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Brexit's impact on travel insurance revealed

Press release

Publication date:

21 January 2020

Last updated:

30 January 2020

The cost of travel insurance will increase post Brexit, insurance professionals have warned.

A survey of 114 insurance professionals by the Chartered Insurance Institute found three-quarters (76 per cent) expect the amount consumers pay for travel insurance will increase once the UK exits the European Union.

Only 24 per cent of those polled in January said they don’t expect Brexit to cause the cost of travel insurance to increase in the coming months.

Kevin Hancock, Chair of the CII’s Society of Insurance Broking, said:

“The Brexit withdrawal agreement means that unaltered transitional arrangements stay in place until at least 31st December 2020 and, following that, it depends what is negotiated in terms of reciprocal medical arrangements between the UK and the EU member states.

“The general consensus though is the cost of European travel insurance will eventually increase.”

Changes to the cost of European travel insurance will depends on the nature of the Brexit deal and whether the UK agrees reciprocal healthcare agreements with individual countries.

Martin Ashfield, board member of the CII’s Society of Claims Professionals, said Customers travelling on a British passport as the UK exits the European Union may be required to have at least six months left in order to travel.

In terms of visas, British passport holders travelling to the EU as a tourist (up to 90 days) will not need a specific visa.

For customers that are travelling by car/motorhome, they will need a green card and GB sticker and for some countries, customers may need an international driving permit (requirements vary by country).

Mr Ashfield said:

“In all scenarios, the travel policy will not respond if the customer doesn’t hold the necessary documents. This isn’t unique to Brexit, there has always been an exclusion in policy wordings to protect against claims for incorrect/lack of required travel documentation.”

Due to the potential for extra security checks at airports plus coach and ferry terminals as a result of Brexit, Mr Ashfield said he expected to see some claims for missed departures and delay compensation.

He said:

“Most policies will provide cover for delayed departures (certain timeframes apply) however, if a customer misses a flight/coach/ferry due extra checks at security/borders, costs for additional travel and/or accommodation would not normally be covered.

“It is however expected that insurers will adopt a reasonable approach to claims where it is clear the customer has allowed enough time to get to the airport/coach/ferry terminal.”

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scenario is less certain and very much depends on a deal.

Mr Ashfield said:

“The current position means that the withdrawal agreement sets out a transition period to allow more time for negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship meaning that the EHIC would still be valid until the end of 2020. If the UK leaves without a deal, UK citizens can’t rely on the EHIC being valid.

“While this may not directly affect customers (providing the policy covers their pre-existing medical conditions), it does affect Insurers for the obvious reasons of increased medical claims costs.”

ENDS

Contacts

Helen Moore, Communications and Engagement Manager

Helen.Moore@cii.co.uk

T:  +44(0)20 7397 1121

M: +44(0)7464 521 213

Reace Novello, Public Relations Executive

E:  Reace.Novello@cii.co.uk

T:  +44(0)20 7397 1113

M: +44(0)78 6732 4170

Notes to editors

The Chartered Insurance Institute is the professional body dedicated to building trust in the insurance and financial planning profession. Our strapline Standards. Professionalism. Trust. embodies our commitment to driving confidence in the power of professional standards: competence, integrity and care for the customer.

We deliver that commitment through relevant learning, insightful leadership and an engaged membership. 

Our 127,000 members commit to high professional standards by maintaining continuous professional development and abiding by our Code of Ethics. The Chartered Insurance Institute is proud to be a member of the Chartered Body Alliance and the Institute for Global Insurance Education.

This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.