The cover offered by Sunderland-based Hays will be supplied by Rush Insurance Services and Allianz Insurance. It’s on offer from today (Friday, July 10).
Unlike existing insurance policies, it explicitly covers cancellations or curtailment of the holiday, emergency medical expenses, and repatriation following diagnosis of coronavirus, or any disease that is classed as an epidemic or pandemic.
It also covers cruise holidays where travellers are confined to their cabins or lose out on port stops and prepaid excursions because of pandemics.
The easing of lockdown measures across Europe and formation of air bridges has allowed people from England to travel abroad and enjoy the summer sun on the continent.
Hays Travel co-owner and managing director John Hays said: “As people are beginning to book their holidays again we wanted to give them real confidence that if they are affected by Covid-19, they will not lose out financially, which would be one thing less to worry about should the worst happen.
“We have worked hard with our partners to put together insurance cover that answers the concerns that many of our customers naturally have as we gradually emerge from the lockdown.”
The cover provided means that if you, your travelling companion, immediate family or business associate, or someone you were going to stay with, are diagnosed with Covid-19 before you travel, and you are required to isolate or be in quarantine, you will be able to cancel and claim back the full cost of your holiday.
This applies to holidays in the UK as well as travel abroad.
If you or your travelling companion become ill with Covid-19 during your journey or are subjected to compulsory quarantine, the insurance will pay emergency medical and associated expenses and the costs of getting home.
John continued: “We are now including explicit references to being diagnosed with an epidemic or pandemic disease such as Covid-19 as standard with all travel insurance policies. We have ensured there is cover for all permutations we can think of, because we want our customers to go on holiday whether home or abroad and feel secure about the cover they’ve got.
“We’ve been doing all we can to give customers confidence and get the travel industry bouncing back. Introducing this new insurance cover for everyone is another step forward.
“We have also introduced our Peace of Mind Guarantee, which on certain holidays means you can cancel or change free of charge for any reason, up to six weeks before you travel.”
Hays Travel customers who have already booked their holiday can still take out the insurance before they travel and those who have existing insurance can upgrade to give them the additional Covid-19 cover.
The travel industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic but Hays have been able to retain the majority of its 3,000 retail staff who have been working from home during lockdown.
The company has now re-opened the majority of its 650 branches around the UK for holiday bookings.