The Travel Podcast

Ep 03 - Travel Insurance & COVID-19 Coronavirus

March 11, 2020 The Travel Expert Season 1 Episode 3
Ep 03 - Travel Insurance & COVID-19 Coronavirus
The Travel Podcast
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The Travel Podcast
Ep 03 - Travel Insurance & COVID-19 Coronavirus
Mar 11, 2020 Season 1 Episode 3
The Travel Expert

Sarah Slattery of interviews Ciaran Mulligan, MD of Blue Insurance and about travel insurance, and how best to make sure you are adequately covered for Covid-19 coronavirus.

Show Notes Transcript

Sarah Slattery of interviews Ciaran Mulligan, MD of Blue Insurance and about travel insurance, and how best to make sure you are adequately covered for Covid-19 coronavirus.

Sarah:   0:02
Welcome to the travel podcasts brought to you by the travel Bringing you Around the World of travel with your host  Sarah Slattery. For more information on travel, visit our website at the travel Now this week's episode  

Sarah:   0:25
Hello and welcome to episode three of the Travel Podcast. Today's topic is all about travel insurance. And what exactly does your travel insurance cover for in light of the Corona virus outbreak? I am delighted to be joined by Ciaran Mulligan, managing director of Blue Insurance and, Ireland's leading travel insurance providers. He's going to answer all your questions and hopefully alleviate some of your concerns that you may be having Karen, thank you so much for joining me.

Ciaran:   0:52
Thanks for having me,

Sarah:   0:53
and I'm sure you must be extremely busy at the moment.

Ciaran:   0:56
Franz swapped 34 day backlog on inquiries coming in an E mail, even with staff doing overtime for five hours a night. So that's it's not just ourselves, it's the whole travel insurance industry is going through this crisis at the moment with with the volumes coming in, but we're trying to get you and look after people as quickly as we can, you know?

Sarah:   1:16
Yeah, well, I appreciate you giving up your time because I know you're obviously very busy, but hopefully this podcast I'm also going to do a post on the Web site about that will answer a lot of people's questions on. Maybe you can be a kind of a go to post Teo, so to stop airlines and travel insurance companies and everybody getting all these phone calls. And so the first thing I just wanted to say to anybody listening, if you're not aware of us and that the Department of Foreign Affairs is should be really or go to Web site at the end of the day, they are the governing body that decides against non essential travel to a particular region. So if you're booked to go to a particular place and you're wondering, is it safe to go to do so? That is the websites that you should be checking out. They also have the travel wise up, which is great to download. I don't order that myself on beacon set alerts for a particular country. You were going to to find out if there's any changes or update in advice.

Ciaran:   2:12
Yeah, just to say, though anybody travelling anyone from the north of Ireland may be reviewing Listen to the podcast. They also go to the F. C o website, Go to the charges out of the North who care regarding a UK policies. It would be the FC.

Sarah:   2:26
Thanks for pointing Nash. And okay, so I suppose just in light of that, the probably the most the standard question are. The easiest question to answer is if you are due to go to a place that that the Department of Foreign Affairs or the ex CEO says it is not safe to travel to, obviously your insurance will you have travel, insurance and place it will kick in. And yes,

Ciaran:   2:49
if you have government travel advice on your policy, which the anyone with a blue travel agent policy booked a policy to a travel agent, they have government travel advice on her policy. Depending on the cover level, it depends what you have. 500 euros were takeover or 750 years work over. If you have travel disruption, cover and you have that added to your policy, it is included on the premier post policies would travel agents. But if you've added to your maybe a multi tripped a common policy or you've added toe lower level cover with travel agents than that will give you 1000 euros worth of cover. It is worth noting to 70 moratorium on that. So if you take it out or have taken it up, you have to be seven days laps before Doc over will be effective. Okay, I know some people did add it to their policies, wants to cover that gun epidemic proportions, you know, But anyone, anyone that doesn't win in the seven days are D D. If I advise within seven days you do to travel, you won't be covered if it's beyond seven days and you are covered under your policy limits,

Sarah:   3:52
Okay, So if anybody has start in place, so they booked back in January and they have their insurance and they will be coverage. I mean, I suppose Thie other thing to point toes and is the travel insurance. It should probably be your last stop. You should obviously try and get your refund from the airlines and your travel agents and everything first. My right.

