Insurers refusing to cover medical bills for unvaccinated holidaymakers

More than a fifth of travel insurance policies exclude unvaccinated travelers with outdated and poorly worded contracts from reimbursement, making it unclear whether or not children are protected.

Consumer ratings agency Defaqto has warned that 22 per cent of travel policies, including those from providers such as Virgin Money and Sainsbury’s Bank, excluded travelers who had not been bitten twice. This would prevent those who have had to cancel a trip because they contracted Covid, or who have faced medical bills abroad after contracting the virus, from claiming compensation.

Poorly drafted guidelines had also created confusion over whether insurers would reimburse families traveling with unvaccinated children, as they can get vaccinations through the NHS from the age of five. Defaqto warned that this could result in claims being unfairly denied.

Just 16,000 children aged between five and 11 in England have had two shots, according to the Department for Health and Social Care, although five million were eligible. About 1.7 million 12- to 17-year-olds have been double-pricked, but that’s just 39 percent of those who’ve been offered it. Overall, 84 percent of the country had two vaccines, the data showed.

The company’s Anna-Marie Duthie said: “Given that any child can be vaccinated from the age of five, it remains unclear how this will affect travel insurance. Some providers who have these restrictions need to provide more transparency about the level of vaccination required and how it affects all insured travelers.”

Virgin Money said its coverage excludes all unvaccinated children over the age of five. A spokesman added: “The current notice on the NHS website says children aged five and over are invited to be vaccinated. As the landscape is constantly changing, we continue to monitor this situation.”

Some 3 per cent of policies have such outdated wording that they exclude Covid insurance for those over 40 as this was the only age group who had access to vaccinations at the time. One in 20 policies has similar exclusions for those over 50.

“Gap year” policies, designed to cover younger people traveling to multiple destinations, have even more exclusions. One in three of these policies exclude coverage for unvaccinated travelers.

Ms Duthie added: “If there is a medical reason not to be vaccinated it is best to discuss this with your insurer before you travel, particularly if this is due to a pre-existing medical condition as this should always be stated.

“If you are unvaccinated and planning a trip, it’s important to check what you’re covering before you travel.”

Sainsbury’s Bank was asked for comment. Insurers refusing to cover medical bills for unvaccinated holidaymakers

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