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What’s covered by HSBC Travel Insurance?

We’ve put together some Frequently Asked Questions about the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The guidance covers all of our travel policies: HSBC Travel Insurance, HSBC Premier, HSBC Jade, HSBC Private Banking MasterCard, HSBC Select and Cover, HSBC Insurance Aspects, HSBC Gold MasterCard and HSBC Platinum Credit Card.

 

Last updated: 25 November 2021

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice

You must check the FCDO website for your destination, before you book a trip or buy your travel insurance (whichever is later).

FCDO travel advice provides COVID-19 guidance and information about other risks if you travel outside the UK. This advice is under constant review. The FCDO continues to advise against all non-essential international travel to some countries and territories. Some are still refusing entry and some have different entry requirements. For example, you may need a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. You may also need to quarantine on arrival or return.

Important information

You won’t be covered if you travel against FCDO advice. This exclusion won't apply to some existing policies. Please read this FAQ.

You can stay up to date with the latest foreign travel advice on the GOV.UK website.

Frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find answers to your specific questions around COVID-19. Please read through all the questions so you’re clear what exclusions and restrictions apply, as more than one scenario may be relevant to you.

Find answers to questions on:

FCDO advice

What would be considered as essential travel?

At the moment, the FCDO advises that you don’t travel to red list countries, unless it's essential travel. We wouldn't consider a holiday or leisure trip as essential travel. This is in line with current government guidelines for COVID-19. Urgent family commitments (for example to provide care for vulnerable dependents or for compassionate reasons) would be considered essential.

Entry requirements for return to the UK

It is essential that you check the entry requirements for your return to the UK. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have slightly different rules and you need to be aware of the travel rules that apply to you.

FCDO and government travel rules

Will I be covered to travel to a country if FCDO advice against travel is in place?

Will I be covered to travel to a country on the red list?

At the moment, the FCDO advises that you don’t travel to red list countries unless it’s essential travel. If the trip is essential travel, you’ll be covered.

This is subject to your policy terms and exclusions, which you'll find in your policy documents.

If the country I’m travelling to changes to the red list and I want to cancel my trip, will I be covered?

No. Our travel insurance doesn't cover you if the country or region you’re booked to travel to moves to the red list. If you want to cancel, first get in touch with your travel provider to talk about your options. However, if once you've done this you’re unable to reschedule your trip, contact our claims department and we'll consider your claim.

We won't consider your claim if at the time you booked your trip or bought your cover (whichever is later):

  • the country or region was on the red list
  • the country or region had announced it would be moving to the red list
  • entry restrictions were in place for the country or region  
  • FCDO advice against travel to the country or region was in place

If there are border closures at my destination and I need to cancel my trip, will I be covered?

Your travel provider should be able to help with this so get in touch with them first to talk about your options. If you can't reschedule, you’ll be able to make a claim if the borders are closed at any time during the 31 days leading up to your trip.

You’ll only be able to do this if there weren’t any entry restrictions or FCDO advice against travel in place when you booked your trip or took out your cover (whichever is later).

Quarantine and self-isolation

If the country or region I am in is added to the red list unexpectedly, will you cover hotel quarantine costs when I return to the UK?

Yes. We'll cover your hotel quarantine costs when you get back to the UK, as long as the country you travelled to was not on the red list or announced it would be moving to the red list, and there wasn't any FCDO advice against travel, when you left the UK or when the trip was booked.

If I’m unexpectedly quarantined at an airport and can’t continue my trip because of a medical assessment, temperature check or test result, am I covered?

Yes. If you unexpectedly need to quarantine, we'll cover any extra travel and accommodation costs to make sure everyone who's insured under the policy gets home safely, as long as a return trip was booked. We'll also pay costs for any accommodation you haven't been able to use.

It's important to check the entry requirements for your destination before you book. You won't be covered if you don't meet these.

If I get coronavirus or I’m advised to self-isolate before I travel, am I covered?

Yes, you're covered for cancelling your trip.

If you've previously had COVID-19, cover will depend on the severity of your symptoms and if you have received any advice, medication, or treatment. You should check the medical conditions section of your policy wording to find out what you need to tell us. You must disclose medical conditions as stated in the policy terms and conditions.

