Major travel insurer cancels all cover due to ongoing coronavirus outbreak

Insurer LV has stopped selling travel insurance with immediate effect as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Customers with insurance already in place will continue to be covered, however the provider has put a stop to new policies until further notice.

It comes after several travel insurers warned they could have to update – and limit – their policies to help cope with the ongoing crisis – which has led to hundreds of flight cancellations worldwide.

On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump announced all travel between the United States and Europe – excluding the UK and Ireland – will be suspended for 30 days starting on Friday due to the fast-spreading virus.

An LV spokesperson said: "In light of the significant impact that coronavirus is having globally, LV has taken the difficult decision to pause the sale of travel insurance to new customers.

"In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen the number of policies sold double. Whilst LV is a major motor and home insurer, we are a small travel insurance provider and it's important for the long-term benefit of all our customers that our exposure to this market remains at a sustainable level for the overall business.

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"We considered a number of different options, such as excluding cover or significantly increasing prices for new customers but we strongly believe this temporary measure of pausing the sale of new policies and focusing on our existing customers is the right decision.

"There is no change for existing customers who already have a policy with us. They can contact us in the normal way if they need to make a claim, and we are also still offering renewals to our existing customers so they can continue to be insured with us. 

"LV remains committed to the travel insurance market and this is only a temporary move given the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the decision on an ongoing basis."

Meanwhile, Aviva is no longer offering 'travel disruption' cover or airspace closure cover to new customers.

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This means passengers will not be able to purchase cover that protects them in the event of a sudden flight cancellation.

The AA is no longer quoting for single-trip policies covering Italy, France or Spain.

Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which?, said: "It's very alarming that LV have withdrawn the sale of travel insurance and that other providers have also started restricting the policies they offer customers.

"Anyone planning a holiday should get insurance as soon as they book. If you haven’t already booked insurance and are travelling soon we urge you to get cover immediately from a reputable insurer.

"The government, insurers and the travel industry must immediately tackle the huge challenge provided by coronavirus, as the industry depends on people having the confidence that they can travel with the knowledge that they will be covered."

We've got a full guide on your coronavirus travel and refund rights, here .

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