Panicked holidaymakers heading to Spain are turning to a specialist warzone travel insurer, typically used by those on dangerous assignments to countries renowned for kidnappings and murders, to try and obtain cover for their trip.
Battleface says it has had a ‘significant increase in enquiries and bookings’ for policies covering Spain and all destinations in recent days, after the Government introduced new quarantine measures for those returning from the holiday hotspot and Foreign Commonwealth Office advice changed.
The Kent-based firm, which usually covers people who need stronger insurance for heading to terrorist hotspots such as Africa and the Middle East, is now seeing an influx of families looking to cover trips to the Costa Del Sol and the like.
However, despite providing cover for those who catch coronavirus abroad, it does not include cover in relation to Covid-19 expenses for trip cancellations, curtailment of a holiday or lockdowns. It also does not cover those aged over 59.
Protection: Warzone insurance covers customers who travel to dangerous places – not typically Spain (pictured: Mallorca)
So-called ‘warzone’ insurance works very similarly to normal policies and will cover the policyholder for all of the same things including medical claims, baggage and cancellation, for example.
The main difference is, however, they will also offer cover for those who catch coronavirus when heading abroad.
Some are now turning to these specialist insurers to try and cover themselves when travelling to countries the FCO has recommended against heading to, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
One of the main countries affected at the moment is Spain with many Britons already having their flights booked to travel to the country and its nearby islands.
For those who still insist on continuing with their holidays, they will find it difficult to be insured by standard travel insurers.
While it is possible to take out warzone insurance to cover holidaymakers heading to Spain, it can often be costlier than normal insurance, due to the increased risk.
The insurers that offer this type of cover are also explicit in saying they are not encouraging customers to head to Spain when the FCO advises against it.
But for those intent on travelling, despite the high risk, they can potentially cover themselves against the coronavirus by taking out the specialist insurance.
Battleface is one of a number of specialist insurers currently offering cover for those who catch coronavirus abroad.
It told This is Money that it has seen a marked increase in interest in the recent weeks.
Sasha Gainullin, chief executive of Battleface, said: ‘In recent days we have seen a significant increase in enquiries and bookings for policies to cover Spain and all destinations.
‘Battleface travel insurance policies cover exactly the same as most travel insurance policies including medical and emergency expenses, hospital benefit, personal accident, baggage, personal money and passport and personal liability.’
Its travel insurance policies have always provided coverage to destinations that are under FCO’s ‘all but essential travel to’ advisory or any other governmental warning.
People that head to these destinations are typically charity and humanitarian workers, healthcare professionals and journalists.
Warzone insurance works similarly to normal policies – but it includes cover against catching the virus
Battleface also said it wasn’t as expensive as some might think to take out cover.
It claimed that for a seven day holiday in Spain for two people aged 30 with no pre-existing medical conditions, the cost would be £38.06 including insurance premium tax.
Although Battleface are quoting a relatively cheap price for cover, it does still doesn’t cover customers for cancellations.
The cost will also vary from person to person, depending on their individual circumstances.
Despite providing cover for medical expenses those who catch coronavirus abroad, there are also numerous exceptions, including the fact it won’t cover anyone over 60.
Nor will it cover you for cancellations, one of the main risks at the moment.
The new Covid-19 cover is available on all policies purchased from 17 July 2020.
Gainullin added: ‘In regards to cancellation, curtailment or lockdown/quarantine expense coverage due to Covid-19, our policies do not provide cover for this and we do not plan to add this benefit in the near future.’
Another firm, Warzonecover, added it has seen a large spike in enquiries in the past week from individuals travelling to Europe on holiday looking for travel insurance.
It says that clients that initiated either individual or group personal accident policies prior to the pandemic are also covered for Covid-19 until expiry of their policies.
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