UK Insurers Issue Travel Warning Over Spain Vacation Rules

By Martin Croucher
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Law360, London (July 27, 2020, 2:47 PM BST) -- Insurers have warned Britons that they could invalidate their travel cover if they travel to Spain for summer vacations, after the government reintroduced quarantine measures to counter a resurgence of COVID-19.

Holidaymakers who have not yet set off could find their policies are invalidated because the Foreign Office has warned against non-essential travel to Spain, the Association of British Insurers said on Sunday.

The government published the warning over the weekend, alongside a new requirement that those returning from the popular tourist destination should be quarantined for 14 days. The changes, which have proved unpopular with vacationers, were introduced after signs of a second wave of the virus on the Spanish mainland and elsewhere in Europe.

"Travelling to countries against FCO advice is likely to invalidate your travel insurance, and this would apply to those yet to travel to mainland Spain," a spokesperson for the association said on Sunday.

The trade body said insurance is "likely" to continue to offer cover for Britons already in Spain and yet to return, although it said customers should check with their insurers.

The Foreign Office said it has seen evidence of an increase in cases of the coronavirus in the Spanish regions of Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia. The advice is solely for mainland Spain, not the Balearic and Canary Islands, although it said it is monitoring the situation there closely.

The ABI said in April that U.K. insurers would probably pay out £275 million ($350 million) in travel claims as a result of global disruption to travel. The pandemic prompted nearly half of insurers to suspend all sales of travel cover to new customers. Other insurers continued selling products but with exclusions for COVID-19.

Since then, many insurers have started to offer new products with protection against flight cancellations caused by a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Allianz Partners launched its revamped travel policy last week, which it said would offer cover at a "slightly higher premium" but would offer greater peace of mind. But the product does not offer protection if the traveler visits a company against Foreign  Office advice, as in the case of Spain.

--Editing by Ed Harris.

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