A travel insurance provider is reporting a massive spike in travel and wedding insurance sales because of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
Blue Insurance has found that the number of people taking out travel insurance, has increased by 425% compared to last year.
The number of wedding insurance policies have also increased by 4,500% in recent days because of the continued spread of the virus is making couples nervous about their wedding plans abroad.
And there has been a 1,400% increase in existing and new policyholders adding travel disruption cover to their travel insurance policy.
Managing director of Blue Insurance, Ciaran Mulligan, said they are not surprised by the spike in travel and wedding insurance sales.
“We have seen the highest number of travel insurance sales since we opened our doors in 2003,” he said.
Travel disruption is an additional cover but it must be purchased in advance of any public announcement prohibiting travel to the particular area. There is also a seven day moratorium period on the additional cover from the date it is added to a policy.
“If within 14 days of departure the Department of Foreign Affairs advises all but essential travel to a certain area then the limit on that policy will cover you under government travel advice for cancellation,” said Mr Mulligan.
“If you add travel disruption cover to your policy and at the time of travel the department advises against travel to that region you will be covered for up to €1,000 per person in the event you need to cancel or move your flights or move your accommodation.”
There are 25% to 30% of people who travel abroad without travel insurance despite it being one of the most competitive insurance products on the market, said Mr Mulligan.
“People are realising that they need cover because the coronavirus is out there and even those who have booked holidays maybe three to five months ago are now taking out a policy to protect themselves."
“We are also seeing a massive increase in the number of people taking out wedding insurance. Brides and grooms are getting nervous that they might not be able to have their wedding abroad.
“For a policy for as little as €49 up to €129, people are risking losing between €25,000 and €100,000 on the cost of their wedding.”
Blue Insurance advises that in all instances, customers should contact their airline and/or booking agent if they have any concerns around the area they are travelling to.
If the travel advice changes then it is likely that the airline or agent will offer to reschedule or refund their trip. All customers would need to go down this route before a claim will be considered, according to Blue Insurance.
Providing the customer is not travelling to an area where the Department of Foreign Affairs has advised against “all but essential travel” to, then the customer would have cover for medical expenses if they were to travel and contract coronavirus while abroad.
If the customer decides to travel against the department's advice there will be no cover in place as the policy would exclude any travel to an area where the department has advised against all but essential cover.