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Amber countries and travel insurance

25 replies

lostpasswordagain · 15/06/2021 13:55

I know you are strongly advised not to travel to Amber countries by the government but it isn't illegal anymore and the FCDO advice isn't clear - it just has the 'strongly advised not to' wording as far as I can see.

Bearing that in mind I need some advice on insurance please.

A family member is insisting on going ahead with a pre-booked trip to a country currently listed as amber. There is time for it to be put on a green list which would be fine.

However, they don't have insurance and I am supposed to be finding some. I can't find anything that is definitively ok for an Amber destination.

Has anyone found a policy? I know it will cost more but I am just as insistent that they cannot travel without it.

They have had both jabs, have also had Covid and are not vulnerable in any way. They are happy to comply with any and all testing, mask and quarantine protocols at either end and have the time to do so.

Thank you

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Needaholidayplease · 15/06/2021 14:06

I think staysure do one specifically for FCO not advised amber countries, but I just had a quick browse so not sure on what it would cover

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Clymene · 15/06/2021 14:12

According to Which, no travel insurance will cover you for countries where the FCDO advice is not to go. Apparently the advice is what counts with insurance, not the colour status as they're not always aligned.

If you do find any, let me know!

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99victoria · 15/06/2021 14:18

Staysure cover you. I have bought some for our upcoming trip to Greece. They have an option for an extension policy which covers travel to European countries where FCDO advice is not to travel (obviously this doesn't help if you're not travelling to a European country)

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indigoemerald · 15/06/2021 14:22

CedarTree appeared to provide cover regardless of if the country was red, amber or green when we were looking into insurance for our (now cancelled) holiday.

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lostpasswordagain · 15/06/2021 14:41

@Needaholidayplease

I think staysure do one specifically for FCO not advised amber countries, but I just had a quick browse so not sure on what it would cover

Thank you. I will take a look. Part of the problem is that the FCO advice seems to be a blanket statement relating to the traffic light system. Then some countries it specifies do not travel unless it is essential. Others it doesn't. But they still have the catch-all message above!
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lostpasswordagain · 15/06/2021 14:43

@Clymene

According to Which, no travel insurance will cover you for countries where the FCDO advice is not to go. Apparently the advice is what counts with insurance, not the colour status as they're not always aligned.

If you do find any, let me know!

I will! Again, having trouble working out what the FCDO advice actually is. The top of each country page says you are strongly advised not to travel to Amber and Red countries but on this particular one, it doesn't go any further. ON others it explicitly says do not travel unless it is essential.

Yet I go to insurance sites and they flag up no insurance for red or amber countries. Which seems to contradict the above.

Glad I am not the only one confused!
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lostpasswordagain · 15/06/2021 14:43

@99victoria

Staysure cover you. I have bought some for our upcoming trip to Greece. They have an option for an extension policy which covers travel to European countries where FCDO advice is not to travel (obviously this doesn't help if you're not travelling to a European country)

Thank you. Sadly it is not a European country so I will go and see if they do something for this place or not. Frustrating!
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lostpasswordagain · 15/06/2021 14:44

@indigoemerald

CedarTree appeared to provide cover regardless of if the country was red, amber or green when we were looking into insurance for our (now cancelled) holiday.

Thanks for this, I haven't heard of them. Will go and investigate.

Sorry to hear that your holiday was cancelled.
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Redtartanshoes · 15/06/2021 14:55

Thanks for this, really useful

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GalesThisMorning · 15/06/2021 14:58

Is it just health insurance you need? I asked this question yesterday (for America) and was helpfully pointed in the direction of visitor's health insurance, like this:

americanvisitorinsurance.com/

Could that be what you need? And then maybe a seperate policy for cancellation and don't bring anything of value?

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lostpasswordagain · 15/06/2021 16:38

@Redtartanshoes

Thanks for this, really useful

It definitely helps to be able to tap in to the hive mind of MN
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lostpasswordagain · 15/06/2021 16:40

@GalesThisMorning

Is it just health insurance you need? I asked this question yesterday (for America) and was helpfully pointed in the direction of visitor's health insurance, like this:

americanvisitorinsurance.com/

Could that be what you need? And then maybe a seperate policy for cancellation and don't bring anything of value?

It is health insurance, yes, although the flights are pricey and so getting that money back would need to be covered somehow.

It isn't the USA but I will see if there is anything similar. Thanks for the tip.
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HJ40 · 15/06/2021 16:43

I've had to look into this for the same reason, specifically Spain. The FCDO page for Spain, lower down below the amber bit at the top, clearly says the advice is 'against all but essential travel'. It does not say it advises 'against all travel' which is another phrase used.

Having spoken with the insurers in question (standard ones, not special cover) they have confirmed that as long as the advice is not 'against all travel' then the insurance will be in place as normal.

I got the impression from the person on the phone that defining essential was too woolly for them.

