COVID-19 impact on travel insurance

COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works of my globetrotting plans for 2020.  To give me something to look forward to, I'm always planning my globetrotting months in advance, packing as much travel as I can into a year to make the most of my travel insurance.

In 2018, the year I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and having chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, I expected to have to pay a high premium for the luxury of travel.  However, when the treatment became maintenance and my oncology appointments became 3 monthly, I incorrectly assumed this would make me seem like a safer bet to the travel insurance industry and I would at least get some choice on travel insurer.  Sadly, one of my three weekly treatments is classed as chemotherapy by the insurance industry so there is only one insurance company in the UK that will insure me, AllClear Travel, and my premiums are still sky high.

COVID-19 has already put pay to three holidays.  A yoga retreat to Greece at Easter, my nephew's christening in Dusseldorf in May and a long weekend to Copenhagen in June.  I'm hoping to go to Greece next Easter, have used the Dusseldorf flights to book a long weekend in Krakow in December and am waiting to rebook to go to Copenhagen next June.  These countries are all in the EU and a couple years ago I wouldn't have felt so worried however Brexit and COVID-19 have rather complicated all things travel.

My biggest adventure for 2020 was (is?) a 20 day trip to South Africa in September - just before my annual multi trip travel insurance runs out. I have no idea whether I'll be able to go on this trip.  If I can't go this September, my worry is, I'm not sure I'll be able to afford the travel insurance again for next year.

Surely, it would make sense for travel insurance companies to follow the lead of other annual membership services (national rail, airline & hotel loyalty schemes) and extend peoples' policies by however many months we're in lockdown and can't travel.  In addition, any travel that has had to be rebooked at a later date, should automatically be covered by the travel insurance company, either as part of the extension or as a single trip policy.

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