Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Last updated: 27th March 2020

Following the Government’s announcement asking everyone to stay at home, we’re making some changes to the way we work to make sure we’re looking after our people and our customers. We’re setting up as many of our colleagues as possible to work from home, but this will take a few days.

In the short-term, we’re only accepting new business online. That means new customers can’t buy insurance over the phone.

Existing customers: Please don’t phone unless it’s absolutely necessary.

We need to prioritise:

  • Customers who have an urgent claim, for example your car is undrivable following an accident, you are injured, or your home is uninhabitable.
  • Customers who can’t pay now as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, call us - we want to help you.

If you have questions about your renewal or want to make a change to your policy, you can use our virtual assistant. If your policy is due to renew in the next week and you haven’t opted for auto-renewal, please call us. If you have opted for auto-renewal, please make sure your insurance still meets your needs.

For more information and frequently asked questions about COVID-19, go to our Coronavirus help and support page.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Help and support

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting all of us in different ways, and customers need to know where to find the most up-to-date information.

These are unprecedented times for all of us, and we appreciate your cooperation as we find the best ways to protect and assist customers.

Please don’t phone us unless it’s absolutely necessary.

We’re getting a lot of calls right now and wait times are very long. Many questions can be answered by our FAQs.

We have made temporary changes to some of our products, and you can find out more below.

Coronavirus guidance and advice

We’re experiencing high volumes of travel claims at the moment. We’re working as hard as we can, and it may take longer than normal to respond. We appreciate your patience at this time.

Please be assured that there is no time limit to register your claim. If you need advice please visit our FAQs.

Due to the high volume of claims we are focusing on customers who are currently abroad or due to travel in the next 48 hours.

Only contact our claims department with queries related to Coronavirus if you are travelling in the next 48 hours and you have already spoken to your travel provider.

If you paid by credit card you may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and should contact your card issuer for further information. Similarly, if you paid by debit or charge card you should contact your card issuer for advice as you may be able to make a claim under their chargeback rules.

We advise all customers who are due to travel to monitor and follow the advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus and the advice of the UK Government: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Our claims department can be reached on 0800 032 6534

For existing travel insurance customers any new trips booked on or after 13th March 2020 will not provide cover for any claim caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Insurance is there to help with unknown or unforeseeable events. As Coronavirus is now a known event, no cover is available.

See the most frequently asked questions.

We know many customers are concerned about the impact the Coronavirus pandemic may have on their home insurance.

See the most frequently asked questions.

We know many customers are concerned about the impact the Coronavirus pandemic may have on their car insurance.

See the most frequently asked questions.

We know many customers are concerned about the impact the Coronavirus pandemic may have on their pet insurance.

See the most frequently asked questions.

We know many customers are concerned about the impact the Coronavirus pandemic may have on their life insurance.

See the most frequently asked questions.

We’re aware that our small business customers may have concerns in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on their business.

Firstly, we advise all customers to follow the latest Government guidance https://www.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/health-protection-infectious-diseases

Our commercial policies cover a range of specified diseases. However, we don’t provide cover for losses or interruption caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our small business customers have access to a legal advice helpline through their Churchill public liability cover. Customers with questions relating to their legal obligations in relation to their commercial contracts for example, can seek advice through the helpline. Please refer to your policy documents for contact details.

In addition, the UK Government has announced a range of financial measures to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Follow this link for more details on how to access this support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Frequently asked questions for...

No, any trips booked, or insurance purchased on or after 13th March 2020 will not be covered for any claim relating to Coronavirus, as this is now a known event.

Yes, you can claim for cancellation of a trip if the FCO advises against all but essential travel to your intended destination, as long as you are travelling within 28 days and the advice wasn’t in place when you booked the trip or purchased your insurance.

You can also claim for cancellation of a trip if the FCO advises against all travel to your intended destination, as long as the advice wasn’t in place when you booked the trip or purchased your insurance.

You can see what date the FCO advice came into force by visiting www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Where the FCO advice is not in place, there is no cover under your travel insurance and you should continue to monitor FCO advice and speak to your travel provider.

You can claim for the cost of any lost deposits where the FCO is advising against travel to your destination, as long as the advice wasn’t in place when you booked the trip or purchased your insurance, and your trip is due to start in the next 28 days.

If your trip isn’t due to start in the next 28 days then there is no cover for cancellation and you should decide if you want to make any balance payments due for your trip, you will only be able to claim cancellation if FCO advice against travel is in place within 28 days before your trip is due to start.

Valid cancellation claims will cover the amount you have paid for the trip, less any refunds you have received and the policy excess.

For any trip, you must first seek a refund from your trip provider and the provider of your debit / credit card in the first instance before contacting our claims team.

Cover for UK trips of two or more nights in pre-booked commercially operated accommodation are covered for cancellation where the accommodation is closing due to the coronavirus, you should seek a refund from either your accommodation provider or debit / credit card provider in the first instance.