Ciaran:   4:10
Yes. The wording in the policy states that in the event off this cancellation happening or de vie against travelling, then it's your airline first, your accommodation provider or your travel agent and then your insurance thereafter.

Sarah:   4:21
Okay? And I know a lot of, obviously with Likes. Officially you no refunds are being given by early Angus and Ryanair, and most of the airlines are a lot of the airlines air land changes Now cruise companies were water, for instance. You've booked your fly's to go to Italy on our lingo, sir. Happily refund in you. But you've booked a nonrefundable room in Rome, for instance. Your insurance company

Ciaran:   4:43
won't cover you for that again, provided you took out the policy in advance off the seven days of its travel disruption. Or you have the government travel advice again. What we're finding now is travel agents are making sure that any accommodation only our accommodation, that part of the package even that they're making sure the cancellation is on that as well. So we'll probably find less and less off. People are. People are wary of even with the ones that book in booking dot com or order. They're adding that they're taking their pain a little bit higher to get the cancellation over looked at the last minute. But if it doesn't, then our policy or Coliseum was kicking. Didn't probably work. Highlight to people. And if they're planning on travelling, you know, even if they have a policy, are they have a holiday that's later on in the year and still haven't taken out the travel insurance policy? They need to look at doing that now on adding that travel disruption onto it. Okay, there is potentially coming in the next next week or two. That underwriters may exclude covered 19 within the policy documents. That's something that being discussed with a association bread, oven shirt. British insurers at the moment with character will be part of that organisation or connected with on its something that just people need to be wary off. You know, if even if you even if you haven't booked a holiday, you're thinking of booking a holiday for later on here, take out your policy. Now get your travel disruption added to it before it gets excluded from all new policies going

Sarah:   6:03
forward. So if you don't know when you're travelling and yes, you could take out a yearly policy on that will cover you for a whole year. And if if he owned, arises air the insurance companies, I assume it's not just, you know, blue insurance or multi truck. If thiss decision is made, it will go across the bar with the board. So it's important that you have. If you take out a yearly policy now, you would be court for covert 19 even if you're not travelling to Obama's.

Ciaran:   6:29
Exactly. And even if you take out that we are like I'm the multi trip dot com we offered, the two year policy is cannot travel disruption to that, then you're covered for two years. As a result, anyone? I would also recommend anybody that has a policy that the belt a lapse in April, May June. We'll take out the new policy now because what will happen is even though you may do your order and know the covered 19 will still be excluded from that new policy, even though it's an honour. And so if you want to be covered for later on the year and you've a policy coming up in the next say three months, I'm recommended to my family friends and take new

Sarah:   7:03
clothes. Absolutely. That's, I mean on insurance is so and it's the cheapest party holiday. So if you haven't already gotten guys, anybody listening, do it now. I mean that there's talk that it's seasonal and that even if we do manage to, if it does manage to go away that I could come back in the wintertime again. So, yeah, I think that's to your policy. Would be a great chip for people who are trapped in regularly. And

Ciaran:   7:28
you get 10% off the price to your policy of

Sarah:   7:33
doing that myself, I think. And so you mentioned earlier about the price of but there was a 500 euros and 750 euros. So for people who have put 20 minutes and things like that, that maybe calls 10 grand five grand, each like difficult

Ciaran:   7:48
there on that one. Yeah, I mean, the government travel advice benefit, which is with the agents policy and what our blue insurance ar e. The premier gives you 500 on the premiere plus QC 7 50 If you were on the travel disruption and you increase that obviously to 1000 euros, Yeah, so from that point of view. That's really your limit. You're not. You're you're left exposed. Is going paying in 10 or 20 grand holiday?

