The world of travel is as uncertain as it has ever been heading into this winter. We at the Ski Club have put together the following FAQs to help you navigate the sometime complex world of travel, insurance, and what happens if your holiday is cancelled in a Coronavirus-effected world. We have also answered several of your most pressing questions regarding our insurance policies sold via tifgroup or Millstream Underwriting as Ski Club Travel Insurance or as part of the Platinum Membership.

We are living through times of incredible uncertainty, both for ourselves as individuals and for the wider travel industry. Many companies have taken measures to defend against this uncertainty, and travel insurance is one area where this is particularly true. It is vitally important that, now more than ever, you choose the correct insurance product for your needs, and thoroughly understand the risks associated with booking travel in such uncertainty.

 

Our Insurance Partners

Ski Club GB Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd trading as Marsh Commercial, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
We act as an agent to sell Millstream policies, which are branded as “Ski Club Insurance”. Marsh Commercial handle all the “insurance” side of Ski Club Insurance. Platinum membership joins, and enrolment into the insurance provided as part of it, are administered by ourselves via a special agreement.

 

Ski Club GB Ltd was previously an Appointed Representative of Tifgroup, until 01 September 2020.

Tifgroup – tifgroup, a trading name of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc, awere our previous insurance providers – if you took out a policy before 1 September 2020, it will be held with them

Millstream Underwriting Limited – Provide our new travel insurance policies for Gold, Diamond and Platinum products from 1 September 2020. The Gold & Diamond products are branded “Ski Club Travel Insurance” and Millstream in conjunction with Marsh Commercial handle the sales of these Gold & Diamond products.
Millstream Underwriting Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN: 308584. Registered no: 3896220. Registered office: 52-56 Leadenhall St, London EC3A 2EB. Millstream Underwriting Limited is part of the Nexus Group.

The Platinum product is included within the Platinum membership, and is administered by us, The Ski Club of Great Britain, who are an Appointed Representative of Jelft Insurance Brokers, trading as Marsh Commercial. Marsh Commercial is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 423392). 

Q - What is FCDO travel advice?

A - The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issues advice for people travelling overseas from the United Kingdom. They impose non-travel advisories against specific regions of the world they deem to be unsuitable for travel, as well as “all-but-essential” travel advisories. Where a non-travel advisory is put in place, you will need to consult with your tour operator on your options for your trip.

Since 17th March 2020, the FCDO has put in place an all-but-essential non-travel advisory for various countries. This has changed since this date and customers are advised to keep checking the FCDO website www.gov.uk/fcdo for news on their planned travel destination.

  • Countries have been opened up to travel to/from the United Kingdom via special arrangement, known as “travel corridors” – these eliminate the need to quarantine upon your return to the UK.
  • FCDO advice generally no longer stipulates that British residents should return home immediately, allowing you to continue your holiday to its conclusion should non-travel advice be imposed whilst you are away. You should, however, continue to pay close attention to any travel advice issued as it may differ.

Q - Do i need to return home if FCDO advice changes whilst i am abroad?

A - Current FCDO advice is different from that imposed in March 2020, in that it no longer requires British Citizens to return home. Millstream policy holders (issued after 1 September 2020) may remain abroad if FCDO Advice changes after your international departure to the natural conclusion of your trip. This applies even if your trip is intended for a long time, such as residing abroad for the whole ski season.

Q - What are "travel corridors" and the "exempt list"?

A - The UK Government has negotiated the opening up of travel to and from certain countries or regions. This removes the need to self-isolate for two weeks upon your return to the UK.
If a country or region has been opened up via a “Travel Corridor”, it is moved to the “Exempt List” meaning it is part of a list of countries or regions exempted from the FCDO’s non-travel advice.

Q - I must now quarantine for two weeks upon returning from my holiday - is it safe to travel?

A - No – whilst not widely publicised, the imposition of a two-week quarantine upon returning from a destination almost always goes hand-in-hand with the removal of the country from the FCDO’s exempt list, meaning the FCDO will now be advising against all-but-essential travel to this destination.

Q - Can i travel if i have an essental reason?

A - The FCDO is allowing travel for “essential” reasons, although they do not offer specific guidance on what is or isn’t considered “essential”. Your insurer will have different attitudes as to whether they will provide cover for “essential” travel.

For tifgroup customers (policies issued prior to 1 September 2020) – we have received no specific guidance and policies will provide no cover if you are travelling against FCDO advice.

For Millstream customers (policies issued after 1 September 2020) – “essential” travel may be agreed by Millstream based on the set of circumstances. Prior to travel, you will need to check with Millstream to see if they can continue to provide cover for the trip.

q - Will my ski club travel insurance policy cover medical expenses unrelated to covid-19/Coronavirus if the FCDO is advising against travel?

A - No – there is no cover provided under any section of any Ski Club Travel Insurance policy if you choose to travel against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The exceptions to this are;

  • If FCDO advice changes to warn against travel whilst abroad
  • For Millstream policies issued after 1 September 2020, if you are travelling for an essential reason, with cover agreed by Millstream prior to your departure.

q - Does a so-called "local lockdown"/tier 3 measures/ equivalent in the uk prevent me from travelling?

A - This can be a bit of a grey area. The advice we have received form our insurance partners, Millstream Underwriting, is that Tier 3 measures, a so-called “local lockdown”, or equivalent, does not prevent international travel, unless the FCDO have completely advised against national and international travel – as they did during England’s national lockdown in November 2020.

