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IMPORTANT ADVICE – our latest travel and insurance information regarding Corona Virus Flybe

Corona Virus Information

The following information is in regards to the recent Corona Virus outbreak. If you have any queries or would like up to date information please do not hesitate to ring West Country Healthcare Ltd using the contact details opposite.

Am I covered to cancel my trip?
  • You should speak to your tour operator or transport and accommodation provider in the first instance for a refund of costs.
  • You should contact your claims team for claims consideration if –
    • You are due to travel to an area where regulatory body has advised against travel to and you have costs that will not be covered by your tour operator or transport provider and you can provide written evidence detailing this and any refunds you have received, please contact the claims team for consideration.
    • You are unable to commence your trip due to a compulsory quarantine or a regulatory authority advising you not to leave your home. Or the area you are due to travel due is ‘locked down’ due to quarantine.
    • You have a pre-existing medical condition and a medical practitioner has advised you not to travel due to a risk to your health.
    • You are due to travel to an area where you will need to self-isolate upon return.
  • If you are due to travel to an area where no regulatory body has advised to cancel, then no cover is in place for disinclination to travel.
Am I covered to cancel my trip to an area where no regulatory advice exists?
  • You should speak to your tour operator or transport and accommodation provider in the first instance for a refund of costs.
  • If you are due to travel to an area where no regulatory body has advised to cancel, then no cover is in place for disinclination to travel.
Ending your trip early

Am I covered to cut short my trip and am I covered for additional costs I pay to return home?

  • You should speak to your tour operator or transport and accommodation provider in the first instance for a refund of costs.
  • Where you are on a trip and regulatory advice changes to advise against travel and you have costs that will not be covered by your tour operator or transport provider and you can provide written evidence detailing this and any refunds you have received, please contact the claims team for consideration.
During a trip

What if the hotel or area I am staying in gets quarantined and I am unable to return as planned?

  • You should speak to your tour operator or transport and accommodation provider in the first instance for a refund of costs and/or additional costs incurred.
  • Where you have been subject to compulsory quarantine whilst on a trip and you can provide written evidence detailing this and any refunds you have received, please contact the claims team for consideration.
FAQ’s

Q- I’m no longer travelling; can I have a refund on my travel insurance? A- If you have purchased a single trip policy and are no longer travelling and have not made a claim and not intending to make a claim, for example you have received full refunds, then We will give a 65% refund on your policy.

Q- I am now travelling to an alternative country am I still covered by my insurance? A- To ensure we are still able to provide cover to your amended destination please contact our sales team to update your policy.

General comments from Health Insurance providers regarding confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the UK.

In summary:

  • It would be highly unlikely that customers would be treated in any of the UK private hospitals as these hospitals are not properly set up for patient isolation.
  • Our understanding is that patients diagnosed with Coronavirus would be sent and treated in NHS isolation units.
  • If their policy includes an NHS cash benefit, it would be payable from the health insurance policy in accordance with the policy terms and conditions for any NHS in-patient stay.

Regarding the use of private hospitals for elective surgery

  • The NHS strategy maybe, but yet to be confirmed regarding the use of potentially utilising spare capacity in the private sector in order to meet potential demand, and any implications that this may have on non-urgent procedures via private coverage.
  • West Country Healthcare Ltd have been advised that hospital usage in terms of private capacity could be as follows:
  • As all UK Hospitals will be being extra vigilant about new admissions and communicating this to patients directly with regards to flu like symptoms. There will undoubtedly be an increase in routine testing of new admissions as outbreaks could effectively close a private hospital, elective treatment is their complete income stream.
  • As for private hospitals being utilised in the future – this would only be a late stage government instruction with a widespread outbreak of Coronavirus which the NHS cannot manage. This would be in crisis situation balanced with the need for patients to access a hospital bed but the NHS has no normal arrangement in place with private groups for this type of medical care as the private facilities are simply not geared up to provide this care. As discussed above – it would cease their operating capacity. Providers think this would only come about with a direct intervention by government (COBRA type intervention).

Prevention

  • Communication to staff is key – it is essential that every person acts responsibly and if possible, review the NHS guidelines around preventing spread of germs/ virus (catch it, kill it, bin it).
  • Regular communication has raised awareness of need for increased hygiene, restricted non-essential travel, and made clear policy to follow for anyone feeling unwell.
  • If possible ensure adequate hand sanitisation is available, clear instruction regarding tissue disposal points and daily desk sanitisation.

Suggestions for management of large firms in the event of a confirmed infection at any site

  • Review a Business Continuity plans for all sites and functions.
  • Review these plans and strategies on a daily basis to all sites, especially if the Business in the UK is spread across different locations.
  • Discuss how alternate locations could be used if needed.
  • Discuss and plan if home working could be appropriate to ensure customer demand is met.

In the event of a suspected individual infection

  • Review any existing process that is in existence, to ensure the plan is robust.
  • Ensure that it would be able to identify risk based on travel and exposure, incident reporting and decision making to minimise risk to colleagues and the business.
  • To consider implementing work-from-home solutions as appropriate. This could be supported by group wide communication and advice/guidance to ensure consistency across the whole work force.
  • Staff members would be instructed to self-isolate and report to NHS for investigation / screening.
  • A sanitisation of the area would be carried out as well as a deep clean.

If a confirmed individual infection occurs

  • Have a Business Continuity response plans that would kick in as it is likely that the Public Health authority would close the site for circa 48 hours for adequate sanitisation using specialist cleaners.
  • It would be essential to review the individual’s movements to understand who they may have been in contact with so that management could act appropriately – this could include self-isolation/ testing for anybody who may have been in contact with the individual.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best: assess the effectiveness of your current planning and your risk management

  • Create a pandemic plan framework now so that it is in place if needed, along with a full service and location review.
  • With large companies there will already be dedicated crisis teams in place to make tactical and strategic decisions as required.

Useful Links

Foreign Travel Advice – China

New York Times – Corona Virus Maps

WHO Health Topics – Corona Virus

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