We’re also extending the advice of the FCO to trips in the UK, based on the Government guidance around social distancing, this applies to trips due to the start in the next 28 days. This means that if FCO advice is against all or all but essential travel, we will apply that to UK based trips.

For any trip, you must first seek a refund from your trip provider and the provider of your debit / credit card in the first instance before contacting our claims team.

Yes. As long as your initial booking was made before 13th March 2020 and there was no FCO Travel Guidance in place when you booked your trip.

No, there is no cover under your travel insurance please speak to your travel provider to get a refund.

In the first instance you should speak to your travel provider to arrange any amendment to your trip, including being returned to the UK.

You can claim to return home early from your trip if the FCO advises against all travel or all but essential travel for your destination while you are on your trip.

You can claim to return home early whilst on your trip if your accommodation or the immediate surrounding area is locked down as a result of Coronavirus.

Where FCO advice is already in place when your trip starts, or where the FCO advice is not in place or the local or national authorities confirm it is safe to remain in the area, there is no cover under your travel insurance and you should continue to monitor FCO advice and speak to your travel provider.

You can claim for cancellation of a trip if you are due to travel in the next 28 days and the country you are due to travel to has closed its borders to UK citizens.

Where you are not due to travel in the next 28 days you should continue to monitor FCO advice for your destination and speak to your travel provider.

If you are on a trip and your accommodation is locked down so you can’t return home as planned, your policy will provide you with cover under the ‘cutting short your trip’ section of the policy for reasonable additional accommodation and transport. There is no cover for food.

As long as your insurance was in place, you booked your trip before 13th March 2020, you are not travelling against doctor’s advice and are not travelling to an area where the FCO has advised against all travel, then you will be covered for medical and reasonable additional travel expenses that you may incur as a result of becoming ill.

If the FCO advice changes while you are on your trip, you will still be covered if you need to claim for medical expenses.

There is no cover under your travel insurance where you are refused entry to your destination because you do not have the correct visa or passport.

You should speak to your tour operator as they may be able to help you, and you should continue to monitor the FCO advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

For any trip, whether abroad or in the UK, you must first seek a refund from your trip provider and the provider of your debit / credit card in the first instance before you contact the travel insurance claims team.

Important note: This general advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your Travel Insurance policy and you should read your policy booklet for further information.

If you are carrying out clerical work from home, such as using a phone and computer, you do not need to call us. If your work means that you will have an increase of visitors to your house, please give us a call on 0345 603 3551 so we can make sure you have the right cover in place.

If your employer has provided you with equipment to work, this will usually be covered by their business insurance so you do not need to add it your policy.

Typically, if a home is unoccupied for more than 60 days, then any insurance will not cover loss or damage caused by the following:

  • by theft or attempted theft
  • by vandalism or malicious damage
  • by water or oil escaping from any fixed water or heating installation or from any domestic appliance
  • by any fixed water or heating installation freezing
  • by accidental damage
  • to freezer contents
  • to contents outside

However, we are in unprecedented times and all claims will be treated on a case by case basis so therefore unavoidable un-occupancy due to COVID-19 be considered acceptable up to 12 weeks. Where it is safe to do so, we would encourage family and friends who are not vulnerable to periodically check on the unoccupied property and take all reasonable steps to ensure that it is secure.

No, this is not covered by your home insurance. Loss of Rent is covered when someone has to move to alternative accommodation following an incident which is covered by your policy.

No, this is not covered by your home insurance.

No, you don’t need to call us if you are home more often because of the virus.

Yes. These questions will be asked as part of our supplier triage process. Our supplier will then discuss with you the most appropriate way of dealing with your claim.

Yes. These questions will be asked as part of our supplier triage process. Our supplier will then discuss with you the most appropriate way of dealing with your claim.

We can’t guarantee this at this stage as it would require regular testing. Our suppliers are closely monitoring the health of their workforce and are complying with the current Government guidelines on social contact and isolation.

We will discuss this with you and offer advice depending on your circumstances. We will also be offering customers practical advice on steps they can take immediately and for certain types of claim we may be able to progress via a digital route.

We’ll take a pragmatic approach to additional visitors that may be staying with you during the lockdown period, as specified by the Government.

We understand that some individuals may require additional care and help during these unprecedented times and will not require you to contact us to advise that you have additional long-stay guests.

This advice is subject to change, depending on the length of time that the Government requires the current social distancing requirements. Remember, any claims for theft will only be accepted if there is evidence of a break-in. We recommend that you keep your home protected by showing your house guest how to ensure the property is secure and any other information that they may need to know.

Please get in touch with us to discuss the options you may have.

Death from Coronavirus will be handled by AIG like any other life insurance claim.

When making an application for insurance, you will be asked about your future travel plans.

AIG considers every application individually, based on the information supplied to AIG in response to the questions they ask in the application form. If you tell AIG that you plan to visit an area that the UK Government has advised against travelling to, this may affect your application for insurance; however decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis.