Sarah:   8:10
OK, Unfortunately, if somebody is smoking a honeymoon, is there a supplement they can add onto increase? There is sort of a

Ciaran:   8:17
no. At the moment. It's not a given that they're likely to, You know that. There's talk of them, you know, removing, removing things. A club 19 from the front. From that extension that's there. It's unlikely that they will allow any increase at the moment.

Sarah:   8:30
Okay, that's an interesting as well, Just

Ciaran:   8:33
just as you mentioned honeymoons just to let you know as well with effect from six. PM last night. Our wedding insurance policies no longer provide cover for covert 19. General exclusion gunning. So anyone who hasn't like I mean, most people probably known that we're having a wedding this year. Probably got the covert taken over. They would have heard about it, but as affecting last night. There is no cover for covered 19 wedding insurance or abroad. So this is this is where the market is going.

Sarah:   9:02
This is where it's going. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Unfairness. I mean, I am there isn't bottomless pits account. He pounded out money. I mean, it is understandable if exposure Teo. I mean, people have the opportunity now to get the policies in place now for two years. So that's that's really good to know and a couple of other questions that have been asked again. I know a lot of them are probably individual kind of unusual type situations. Boat, for instance. If you were due to go to a sporting event like the Rugby in Paris, it was counselled on DH. Match was cancelled to push their flight to still go in. Your hotel is still. Now let's do the insurance. That's the

Ciaran:   9:43
FAA advises against travel to an area then on event is cancelled. But, yeah, I just got knocked out then. There is no cover, however, if and the FAA advises against travel to an area and you have paid for match tickets, those prepaid match tickets will also be included in your cancellation. So even if you say they hoped that the airline decide to give you a refund, you have cancellation of accommodation provider after the refund. You don't have money back on your tickets. You could make a claim for your ticket. Okay, if you

Sarah:   10:13
want. Okay. But it has to be an area. So it can't be the reason for your trip. If if the flight is still going on and the match or concert is cancelled, well, there's nothing really

Ciaran:   10:22
you could do about it.

Sarah:   10:23
Okay? And okay, I have a few other questions here on. We just have a look. Yes, I see more and more countries are banning entry for people who have saved being initially before, even in some cases, not just buying Europeans or about Yeah, I see it in the Emirates. No, they're all cruise ports are being closed. So if, for instance, flights are still going on DH. But you can't. You can't get into a country order if they're telling you have the isolation for two weeks or you know So where's

Ciaran:   10:56
again? Like if you don't know in advance. So So if if the country has announced that they're not accepting anybody who has been in order initially into the country. Yeah, well, then, from the date that they stated that that's when any policies issued after that day would not be okay. Okay. You know, so you just, you know, like you If you do the research, you know,

Sarah:   11:19
before you don't you OK? Brilliant. And OK, a couple of other and things. I just wanted to ask it worse about claiming. And Isis, as we said earlier, that if you have if you are making a claim, obviously cheque with your airline on dure travel agency first because the insurance you're only just going to refer people back to them before you train is going well, yeah, on DH is there are delays and claims a moment. Sure. Our what? Watching people have long people expect before they would get a refund,

Ciaran:   11:48
Probably, I'd say, given the current situation, current crisis, that's going on. But I tell you, talking 3 to 4 weeks like longer, Reasonable. I mean, once they come in, they should be a day with her directly, maybe out for more information. Okay, you know, so normal, normal, responsibly. About a week for you get you know and notification back asking for whatever details or your claim will be sad. I would say treated for weeks for maybe the first notification. But that's what I'm gonna be for a short period. They're dealing with calls as well, both from from claims, even people just quitting. And we're having obviously medical screening lines on DH. You know, claims sign. If somebody's not being able to get youto leave a high abandonment right at the moment because of the numbers coming in here, they may bring the claims that they're probably delayed them a little bit. So it's been

