Travel insurance for ‘green list’ countries to operate as normal

Insurers had sought clarity on official advice regarding overseas travel to the 15 countries

The Government is still urging the public to avoid foreign holidays this year based on public health advice.  Photograph: Getty Images

The Government is still urging the public to avoid foreign holidays this year based on public health advice. Photograph: Getty Images

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Travel insurance relating to the 15 countries named on the Government’s newly published “green list” will now operate as normal, the industry confirmed on Thursday.

Following some confusion the lobby group Insurance Ireland said the main providers of cover would now operate subject to normal terms and conditions.

In a statement it said that as the Department of Foreign Affairs had updated its travel advisory for the named countries from “essential travel only” to “normal precautions”, regular services could resume.

“Consumers should check directly with their insurer, and should also be aware that the green list will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis and is subject to change,” it said.

Earlier this week insurers had sought clarity on official advice regarding overseas travel to the so-called green list countries.

Until Tuesday the Department of Foreign Affairs had a blanket advisory warning against non-essential travel outside of Ireland – anyone who disregarded that would automatically void their insurance cover.

With the publication of the green list the status of those countries was changed to “general precautions”, prompting the change in position from providers.

However, the Government is still urging the public to avoid foreign holidays this year based on public health advice. Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino have been included on the green list.

The development was quickly welcomed by insurer Multitrip. com, which said holidaymakers were now free to travel “with peace of mind” to those named destinations.

It said it would now “cover cancellation as a result of a positive Covid-19 diagnosis on their policies with immediate effect” .

The company said it would add this cancellation cover to existing policies and cover medical expenses abroad resulting from Covid-19 illness.

Diagnosis

While it is as yet unclear what other providers will do, Mulittrip said its policy could now cover cases affected where a traveller, their companion or any person they had arranged to stay with had received a diagnosis.

“We are delighted that the Government/Department of Foreign Affairs has changed their advice following pressure from the insurance industry and have given clarity,” said managing director Ciaran Mulligan.

“Irish holidaymakers can now travel with peace of mind knowing that they are covered by their travel insurance if they travel to the countries on the green list. We would also call on the Government to review regions as well as countries when they are updating their list in the next two weeks.”

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