy be changed to suit a ‘new/different’ holiday or trip?
If you are offered an alternative destination and/or dates by your travel agent or tour operator, we are pleased to advise that on Single Trip policies we will change the dates of your travel insurance policy to match the new trip where policy and in line with our policy term and conditions. We will not charge an admin fee for this, but please note that there may be an increase in cost, for example if you extend your trip duration or change the geographical area that you are travelling to etc.
Please note, we cannot move trip dates more than 12 months in advance from the date you originally purchased your policy. Please click here to amend your policy online.
Can I upgrade my policy to include enhanced COVID-19 cover?
If you’d like to upgrade your existing policy to include enhanced COVID-19 cover, simply click here to do so quickly and easily online if eligible (just look out for the green COVID COVER badge). We’ll re-send your new policy documents once you’re done – simple as that!
Please note: An additional cost may apply if you choose you upgrade your travel insurance policy to include enhanced COVID-19 cover.
If I am stranded abroad due to the Coronavirus and cannot come home on my planned return date – will my travel insurance be extended to cover me until I can get home?
Cover may be extended for the following reasons:
I’m in a country affected by the outbreak – will I still be covered if I’m affected by the virus?
As long as you did not travel against the FCDO advice, then we will provide cover for emergency medical expenses if you contract the virus and require medical treatment. You should contact the local medical authorities and follow their instructions, as they will be able to direct you to a public hospital that will be set up to provide optimal care and quarantine. You should then contact the assistance team so that they can liaise with the treating doctors. We would recommend that you avoid the ‘dangerous/infected’ areas and follow the published guidelines to minimise your risk of exposure.
I want to return home early – what can I do?
If you are considering returning to the UK earlier than originally planned as a result of the viral outbreak, you may be able to claim to cut short your trip, but this will depend on the following criteria:
If you have booked a package holiday to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cut your trip short, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights in the first instance.
If you are travelling independently from a tour operator or travel agent, you should make your own arrangements to leave by either altering your return tickets, where possible, or booking onto an alternative commercial flight. Claims for independent travellers’ additional expenses in returning home earlier, where medically justified, will be treated sympathetically.
If I am quarantined due to the Coronavirus, what cover is in place?
If you are admitted to hospital your policy will usually provide assistance with returning home when you have been discharged. Please contact our Assistance Team if you are admitted to hospital.
If we get to the airport and one of our temperatures spike, and we are refused boarding – what is covered?
Unfortunately, travel insurance policies across the market do not usually provide cover for refusal of boarding for any reason. You would need to approach your airline or tour operator for advice.
However, Spectrum policies with enhanced COVID-19 cover do include denied boarding cover if you, or anyone named on the policy, are refused entry on your return journey to the United Kingdom due to showing symptoms of COVID-19.
What if I travel abroad and the FCDO advice changes again, how do I get home?
You would need to urgently speak with your booking agent in order to get a flight back to the UK.
This type of situation is not usually covered under travel insurance policies. We understand however that many transport providers are offering ticket changes at little or no cost to customers affected by change in FCDO advice.
In the first instance, we would recommend that you contact your tour operator/travel agent to see if they are able to re-arrange your return travel for you. If you are travelling independently from a tour operator/travel agent, you should contact your airline/transport provider to see if they are able to alter your return ticket. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to our team.
You will need to evidence that you have approached and been refused a refund for these costs before we will consider a claim. You should also check that you purchased a policy which covers curtailment due to FCDO advice changes.
You can look at the curtailment (cutting short your trip) section of your policy wording to see if a change of FCDO advice is covered.
Please note: We are not be able to assist in arranging to get you home unfortunately, unless this is due to your injury or illness, and this has been agreed by our assistance team. It is important to note that medical repatriations are prioritised to ensure the safety of those who are unwell.
Am I insured if I travel against the advice if the FCDO?
None of our policies will provide cover if you decide to travel against the advice of the FCDO. This would be for ‘All Travel’ and ‘All but Essential Travel’ unless customers have contacted us in advance with their reasons for travel and cover has been agreed by the Underwriters.
Once the UK borders re-open, what happens if I arrive at my holiday destination and they refuse entry due to the virus?
If you travel to an area which the FCDO advise against travel to, there would be no cover under the travel insurance policies as this would be considered as a known event. You can see a full list of countries deemed safe to click here.
If you travel to an area and the FCDO advice changes after leaving home, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights or refunds in the first instance.
If you are refused entry at passport/border control, you should contact your airline or transport provider to arrange changing your return ticket to allow you to come home early.
If I have a stop-over in an area which the FCDO advises against travel to – am I still covered?
We would suggest that if you have not started that part of your journey you contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary. If this is not possible, we will provide cover as long as 1) you do not leave the airport, and 2) you are not at the airport for an unreasonable amount of time.
If you arrive at your stop-over airport and entry is denied due to the virus you should contact your airline to change your travel plans to move on to the next part of your itinerary.
Am I covered for travel disruption caused by the Coronavirus?
If you are unable to return home on your planned date, Spectrum policies offer a fixed benefit for delays over 12 hours, which is designed to help contribute towards associated costs. We would ask that you check your policy wording for full cover details
If I go out on an excursion for the day and then am not allowed back to my travel accommodation (or cruise ship) due to quarantine – what cover do I have?
You should follow any instructions issued by the local authorities as it is more than likely that you will have to enter some form of quarantine.
Travellers should contact their travel agent or tour operator for assistance in the first instance.
Some travel insurance policies will contribute towards the cost of food and additional accommodation, some may also include the additional costs of getting home. We would ask that you check your policy wording for full cover details.
If you have more questions which have not been answered here, please click here to visit our claims and assistance provider’s dedicated FAQs page. Alternatively, please complete the contact form here:
Flight Company and Air Passenger Rights
Flight companies are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. If your flight operator cancels or can’t fulfil your flight then there is protection available under something called the ‘Montreal Convention’. Some airlines are going over and above their requirements and so it is important to contact them in the first instance to find out what support they can give you.
Flight cancellations by the airline need to be claimed directly from them, your insurer will not consider a claim unless you have sought a refund from your airline in the first instance.
All around the world, passenger rights for international flights are protected under the Montreal Convention. Essentially, this piece of law states that the airline is responsible for you if your flight is cancelled and/or you are left stranded at an airport waiting for a flight. These measures of care include:
In countries like Canada, Israel and the Member States of the European Union, your rights are protected even further.
Like any piece of law, it is complicated and not that easy to read! But below is a link and if you google CAA and Montreal Convention then you will find some useful information online that may help you.
If you are getting resistance from your tour operator or booking agent and believe you have a valid claim for refund or reimbursement from them. Then there are several bodies you can approach including ABTA and ATOL. In addition to this there is an independent online resolution service called ‘resolver’ which has had positive outcomes for many consumers with disputes.
If you have more questions which have not been answered here, please click here to visit our claims and assistance provider’s dedicated FAQs page. Alternatively, please complete the contact form here.
We hope you aren’t affected by this outbreak, but if you are, we’re here to help.
The Spectrum Team.