Sarah:   12:34
four weeks. It's pretty good. I would you

Ciaran:   12:36
know, that should be it is any longer delay, then that people just getting tortured will be handed down the underwriters and claims of writers,

Sarah:   12:44
Okay. And I mean, I suppose the other thing to point if you've already said about people taking out annual policies for covert 19 and that and what? Obviously, if you if you booked a holiday and you know we're going, it's still not late. It's still not too late to book travel insurance. You just have that moratorium in place for seven days. But if you're going and all of us know you can still take out a policy under 15 euros or something well,

Ciaran:   13:08
too well, even by an annual policy on multi trip that kind for 17 95 travel agency deals on Daniel. My recommendations taken annual travel disruption because if you do a number of holidays during the year, then you're covered if you take a single trip and you cover this trip that you're coming up to. You know, if underwriters introduced the Bayamon covered 19 exclusion into the policy yeah, then you're not going to get the benefit ofthe that on your next release. If you have a policy with your annual policy, will be covered up until that expiring on again the two year multi trip. It's good value as well as I've seen. The agents are doing deals policies for as well.

Sarah:   13:44
Well, look, I think I covered most and most questions. I don't know if there's any questions that you have been getting that you think I'm I left Toshio,

Ciaran:   13:51
let me try and take that way. But yeah, I mean, the main thing is that you know, we were finding that the d e a. D f A. Advise against travel to northern, usually to those regions originally started with £10. Then I put it to the regions. The airlines were still flying there. I know the airlines we're giving you a refund back at the time or changing your flight. But if at any point, they don't, so we have today. If a advises against travel to a place on the airline's not giving you a refund for whatever reason, which they should, then you could still make a claim coming in then, as well. On that

Sarah:   14:27
is that 14 day period still apply. I find you to go to Italy in May, and I can't count confidence coming home to wait for the

Ciaran:   14:37
government travel advice. It has to be within 14 days departure, and then the actual travel disruption is sort of basically the day or the day before the departure that you'd be looking to put in a claim. Probably at that point, you would be turning around and saying to the airline, reading them up, Duncan Ivory for you. Bring here speaks your agent or a combination provider can never reform them. It's only then that point that they will come towards you. But it's within the 14 days. So basically say you have a holiday to Italy in July. Ah, nde. You know there's restrictions in place, but they lifted it May Then you're expected to travel in July

Sarah:   15:13
just at the mercy of the airlines and try and change her. Or else you could always go.

Ciaran:   15:18
Yeah, hopefully like, you know, the 10 years that I have booked. Ski Holiday Inn. Next week I'm going on a cruise in Hamburg. Would embassy on the 19th have a trip to New York? First of May? Then I have another trip. Another cruise in June. As far as I'm concerned, I'm going on it. I mean, probably actually worth mentioning this. If you're in good health, you know no conditions, you know, continue travel. Obviously, it's your decision. But I know my South of my friends. We're all going away were all in hotels. What I what? I encourage my parents who are in the seventies, right? Probably not. Probably get them to hold off till you know it does come down or somebody with serious conditions. But, you know, you just as much chance of cotton and catch it anywhere else. Go on in. A jury's out. Zaman's

Sarah:   16:05
I'm the same. I can't wait to get a bit of sun again. Hopefully, we'll get away anyway. Ciaran, thank you so much for joining us on DH. Really appreciation on DH. Thank you all out there for listening on. Make sure you subscribe to the travel podcast. It's on all the podcast platforms and so you don't miss an episode. It's also on the my website, the travel expert Don E. Thanks for listening to the travel podcast form or information on travel. Visit our website at the travel expert dot ie. You also remember to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode available on my website on also on all off the leading podcast providers until the next time, remember, keep travelling.