British Insurance Brokers' Association
29 April 2009
Advice to travellers on Swine flu


The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has offered advice to travellers who are concerned about Swine flu. 

The majority of travel insurance policies contain a medical section. For those travellers who have already purchased a policy, it should respond under this section if someone contracts Swine flu abroad and should pay for their treatment.

Where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all but essential travel, most policyholders will be able to claim a refund or an alternative trip from their tour operator or travel agent.  This would be the correct procedure for travellers to follow before submitting an insurance claim.

If tour operators or travel agents arrange an alternative destination, the existing travel insurance policy should normally cover the new destination instead, but travellers should check this with their insurance broker.

BIBA’s travel insurance scheme provider Tokio Marine have agreed to offer cancellation cover for trips planned to Mexico for all irrecoverable costs but every effort should be made to make alternative arrangements or to recover costs with the travel supplier. However, not all travel insurance policies will cover cancellation due to a pandemic or FCO advice against travel. Travellers are advised to contact their insurance broker or travel insurance provider for clarification.

Insurance policies do not normally cover disinclination to travel to any destination.

Travellers to countries were there is no FCO travel advice regarding Swine flu should buy travel insurance seeking advice from a broker to ensure appropriate cover. You can find travel insurance on or call the consumer line on 0870 950 1790.


Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact :

BIBA press office:
Leighann Burtrand, Communications Manager
020 7397 0223

2. About British Insurance Brokers' Association

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA represents 2,400 insurance brokers and intermediaries, including 1,700 FSA authorised firms. Insurance brokers and intermediaries distribute nearly two-thirds of all UK general insurance. In 2007, insurance brokers and intermediaries generated £1.5 billion of invisible earnings and they introduce £22 billion of premium income into London’s insurance market each year.

BIBA is the voice of the industry, advising members, the regulators, the Government, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.  BIBA provides unique schemes and facilities, technical advice, guidance on regulation and business support and is helping to raise, and maintain, industry standards. BIBA works closely with the Chartered Insurance Institute to provide training to those working in the industry and actively participates in helping the industry and its customers deal with some of the major issues of the day.

BIBA members provide professional advice to businesses and consumers, playing a key role in identification, measurement, management, control and transfer of risk.  They negotiate appropriate insurance protection tailored to individual needs and operate to a very high standard of customer service with the aim of ensuring peace of mind, security, financial protection and the professional advice required.

To find your nearest BIBA broker visit the ‘Find A Broker' section of the BIBA website, or call BIBA’s consumer helpline on 0870 950 1790



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Pam Quinn
Communications Manager
Tel: 020 7397 0223

Becky Pledge
Communications Coordinator
Tel: 020 7397 0231