Coronavirus FAQS

The following information provides guidance on the University's travel insurance policy in relation to Coronavirus.

Please review this information carefully & if you need additional assistance, please contact finance-insurance@glasgow.ac.uk

For those who have returned early to the UK or their country of permanent residence from an overseas trip

Please note this section does not apply to students who have been studying in Glasgow on their year abroad here.

 1) I had to pay for a flight home due to the outbreak. Will I be able to make an insurance claim? 

The travel insurance should cover most circumstances, although the insurers review the circumstances on a case by case basis. We can make claims for curtailment in the following circumstances:

  • An FCO warning against all but essential travel to a particular country came into effect after you had travelled to the relevant country
  • Your host cancelled the event, meetings or your studies and so the purpose of your travel was no longer valid. Please note, this decision must have been made by a third party and not by the University of Glasgow.
  • You returned home as a result of the FCO warning issued on 23rd March 2020 advising travellers to return to the UK.

If you had a flight home already booked, we can put forward a claim for any change fees the airline charges you for changing your booking.

If you had a flight home already booked but needed to book with a different airline, we can put forward a claim for the additional flight but you will be expected to cancel the original flight and pursue a tax refund from the original booking.

If you did not have a return flight booked, the Insurers will not pay for a return flight back as you would have incurred these costs at some stage anyway. 

 

2) My trip/research/study abroad was curtailed due to the outbreak. What things can I claim for? 

You can claim for the following costs:

  • Airfare or transport home if you had a pre-booked return flight
  • Accommodation costs which you were not able to get a refund for
  • Any emergency accommodation costs (e.g. if you need to stay overnight in a different location to catch a flight) Additional costs incurred to meet any quarantine requirements are not covered.  

3) My permanent residence is not in the UK and so I booked my flight home from my host country to my home country. Will the travel insurance cover this cost?

Yes, the travel insurance covers travel from a third country to your country of permanent residence provided you had a pre-booked return flight.


For those who are currently abroad

1) I am still overseas continuing my studies even though there is a FCO warning in place. Does the travel insurance still cover me?

Cover will continue to be provided for medical expenses, personal liability and personal property. If you booked your travel whilst an FCO warning was in place, then the cover for cancellation/curtailment/disruption is restricted and you won't be able to claim for any cancellation/curtailment/disruption arising from that warning. Claims arising from other causes will need to be submitted to the insurers for review on a case by case basis. 

2) I am still abroad but i want to come home now. What should i do?

If you are still abroad but want to come home, you should get in touch with the contact within the university who is overseeing your time abroad. You can also contact the AIG emergency line and they may be able to provide you with flight options. However, they are likely to request that flights are paid for by the university or the individual upfront and they will consider the claim after the fact. Once you are in a position to do so, you can put forward a claim, subject to the following:

If you had a flight home already booked, we can put forward a claim for any change fees the airline charges you for changing your booking.

If you had a flight home already booked but needed to book with a different airline, we can put forward a claim for the additional flight but you will be expected to cancel the original flight and pursue a tax refund from the original booking.

If you did not have a return flight booked, the Insurers will not pay for a return flight back as you would have incurred these costs at some stage anyway.

3) My current cover is due to expire but I am still abroad - what do I do?

Your current insurance can be extended by emailing finance-insurance@glasgow.ac.uk with details of where you are and what date you estimate that you will return to the uk. The insurance team will update your record and issue a new cover note.

Please note the maximum period of cover is 364 days. If you extend your stay beyond that, there is likely to be an additional charge which your school will need to fund.


For those whose field trips/research/conferences have been cancelled prior to travel

1) I was supposed to go a conference/event which has now been cancelled because of the outbreak.  Can I make a claim?

We can make a claim if:

  • The conference/event was cancelled by the event organizer; or
    The event is overseas and there is now an FCO warning in place, which wasn’t there when you booked travel.


