Brexit is fast approaching, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government assuring that the EU departure will be complete by the end of the month. While this may be a positive step for some, what will it mean for Britons who are on holiday on the deadline day?
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Holidaymakers are always warned not to jet off without travel insurance, however, with Brexit uncertainty still looming, it’s hard to know what will happen after the deadline.
With talk of new passports, visas and health insurance losses, 15.6 million surveyed British residents say their biggest concern about Brexit is how it will affect their holiday.
Rules around passports and travel will largely depend on whether the UK manages to strike a deal with the EU.
Additionally, experts at Admiral Travel Insurance predict that travellers who decide to risk a holiday without travel insurance during this time could face losses of up to £32,000.
Yet it can be confusing to figure out what coverage you need and whether it will be valid after January 31.
Will my travel insurance be valid if I am on holiday when Brexit happens?
Many Britons opt to beat the January blues and start the year with a holiday thanks to an array of budget-friendly deals to kick start the year with.
This year, things may be different for travellers who are on holidays over the January 31 deadline.
For the most part, whether your insurance package will be valid depends on the travel insurance provider.
Speaking to MoneySuperMarket, Stuart Lloyd, spokesperson for Columbus Direct Travel Insurance, said: “This will depend on the cover provided by the policy purchased.”
Although most policies include coverage on cancellations, travel delays of trip disruptions, many insurers will not include Brexit related disruptions as part of this.
However, there are insurers who have developed speciality “Brexit disruption coverage”, ideal for Britons heading on holiday during this turbulent tie.
Holiday Extras is one such insurer, which is offering an extra cushion for customers who may face cancellations or delays to flights, trains and ferries between UK and EU terminals, as well as the closure of the channel tunnel.
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Tourists already on holiday will also be protected if their trip or journey home is disrupted, they missed their departure, or connection, or incur costs as a result of a delayed home arrival.
Howard Dove, Managing Director Insurance at Holiday Extras, said: “Allowing Brits to protect their holiday from a no-deal Brexit, the cover is available as an add-on in both single-trip and annual multi-trip policies, for solo travellers, couples, families and single-parent families.
“We are extremely proud to be one of the first companies to add Brexit-only insurance cover to our product offering, ensuring that even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, sun-seekers can still enjoy a hassle-free break.”
If you are concerned about a specific scenario panning out, it is worth checking the small print on your travel insurance documents.
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Traveller with impending plans may be cancelled due to Brexit should contact their tour operator or airline for resolution, they will be the responsible party.
Will a multi-trip policy become invalid?
If you have a multi-trip policy in place which was purchased prior tot he Brexit deadline, most insurers will continue to honour the policy.
However, it is best to check directly with your provider and read the terms and conditions of your specific package.
Will my EHIC card still be valid for medical care?
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) currently allows travellers to access free health care in European countries should they find themselves needing medical assistance during their holiday.
Although it is still currently valid, little is known about whether it will remain after Brexit. This depends mostly on if the UK managed to strike a deal with the EU.
If the country does not manage to strike a deal that allows for the card’s use, Admiral says that “medical treatments for uninsured travellers who fall ill abroad could go up by as much as 900 percent.”
The cost of specific medical treatments would vary largely depending on the country a traveller is in at the time, as well as how serious the illness is.
Across the board, insurers recommend Britons always take out an all-encompassing insurance package to avoid a worst-case-scenario.
Will travel insurance costs increase?
For the most part, insurers anticipate that the cost of coverage will increase after Brexit, though this depends largely on whether the UK manages to strike a deal. If a deal is in place, particularly one that still includes the EHIC, the cost of travel insurance should not change too drastically.
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