Are you sure there isn't anything listed for the country you are looking at?

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Sturmundcalm · 15/06/2021 21:30

waaah - we have just hit this issue as well. the country we'd be going to (in Africa) has numbers way lower than the UK's but FCO advice is against all but essential travel. am really struggling to understand in the fine print whether "other" issues would still be insured as the FCO advice relates to covid but there are lots of conflicting statements...

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HalzTangz · 15/06/2021 22:02

Which country are you visiting. Some aren't even letting nationals from other countries entry

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Sturmundcalm · 15/06/2021 22:09

we've gone with Cedar Tree, although also looked at Battleface. think my DH will be fully covered under the "essential travel" description, and they did appear to provide some cover in terms of covid self-isolation, etc. had really clear wording on what it meant if you were travelling against FCO advice and used the wording from the govt website.

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HJ40 · 15/06/2021 23:00

Reading other posts, I'm a bit worried now. I'm not worried about any sort of cancellation cover of quarantine cover or anything like that, just the medical insurance aspect which the person I spoke to said would be in place under 'avoid all but essential travel'. So that should be ok???

I've kept a note of the person I spoke to and the date and time.

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lostpasswordagain · 16/06/2021 09:55

@HJ40

I've had to look into this for the same reason, specifically Spain. The FCDO page for Spain, lower down below the amber bit at the top, clearly says the advice is 'against all but essential travel'. It does not say it advises 'against all travel' which is another phrase used.

Having spoken with the insurers in question (standard ones, not special cover) they have confirmed that as long as the advice is not 'against all travel' then the insurance will be in place as normal.

I got the impression from the person on the phone that defining essential was too woolly for them.

Are you sure there isn't anything listed for the country you are looking at?

It just has the amber bit at the top. So we were thinking the same. It's Barbados which has handled the pandemic very well and is way lower that the UK. But none of the insurance companies I have spoken to seem willing to offer insurance under Amber conditions either. I wonder if it depends if that insurance has been in place prior to the traffic light system or not?

Do you mind sharing which insurers you are using and I will give them a call and see what they say about these circumstances?
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lostpasswordagain · 16/06/2021 09:56

@Sturmundcalm

waaah - we have just hit this issue as well. the country we'd be going to (in Africa) has numbers way lower than the UK's but FCO advice is against all but essential travel. am really struggling to understand in the fine print whether "other" issues would still be insured as the FCO advice relates to covid but there are lots of conflicting statements...

Exactly that. This is Barbados which has the top alert but nothing specifically telling you not to travel. So we thought it should be ok. The problem is, insurers are saying it might be but not for them!

My worry would be booking something in the hope that we've interpreted things the right way only for that woolly language to be the get-out-of-jail-free card for the insurance companies.
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lostpasswordagain · 16/06/2021 09:57

@HalzTangz

Which country are you visiting. Some aren't even letting nationals from other countries entry

Barbados. Which is dealing with the pandemic well and has it's own criteria for entry that's fine. One PCR test before travel, lateral flow test on arrival and quarantine in approved accommodation until that later flow test result is confirmed as negative.
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lostpasswordagain · 16/06/2021 09:59

@Sturmundcalm

we've gone with Cedar Tree, although also looked at Battleface. think my DH will be fully covered under the "essential travel" description, and they did appear to provide some cover in terms of covid self-isolation, etc. had really clear wording on what it meant if you were travelling against FCO advice and used the wording from the govt website.

We definitely couldn't call it essential travel and Cedar Tree hasn't been able to help as the lead traveller is under 18.
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lostpasswordagain · 16/06/2021 09:59

@HJ40

Reading other posts, I'm a bit worried now. I'm not worried about any sort of cancellation cover of quarantine cover or anything like that, just the medical insurance aspect which the person I spoke to said would be in place under 'avoid all but essential travel'. So that should be ok???

I've kept a note of the person I spoke to and the date and time.

It sounds like it is totally dependent on the insurers. I would get that in writing before travel.
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Einszwei · 16/06/2021 10:01

@indigoemerald l, cedartree only covers for essential travel to amber countries, NOT holidays.

Make sure to read the small print thoroughly.

There is Battleface but it is very expensive.

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Sturmundcalm · 16/06/2021 20:22

@HJ40 - the cedartree website listed what could be viewed as essential, but they were also clear that if you were travelling against advice without essential reasons then the restrictions were just to covid - you would still be covered for general medical issues, lost luggage, etc.

i'd want in writing if your policy isn't clear... but i know that's not v helpful!

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HJ40 · 16/06/2021 22:16

They wouldn't put it in writing 🙁. Said there's no need as I was only asking for clarification rather than e.g. purchasing an add on which would warrant a letter. Hence I took the ladies name and the date and time of the call which was recorded by them so if the need arises they can listen back. Hopefully not.

OP, it's ongoing insurance bundles with our bank account underwritten by UK Insurance which is who I spoke to.

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