Potential good news for insurance claims – Foreign Office says avoid ‘all but essential’ travel to the United States

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The Foreign Office has just announced that you should avoid ‘all but essential’ travel to the United States:

“The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the USA, due to restrictions put in place by the US government with effect from 03:59 GMT 17 March in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) (Summary and Entry Requirements)”

Here is the official link.

You may think this is a statement of the obvious, given that you won’t actually be allowed into the country if you have been in the UK in the last 14 days.

However, for insurance purposes, this is important.  Some policies will pay out if the Foreign Office advises against ‘all but essential’ travel.

Foreign Office says avoid 'all but essential' travel to the US

Other policies, unfortunately, will only pay out if the Foreign Office advises against ‘all’ travel.  The only places with an ‘all’ warning are certain parts of China and South Korea.

If you are on the hook for financial loss due to pre-paid hotels and car hire in the United States, you should dig out your travel insurance.  You may now be able to make a claim.

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  1. Insurance related: I am currently in Canada- need to fly back tomorrow (instead of Thursday) as my daughter is not well. If I can’t get through to Amex or HSBC insurance would it still be ok to book a flight and claim when I arrive in UK?
    (I am assuming curtailing trip coz our 12 year old was sick will be a valid reason? We had left them with my sister)

    • Boi, I can’t remember if I answered this on a different thread or my comment was removed for containing a link! If you google HSBC insurance FAQs I think it’s question 3 which says you are covered for curtailment if a family member falls ill at home. Hope you get sorted.

      • Yes, immediate family covered, and you have the hospital report. I would still send them a message through contact us link, just to inform them and to show you actually tried to get hold of them. They are quite good with back dated claims, esp medical related. Hope your daughter is improving by the hour.

  2. Christopher Mc says:

    Just found out my Admiral Gold policy doesn’t pay out even in the event of FCO ‘no travel’ advice.
    They’ll happily pay out for jury service though. Waste of money.

  3. Renaud says:

    HSBC Premier travel insurance mentions that we are covered if
    ” you choose not to travel or continue your trip because […]
    (c) your accommodation is directly affected by a food poisoning outbreak, or the area in which you are staying is affected by pandemic or epidemic influenza;”
    Do you think that would cover an accomodation in the French Alps? There is no clear definition of “area” in the policy document.

  4. We have just been told that nearly all travel insurance policy’s will NOT pay out in a pandemic/epidemic situation, no matter what advice the FCO give. We have loss £1000’s on a holiday of a life time.

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