As of this week we are following Government advice and all TL Dallas staff are now working remotely and are available on their usual numbers / email addresses. Many of our staff are juggling childcare as well as work so may send communications outside of normal business hours, in order to continue our high levels of service. Please don’t feel you need to respond to emails outside of normal working hours.
Many of our customers will have queries around their insurance cover, in particular Business Interruption & Travel and you should contact your usual TL Dallas team member for further advice. However some general information on all classes of cover can be found here: link to Association of British Insurers Q&A
Furthermore information on assistance being offered by the Government for businesses can be found here: link to Government website
We wish you all the best and please keep healthy.
Our advice on Travel Insurance is based on the latest update issued by our Trade Body – The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) on the 28th February 2020. There are however many different policy conditions and wordings so each case will need to be looked at on its own merits
There is understandably a lot of speculation as to what effect travel bans may have and also the line insurance companies will take on claims. We cannot predict where it may strike next.
The outbreak of Coronavirus is a rapidly developing situation and we would strongly advise anyone travelling to look at the guidance issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) which is updated on a regular basis.
The FCO are now advising against all but essential international travel, and as such any trips booked at this time will not be covered by travel insurance. If you are having to cancel trips that were booked before the current advice was issued, then in the first instance insurers would expect every effort to be made to obtain a refund / credit or re arrange your trip for another time. If you are unable to do this and have to submit a claim, please get in touch your usual TL Dallas contact.
People currently in an affected area
From a travel insurance perspective, we expect that consumers who had purchased travel insurance and travelled before the FCO issued its advice on the respective areas listed above will be covered under the terms of their policy while in any of those areas including in Hubei province if they travelled there before the original advice was issued. If the travel insurance includes medical expenses, treatment costs for travelers who become unwell while overseas should be covered up to the limit in the policy subject to the terms and conditions stated in the policy. Please note that cover should operate even if the length of the trip is extended because of quarantine issues.
Most travel insurers offer a 24-hour emergency medical advice hotline and travelers who feel they might have been affected by these outbreaks are encouraged to call their insurers for help.
The outbreak of Covid19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship was extensively covered in the media.
People who have booked a cruise are advised to keep up to date with their cruise operator. If a cruise goes ahead as scheduled and you have travel insurance in place medical costs will be insured if you become ill on board. Cover should operate even if the cruise length is extended because of quarantine issues. You cannot claim on your travel insurance if you change your mind about going on a booked cruise.
Concerns about travel
Concerned consumers who had booked their trip via a tour operator or travel agent or using a credit card should contact them to see if they can get a refund or have their trip re-arranged.
All travel policies are different so we would advise people to read their policies carefully or call us to see exactly what their policy covers and what they can claim for. Some policies may actually exclude any cover for pandemic situations if this is officially declared. There are some specialist High Risk Travel Insurance Schemes that we may be able to access through BIBA but how long they will be willing to provide cover is unknown, as is the cost and scope of cover available.
General Business Insurance
There isn’t an easy answer other than to say that most policies are not designed to protect against such outbreaks and indeed following the SARS and Avian Flu events many Insurance Companies added these causes of loss as a specific exclusion in business interruption policies.
There are some business interruption extensions of cover primarily designed for catering and hospitality businesses that are usually specifically linked to the supply of food and drink from the policyholder’s premises and that cover notifiable diseases specific to those premises. This cover isn’t designed or intended to provide cover if there is a local or national shutdown or quarantine ordered by the Government.
We feel it is important to provide a general explanation as to why this is the case. Whilst all insurers differ in the detail of their approach, they are all required by their shareholders and regulatory bodies to operate in a commercially sustainable way. This is to ensure they are able to meet the cost of insured claims in the long-term and thereby provide continued protection for their policyholders.
Insurers use historic data to guide them in terms of the cover they are able to offer and the pricing of it. Where new diseases (or new strains of known diseases) emerge there is, by definition, no historic data available for insurers to be able to predict the potential cost of claims from a UK or worldwide pandemic. The potential therefore exists that if the insurance industry did provide unrestricted cover for a pandemic disease event it would result in their mass failure, leaving policyholders unprotected against other events. It is therefore the case that remedies for issues of this magnitude and extent fall towards the Government to be able to respond on a societal basis.
Beware of Scammers
Very sadly there are those who exploit a crisis and we have already seen fake stories and emails with links to antibacterial hand gel, a list of businesses that are closed asking you to click and see if your employer is one of them and there will be many more.
Please exercise caution when opening emails and clicking on links before doing so.
Your usual TL Dallas contact will try to help or contact our Head Office
T: 01274 465500
We will endeavor to keep you up to date but the situation is changing quickly so ensure you have the latest information issued by the Government, Emergency Services, Foreign Office and Local Authorities before taking any action.