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Swine Flu and Summer Travel Advice from HigosThursday 13th August 2009

Make sure you and your family are covered for all eventualities

Before jetting off on that well-deserved summer break it is essential to check your travel insurance policy to ensure you are covered for all eventualities, is the advice from Higos.

Managing director of Higos Insurance Services, Ian Gosden said: "As the risk of Swine Flu begins to rise around the world many people are becoming concerned about how this may affect their holiday plans, so ensuring your policy provides suitable cover is absolutely vital.

"The main thing is to check the policy small print for any exclusions that could relate to the spread of Swine Flu or other ‘pandemics’, though if you’re still unsure, our advice would be to seek independent advice from a broker."

Common questions and concerns:

What happens if I fall ill with Swine Flu whilst abroad?

  • If you fall ill with swine flu whilst abroad most policies offer up to £5 million for medical treatment, as standard.
  • Repatriation to the UK should be included in most policies; however some countries will decide to quarantine a patient to contain the spread of the virus. The general view is that the Government responsible for the quarantine will foot any bill, but there could be additional charges.
  • If you are travelling in Europe, ensure every traveller has a European Health Card which entitles the holder to access to emergency medical treatment in all EU member states.


I’ve booked a holiday but I’m concerned about going, what are my options?

  • In many parts of the world a ‘pandemic’ has already been officially declared and many existing policies will not cover you for a trip to one of these countries. Be sure to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for an up-to-date list: www.fco.gov.uk or call 020 7008 1500.
  • You will not be covered for cancelling your holiday because you are worried about Swine Flu, unless the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travel to that particular country or location.
  • If you fall ill with Swine Flu before your trip most polices will cover a full-refund with a valid doctor’s certificate.


I’m still concerned and unsure what to do?

  • The most important thing is not to panic, there is a great deal of advice available concerning Swine Flu and no-one is advising against taking foreign holidays in general, just be sure to check for any ‘hotspots’.
  • Check your insurance policy for any exclusions for ‘pandemics’. Any policy offered by insurance brokers part of BIBA (British Insurance Brokers Association) will only ever offer cover with no pandemic exclusion.
  • If the spread of Swine Flu continues, many insurers may look to review their policies in the future and introduce changes or tweaks to the cover. Be sure to check with a broker when renewing a policy if you are concerned.
  • Overall, it is best to seek independent advice if you are concerned or unsure of the level of cover you need or currently have. Opting for travel insurance based purely on price may leave you dangerously exposed if you or a member of your family were to contract the virus when abroad.

 

If you would like to discuss your travel requirements further please contact the Higos Travel Team on 01458 270 374

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