If I’m advised to self-isolate while I’m outside the UK, am I covered?

Yes. As long as you didn’t travel against FCDO advice, you're covered.

We'll help out with emergency medical treatment and extra accommodation and travel costs if you need to stay longer than you expected (up to the limits outlined in your policy documents).

If I’m advised to self-isolate while I’m on a UK holiday, am I covered?

Yes. As long as you didn’t travel against government advice, you're covered. We'll help out with extra accommodation and travel costs if you have to stay longer than you expected (up to the limits outlined in your policy documents).

COVID-19 and vaccinations

Am I covered for medical treatment if I catch coronavirus while outside the UK?

Yes. As long as you didn't travel against FCDO advice, you're covered for emergency medical treatment outside the UK.

If you've previously had COVID-19, cover will depend on the severity of your symptoms and if you have received any advice, medication or treatment.

You should check the medical conditions section of your policy wording to find out what you need to tell us. You must disclose medical conditions as stated in the policy terms and conditions.

I’ve previously had coronavirus. Do I need to tell you and how will this affect my cover?

If I can’t travel because I haven’t had my coronavirus vaccinations, am I covered?

No, you won't be covered. Firstly, you should get in touch with your travel provider to see if you can reschedule your trip. If you booked it before you knew you'd need a vaccine to travel and you can't reschedule, get in touch with our claims department and we'll consider your claim.

It's important to check the UK quarantine rules and your destination's entry requirements on the FCDO website before you book your trip. If there are requirements in place when you book and you can't meet them, you won't be covered.

Proof of cover

My tour operator has asked me to provide proof of insurance. Where can I get this? 

Refunds – for customers with HSBC annual policies only

If I cancel my travel policy, can I get a refund?

The terms and conditions on your policy don’t normally allow you to get a refund if you cancel before the end of your policy. However, we may consider a refund because of the current exceptional circumstances. To discuss this, you should contact customer services using the telephone number in your policy booklet.

If you’ve made a claim or think you may need to make a claim in this policy year, you won’t be eligible for a refund on your policy.

Claims

Please remember that travel insurance covers you for unrecoverable costs. Your first step should be to contact your airline or travel or accommodation provider to find out what your options are.

If you booked a package holiday which has now been cancelled, the travel provider you booked with should provide you with a full refund of any payments made under the Package Travel Regulations 2018.

If you paid for any part of your cancelled trip with your credit or debit card or PayPal, you may also need to contact your payment provider about getting a refund.

Claiming a refund from either your travel operator or your card provider may be better for you than claiming through your travel insurance. That's because you may be able to claim the full amount you paid without having to pay an excess.

You could also potentially recover losses for all the party members on the booking, some of whom may not have taken insurance. You can find out more about this at MoneyHelper.

For any unrecoverable costs, please contact the Aviva claims team.

What will I need to make a travel insurance claim?

You’ll need to provide:

  • confirmation of the original booking and booking terms, and which parts of it are unrecoverable
  • evidence you’ve contacted your travel or accommodation provider to claim a refund
  • if you’ve approached your payment provider for a refund, any evidence they have provided to show that they've declined your request
  • where appropriate, details of any self-isolation advice you’ve been given by either your GP, the NHS track and trace service, or from NHS 111

For all claims, normal policy terms and conditions, exclusions and claims assessments apply.

How long will it take for my claim to be processed?

Please contact the Aviva Travel Insurance claims team as soon as possible to let them know you intend to make a claim. It may take up to 28 days for your claim to be assessed once it's received because of the high volume of coronavirus-related claims.

When you notify the Aviva Travel Insurance claims team of your claim, they’ll send you a claims pack with all the information you need. Please follow the guidance carefully to avoid any delays in processing your claim.

Useful information

We've put together some trusted sources of information that you may find useful.

 

GOV.UK

The government's latest support and advice on the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Foreign & Commonwealth and Development Office

Guidance for travelling outside the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

UK Civil Aviation Authority

Information about your rights as an airline passenger and what to do if you can't travel.

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