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Virgin Atlantic giving free coronavirus insurance to ALL passengers – what’s covered?

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Virgin Atlantic has just announced that is is providing free Covid-19 insurance coverage for all new and existing bookings, for travel until 31st March 2021.

It is the first UK airline to do so, although Emirates implemented a similar policy back in July. Allianz Assistance is underwriting the policy.

You can see full details on this page of the Virgin Atlantic website.

Virgin Atlantic coronavirus insurance

What’s covered by Virgin Atlantic’s Covid-19 insurance?

Virgin Atlantic is calling its coronavirus insurance the ‘most comprehensive Covid-19 cover provided by any major airline to date.’ Here is what it includes:

  • Up to £500,000 necessary and emergency medical expenses incurred due to Coronavirus affecting you or your travel companions.
  • Repatriation due to Coronavirus, should it be medically necessary.
  • Up to £3,000 if you are required to quarantine during a trip or denied boarding at origin or destination. This includes ‘reasonable costs’ for accommodation, transportation, refreshments (but not alcohol!), booking amendment fees and other travel expenses.
  • Cover for your whole trip, with no upper limit on the length of your time away.
  • One way tickets, with cover ending 12 hours after your flight arrives.
  • Cover for all passengers with no restrictions on age, travel class or length of journey.

Crucially, there is no premium OR excess payable – Virgin Atlantic is bundling it into every ticket they sell.

Note that this insurance cover does NOT replace a comprehensive travel insurance plan. It is limited to claims related to Covid-19. Any epidemic or pandemic other than coronavirus is also not covered!

Any travel undertaken against FCO or other governmental advice is not covered. You cannot claim from this policy if your trip is cancelled due to changes in FCO advice, which is why you should have additional travel insurance.

You ARE covered if someone else on your booking – not you – contracts Covid-19 during your trip.

Covid tests are NOT included in the cover, unless “it is medically necessary and on the request of a treating doctor in order to diagnose and treat the patient.” That means you can’t claim if your destination country requires a negative test for entry.

You can read the policy document here.

Virgin Atlantic coronavirus insurance

Is £3,000 enough for quarantine and denied boarding?

The only thing that sticks out from this policy is what seems to be fairly low cover if you are required to quarantine.

In a worst case scenario where you must quarantine for 14 days £3,000 doesn’t seem like a lot – just £215 per day.

This is fine if you’re staying in cheaper hotels but won’t be enough at the higher end of the market. To be fair, this is still significantly more than the €100 Emirates is offering its passengers per day.

If you make a points or miles booking Virgin Atlantic will only reimburse the lowest cash equivalent. You are not covered for:

“More than the lowest market value of equivalent accommodation, transport charges and other travel expenses, if payment was made using frequent flyer points, loyalty card points, redeemable vouchers or another similar scheme.”

Conclusion

Whilst people seem content to book short haul flights last minute, long haul flying still looks a little precarious. This is a smart move by Virgin Atlantic to try and boost its forward bookings and offer passengers some peace of mind.

It’s also hard to disagree that this is the ‘most comprehensive’ coverage of any airline. Virgin Atlantic’s Covid-19 cover certainly outdoes the Emirates policy which offers substantially lower payouts.

You can read more on the Virgin Atlantic website here.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.

You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (34)

  • Max says:

    TUI have been automatically offering COVID-19 medical cover as part of their Travel with Confidence policy for a while now which includes flight changes, testing, accommodation over. https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/info/our-promise

  • AndyGWP says:

    Apologies Rob / Rhys. I’ve had a really long day. Can you spell this bit out for me please?

    ————-
    If you make a points or miles booking Virgin Atlantic will only reimburse the lowest cash equivalent. You are not covered for:
    “More than the lowest market value of equivalent accommodation, transport charges and other travel expenses, if payment was made using frequent flyer points, loyalty card points, redeemable vouchers or another similar scheme.”
    ————-

    For example, if I’d booked flights for 130k miles, what would the lowest cash equivalent be deemed to be?

    • Rob says:

      Whatever a typical non-refundable sale flight to the destination would cost – ie you can’t claim that your miles are worth the equivalent of £8,000 for a fully refundable business class flight.

      • AndyGWP says:

        Ah thanks. Wasn’t sure if they meant cost of the flight, or cost of the miles used 🙂

  • Bob says:

    Not many Virgin routes flying that are FCO approved. Hong Kong, Barbados, Antigua, Tel Aviv, Cuba. May be a couple more but pretty thin.

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