If you have been diagnosed with Coronavirus, AIG would postpone any underwriting decision until you make a full recovery. This is done with any application where AIG is aware of a potential health risk that is still being assessed.

We are currently exploring ways in which we can help our customers in difficult financial positions.

We will remotely assess the damage on the vehicle and then arrange pick up/drop off after your isolation period has ended.

Our aim is to keep customers safe. If you’re not in isolation we will come out to you. However, if you’re in isolation and at home, please contact us after your isolation period. If you aren’t in isolation we’ll prioritise on a case by case basis.

Let us know. We will extend foreign use for free for those stuck abroad due to closed borders or isolation.

We’ll offer a full refund for foreign use if your holiday has been cancelled.

You don’t need to tell us. You are covered for NHS voluntary service. Don’t ring us to check, you’re fine. And thank you for helping at this crucial time.

Please get in touch with us to discuss the options you may have.

You don’t need to contact us to extend your cover, or update your documents if:

  • Your job is critical to the national response to COVID-19 and you need to use your own car to travel to different locations for work
  • You have to drive to your workplace because of the impact of COVID-19
  • You are using your car for voluntary work i.e. transporting medicines or groceries to support people affected by COVID-19

Your insurance will remain valid, as long as your car remains roadworthy. However, you must follow Government guidelines in order to ensure you’re still driving legally.

If your MOT is due to expire before 30th March, you can find the Government guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-cars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-before-30-march-2020

If your MOT is due to expire on or after 30th March, you can find the Government guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-cars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-from-30-march-2020

As always, please make sure you still take the time to carry out basic vehicle checks such as checking tyre pressure/tread, water levels, ensuring windscreen liquid and oil are at the correct levels and that lights work.

It’s a legal requirement for your vehicle to be insured, even if you’re not driving it, unless it is declared as 'off the road' with the DVLA. You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/sorn-statutory-off-road-notification.

Car repairs: At peak demand times we may prioritise the repair of undrivable vehicles. If your vehicle is still roadworthy we may contact you to change the original booking date, but we’ll do our best to minimise any inconvenience and we'll let you know if your current repair is affected. Vehicles are being cleaned in line with Government guidelines.

Medical treatment: Our suppliers will continue to treat patients as long as it is clinically safe and appropriate to do so. However, should you prefer not to attend a clinic for treatment at the moment, or are self-isolating, this can be placed on hold until the period of self-isolation ends or until further notice. Treatment can’t be provided on a remote, virtual or online basis at the moment.

No, you don’t need to worry, even if you have received an email which says your policy may be cancelled. We know lots of customers are unable to drive or leave the house at the moment, so we've put steps in place to make sure your policy won't be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The only thing we ask, is you install the device as soon as you can, if you haven't already.

When you’re able to drive the car, if there are no journeys showing within 48 hours, please let us know. You can email us on support@churchill.com or call us on 0345 8786375. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm.

There are no restrictions. As long as you’re following Government guidelines, you’re fine from our point of view too.

Yes, we have taken measures to safeguard your safety, so the installation will be done in line with social distancing and you may be asked to leave your car keys and device in a safe place. Our engineers will also make sure they’re using gloves and cleaning wipes to minimise the risk to you. If you have any concerns or need to discuss the installation, you should call your allocated engineer - their phone number is on the booking confirmation we sent you recently.

The OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) has said: “There is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick.”

If you are infected or are self-isolating as a precaution, the Government is advising pet owners to also limit contact with their pets as a precaution until more is known about the virus. If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible. Keep cats indoors if possible and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practice good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease or that they become sick themselves.

Take advice on whether your pet really needs to be seen at a veterinary clinic or not.

If on or after 13th March, as a result of the Government social distancing restrictions you’re unable to get to your vet or your vet is postponing non-urgent treatment such as surgery, we will temporarily extend the 12 month time limit for a condition for an additional six months (18 months in total). This does not apply where the 12 month time limit has already been reached by 13th March or for routine or maintenance treatments such as repeat medication.

For customers who are abroad on or after 13th March and are unable to return home due to travel restrictions relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) we will automatically extend the period of insurance until your new return date.

In the event of a claim you will need to provide written confirmation that your return was delayed.

We will also cover reasonable and necessary repeat tape worming costs and reasonable accommodation expenses (up to £300 as per policy terms and conditions) if your departure for the United Kingdom is disrupted and you miss your rearranged departure due to your pet having to get repeat tapeworm treatment.

If you’re no longer planning to travel with your pet, you can remove the additional overseas travel cover. Remember, if you do book a future trip overseas with your pet you will not be covered if your policy does not include the overseas travel cover. To amend your policy, call 0345 246 8246.

Important note: This general advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your Pet Insurance policy and you should read your policy booklet for further information.

This advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your policy and you should read your policy booklet for further information.

If your question isn’t covered in these FAQs, and you’re not asking about business insurance, try our virtual assistant service.

For business-specific queries, call 0345 878 8194