Coronavirus – all about your travel plans

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Should I postpone my holidays due to coronavirus? What does the travel insurance pay? We answer questions about preparing for a trip, cancellation and treatment abroad.

There are increasing signs that some countries will (further) relax certain restrictions. As long as the epidemiological situation remains stable or improves, borders will gradually be reopened and it will once again be possible to travel for holiday purposes.

Preparations

Can I still go ahead with my travel plans?

There are increasing signs that some countries will (further) relax certain restrictions. As long as the epidemiological situation remains stable or improves, borders will gradually be reopened and it will once again be possible to travel for holiday purposes.

The decisive factor for your insurance cover is whether or not the planned trip can go ahead. Contact the embassy of the country to which you are travelling to find out whether there are any restrictions on entry or restrictions on travel within the country itself.

Should I cancel my holidays?

If you go ahead and cancel your trip like this you will not necessarily receive any benefits from your travel insurance. You must take note of the following points:

  • Travel arrangements made after 12 March 2020 and before the current travel restrictions are lifted are not covered by cancellation costs insurance.
  • For insurance taken out from 12 March 2020 onwards, cases related to the coronavirus are not covered by cancellation costs insurance (this will apply until the WHO withdraws the pandemic status).
The following applies to package tours:

If you have booked a trip through a tour operator, you should contact that operator. If the trip is cancelled by the operator, the Federal Act on Package Travel gives customers the choice of receiving a full refund of the amount already paid or accepting a suitable substitute package if one is offered by the tour operator.

The following applies to independent travel arrangements:

If the trip is or should have been cancelled by the tour operator, then it is generally obliged to refund the travel costs. Many hotels, airlines and booking portals offer free rebooking or refunds. Your first step should be to contact the tour operator. Should you nevertheless incur cancellation costs: simply notify us of the substantiated claim online so that we can check your entitlements.

 

Cancellations and delays

My trip has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. Do I have to pay the travel costs myself?

No. If your trip has already been cancelled, please contact your transport company, tour operator or (online) travel agent first to enquire about a refund. Should you nevertheless incur cancellation costs, simply notify us of the substantiated claim online so that we can check your entitlements.

I've already booked a trip for a later date. But I'm afraid that the coronavirus is still spreading rapidly. Can I go ahead and cancel my travel plans?

It is basically up to you whether or not to cancel your trip. However, depending on the destination, you may not receive any benefits from your travel insurance. Exceptions apply if travel restrictions have already been imposed for the destination in question. In this case, please contact your transport company, tour operator or (online) travel agent first to enquire about a refund. Should you nevertheless incur cancellation costs, you can fill out the online claim form on our website and we will check your entitlements.

Am I insured if the airline cancels my flight?

In this case, the airline is liable. Please contact the airline itself to enquire about a refund.

I wanted to go to an event that has now officially been cancelled. Who pays?

As a rule, the event organiser is liable. Contact them to enquire about getting your tickets refunded.

As far as your accommodation and travel there and back are concerned: if the sole purpose of your trip was to attend the event, we will check your entitlement to cancellation costs. In this case too, please contact the transport company and hotel about the cancellation fees before making your claim.

I have to stay quarantined and can only start my trip later than expected, if at all. Who pays?

The following applies if your trip is delayed: We'll pay for the services that you are unable to use up to the date of departure, i.e. the cancellation costs actually incurred and any costs of rebooking your trip.

If you're unable to travel anyway because of quarantine, we will pay the cancellation costs actually incurred.

In both cases, you must first try to agree a solution with the tour operator/travel agent. Should you nevertheless incur cancellation costs, please provide official proof of quarantine (doctor's certificate, statement from your employer, official orders) so that we can check your entitlements.  

What happens if I have to break off my trip early because of official orders?

That depends on what kind of insurance you have taken out with us.

  • Cancellation insurance: We'll pay for the services you didn't use, i.e. the cancellation costs actually incurred. In addition, any resulting additional travel costs (for transport or accommodation, for example) are covered up to an amount of CHF 2,500 for individual insurance and CHF 5,000 for multi-person households.
  • Personal assistance insurance: Any resulting additional travel costs (for transport or accommodation, for example) are covered up to an amount of CHF 2,500 for individual insurance and CHF 5,000 for multi-person households. These costs will not be aggregated with the cancellation costs and cannot be claimed twice.

Treatment abroad

What do I have to bear in mind if travelling at present?

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) regularly publish updated information on what travellers should do while abroad and on returning to Switzerland.

How am I insured if I catch the coronavirus while travelling?

That depends on what kind of insurance you have taken out with us.

Basic insurance

Basic insurance will pay for your emergency medical treatment. Please note:

  • In EU/EFTA countries, your health insurance card entitles you to receive the same benefits as a person insured in that country.
  • In all other countries, the costs covered by basic insurance are capped at twice the amount that the same treatment would have cost in Switzerland.
  • N.B.: Please use your insurance card and call the emergency hotline number on it as soon as possible.
Supplementary insurance

Your treatment will be paid for under supplementary insurance as normal. Please note:

  • Medical costs incurred abroad that are not covered by mandatory healthcare insurance are insured. The upper limits set out in your General Insurance Conditions (AVB) and Supplementary Conditions (ZB) apply.
  • N.B.: Please use your insurance card and call the emergency hotline number on it as soon as possible.
Travel insurance

Travel insurance covers the following costs:

  • Medical costs incurred abroad that are not covered by mandatory healthcare insurance are insured. 
  • Travel insurance also pays for medically necessary transports and repatriation to your place of residence in Switzerland.

What cover do I have if I'm prevented from continuing my journey after setting out – because of quarantine, for example?

That depends on what kind of insurance you have taken out with us.

  • Cancellation insurance: If your return trip is delayed, we'll compensate you for any additional travel costs incurred (for transport or accommodation, for example), up to an amount of CHF 2,500 for individual insurance and CHF 5,000 for multi-person households.
  • Personal assistance insurance: If your return trip is delayed, we'll compensate you for any additional travel costs incurred (for transport or accommodation, for example), up to an amount of CHF 2,500 for individual insurance and CHF 5,000 for multi-person households. These costs will not be aggregated with the cancellation costs and cannot be claimed twice.
Disclaimer

The health-related information comes from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Robert Koch Institute. The guidance provided here is purely for information purposes and is no substitute for medical advice. If you experience health problems, you should ask your doctor or another medical professional for advice.

Exclusion of liability

The information presented here on the products and benefits of the CSS Group is designed to provide a general overview and is in no way complete. Actual details can be found in the statutory provisions of the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG), the Federal Insurance Contract Act (VVG), the General Insurance Conditions (AVB), and the Supplementary Conditions (ZB), which determine the obligation of the CSS Group to provide benefits. The information is provided "as is" without any warranty, and is subject to change at any time.

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