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Published on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Travel companies begin to scale back cover to avoid coronavirus claims


Insurance firm Aviva has removed travel disruption cover from its travel insurance policies due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The change means that only clients who bought Aviva policies before Monday with the travel disruption add-on can claim pay-outs if the Foreign Office advises against travelling to countries hit by the virus.

Those who buy Aviva policies without the travel disruption cover will have to rely on airlines cancelling flights, which would then allow them to put in a claim under the 'abandonment' clause for any costs not covered by the airline. 

An Aviva spokesperson told the BBC: "We have decided to adjust our cover to reflect the current risks posed by coronavirus."

The change means that new Aviva customers stranded in a country where the Foreign Office says it's no longer safe to visit would not be able to reclaim the cost of flights home from the insurer.

Aviva announced the change was after a number of airlines including British Airways, easyJet, Jet2 and easyJet suddenly cancelled thousands of flights between the UK and Italy after the FCO issued a warning against all but essential travel to the country.

In a statement, Aviva said: "Insurance is designed to provide cover for unforeseen and unexpected events and is priced on this basis.

"The outbreak of the coronavirus means there is an increased likelihood of disruption to people's travel plans."

Specialist sports travel insurance provider, Sportscover Direct, has introduced a 'coronavirus exclusion' clause into all new policies. The clause means that the company, which covers extreme sports including ski and mountaineering trips, won't provide cover for any loss, damager or liability directly or indirectly caused by the coronavirus.

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