We ask you to first try to get a refund from the airline or accommodation provider.  Please see point 3 below. Note, you will need to contact the airline or accommodation provider in advance of the date of travel in order to get a confirmation of cancellation and any refunds given.

 

2) Our field trip which was due to occur during the government lockdown has been cancelled.  Can we claim for non-refundable costs?

If the fieldtrip is abroad, then we can claim on the basis of the FCO guidance now in place.

If the fieldtrip is in the UK, the answer to this is unfortunately not yet clear.  The insurance policy has a “government action exclusion” and the insurer has not confirmed whether they will apply this exclusion.  They have said they will consider each claim on a case by case basis and so we will try to make claims for these.

If the field trip is cancelled by a host regardless of whether it is in the UK or overseas, then we can make a claim on that basis.

In all cases, we should be obtaining refunds from airlines/hotels where possible. 

3) My plane ticket was non-refundable.  Can I claim for the full price?


Even if your ticket was non-refundable, you should still be given a refund of the taxes and the insurer will expect you to get this.  In some cases where the flight was a short haul domestic flight, the airlines may charge an admin fee for reclaiming the taxes and the cost of this is not worth reclaiming the taxes.  In these cases, you need confirmation of this fact from Selective or the airline if you booked directly.

If the airline cancelled your flight, they are legally obliged to provide a refund and the insurers won't pay claim where the airline is responsible for the refund.

 


For those who are based in Glasgow: overseas students, exchange students hosted in Glasgow, or visiting staff

1) I have had to return to my home country early, can I make any claim on the University’s travel insurance?

 The University’s travel policy does not apply to students from overseas Universities who are on their exchange programme in Glasgow, nor does it apply to overseas students who are completing their degrees in Glasgow. If you have returned to your home countries early, you would need to look to the insurance provided by your home university or your own personal policies.

2) I am stuck in Glasgow for longer than I expected due to border closures in my home country, can I claim on the travel insurance?

The University’s travel policy does not apply to students from overseas Universities who are on their exchange programme in Glasgow, nor does it apply to overseas students who are completing their degrees in Glasgow. If you are stuck in Glasgow for longer than expected, you would need to look to the insurance provided by your home university or your own personal policies.

 


For those planning to travel

1) Can I currently apply for travel insurance?

Yes, you should apply for insurance through the online portal. Whilst the exceptional FCO warning against all but essential travel is in place you should be indicating that you are travelling to an area subject to an FCO warning. Also, you should ensure you have the correct authorisation in line with the University's travel protocol and that your travel is for business purposes.

2) If I fall ill whilst abroad due to COVID-19, will my medical expenses be covered?

The insurers haven't altered their policy cover as a result of the pandemic. Therefore medical expenses cover continues to apply.

3) Will I be covered if my trip is cancelled or I have to come home early?

It will depend on the exact circumstances of the cancellation. However, if your trip has been booked whilst an FCO warning is in place, there will be no cover for cancellation/curtailment or rearrangement arising from that warning.

Also, the policy does not cover claims which arise as a result of government regulations. So if, for example, your trip is affected by border closures or quarantine requirements, the insurers may not pay your claim.

If an airline cancels your flight, you should obtain a refund from them as they are legally obliged to provide one.

Any other claims will need to be submitted to the insurers for consideration on a case by case basis.

4) Do I need to complete a risk assessment & where can I get the correct form?

Risk assessments should be completed in line with University's travel protocol. You should refer to the Safety and Environmental Protection Services webpage for the most up to date forms.

You don't need to submit a risk assessment to the insurance team unless you have been specifically requested to do so.

The insurance team aren't able to give guidance on how to complete these forms.

5) I am starting my journey outside the UK - do they FCO warnings still affect my cover?

Yes, the above points apply regardless of where you start your journey. The insurance policy is issued in the UK and you would be travelling on the business of a UK based institute. Therefore the cover is influenced by FCO warnings.