Insuring my summer holiday 2020
August 24, 2020 Chris Sandilands
On Tuesday last week, I booked a holiday to Austria. On Thursday it was put on the UK government’s Covid naughty step. Ryanair’s “no flight change fee” / “book in confidence” assurances did not – perhaps predictably – turn out to be what I thought they were.
All would-be international travellers roll the dice when they book these days – even when they (like me) book at very short notice. My home country could impose lockdown and stop me leaving, and the destination country could stop me arriving. Or – as was the case for me – a government could impose conditions which don’t prevent me from going away per se, but make it impossible to do so. (In my case, my family and I would be subject to a two-week self-isolation period after arrival back in the UK, which would make childcare impossible and therefore force us to take a three week holiday.)
It’s not often that you yearn for an insurance product, but for this risk I do. £350 of cash gifted to an airline is enough to matter, and certainly not an amount I would be prepared to wager every time I book a foreign holiday in future.
Equally, this feels like a bounded and easily definable risk for insurers as we enter a world where rolling restrictions appear to be the norm.
So far, travel insurers seem to be talking only about medical cover for Covid. They should think more broadly: I’d happily pay a bit extra to cover unrecoverable expenses.
Who’s going to take the lead and build this product?