As a result of this, no cover is provided for cancellation if you choose not to travel owing to a so-called “local lockdown”/Tier 3 measures, or equivalent, in the UK.

Please note this advice is relevant to the current measures in place and may be altered at short noticed should a second full “lockdown” be imposed, with associated travel restrictions.

There are now variations on travel advice depending on which UK country you live in. It is not possible for us to provide a general statement on this subject, but our Millstream will take this into account if you submit a claim.

Ski Club Travel Insurance

Ski Club Travel Insurance offers comprehensive travel insurance combined with industry-leading snowsports insurance. It is important to understand what is and is not covered by your policy before you travel, as no travel insurance policy can or will cover for every single possible eventuality.

Q - What is covered by ski club travel insurance

A - Ski Club Travel Insurance provides exceptional cover for a range of on-snow related eventualities; if you are injured whilst skiing or snowboarding (or a whole range of other on-snow activities) you are covered for medical expenses up to £10,000,000 – this includes when skiing off-piste without a guide, something that makes our insurance stand out versus many others.
Our insurance provides cover if your holiday is unable to happen in the way that you expect it as a result of unforeseen circumstances. It is important to note that these policies do not cover for every possible eventuality.

Ski Club Travel Insurance provides cover if you are unable to go on your trip because of illness, injury or death of yourself or an immediate relative; or as a result of obligations such as jury service or the requirements of HM armed forces. Furthermore, if the resort you are planning on going to is suffering from too little or too much snow, or an avalanche has rendered it unvisitable, a compensation benefit is available as well as refunds on your “ski pack” i.e. lift tickets and equipment hire.

These are considered normal, unforeseeable eventualities that are priced into the policies that Tifgroup/Millstream underwrite and is reflected in our policy prices.

q - Will i be covered if my holiday is cancelled due to fcdo advice changing to warn against travel?

A - This is a complex matter, with specific caveats for the current travel environment. Millstream, our provider for policies issued after 1 September 2020, understand the imposition of FCDO non-travel advice in the current climate to be a manifestation of a pandemic or epidemic – for which no cover is provided under any element of their policies.

Tifgroup policies (those issued prior to 1 September 2020) provide no cover for cancellation or curtailment if the FCDO advises against all or all-but-essential travel.

Q - will i be covered if i have to cancel my holiday if i contract covid-19 or are forced to self-isolate before departure?

A - This depends on when your insurance policy was issued and by whom;

  • Tifgroup policies issued before April 2020 – tifgroup will consider claims relating to cancellation owing to a positive COVID-19 test.
  • Tifgroup policies issued between April and 1 September 2020 – there is no cover for anything relating to Coronavirus or COVID-19 under these policies
  • Millstream policies issued after 1st September 2020 – full benefit of cancellation cover is available if you, an immediate relative, or someone with whom you are intending to travel return a positive COVID-19 test. Cover is also in place if you or someone with whom you are intending to travel are quarantined before your trip by order or other requirement of a government or public authority, based on their suspicion that you specifically, have been exposed to a contagious disease (including an epidemic or a pandemic disease such as COVID-19). This does not include any quarantine that applies generally or broadly to some or all of a population or geographical area, or that applies based on where you are traveling to, from or through.

q - will my ski club travel insurance policy cover medical expenses unrelated to covid-19 if the fcdo is advising against travel? 

A - No – there is no cover provided under any section of any Ski Club Travel Insurance policy if you choose to travel against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The exceptions to this are;

  • If FCDO advice changes to warn against travel whilst abroad
  • For Millstream policies issued after 1 September 2020, if you are travelling for an essential reason, with cover agreed by Millstream prior to your departure.

q - does a so-called "local lockdown" /tier 3 measures /equivalent in the uk prevent me from travelling?

A - This can be a bit of a grey area. The advice we have received form our insurance partners, Millstream Underwriting, is that Tier 3 measures, a so-called “local lockdown”, or equivalent, does not prevent international travel, unless the FCDO have completely advised against national and international travel.

As a result of this, no cover is provided for cancellation if you choose not to travel owing to a so-called “local lockdown”, Tier 3 measures, or equivalent, in the UK.

Please note this advice is relevant to the current measures in place and may be altered at short noticed should a second full “lockdown” be imposed, with associated travel restrictions.

There are now variations on travel advice depending on which UK country you live in. It is not possible for us to provide a general statement on this subject, but Millstream will take this into account if you submit a claim. 

Whilst Overseas

A range of issues could affect you whilst overseas. This includes not being able to return home on your planned travel dates, due to the area you are in entering a lockdown. It is essential, at all times, to follow the advice of the FCDO and all local or national bodies in the region you are travelling in.

Note that current changes to FCDO advice are not requiring you to return to the UK as soon as you are able, and you are free to remain abroad with the full benefit of your policy for the remainder of your planned trip. However, it is imperative that your take careful note of any changes to FCDO travel advice as they may require you to return immediately.

q - I have fallen ill/been involved in an accident - what do i do?

A - You should contact the relevant emergency assistance line to receive advice and instruction on what to do. This should be done as soon as practicable. For our Platinum members, this will be indicated on the reverse of your Ski Club Membership card. Otherwise, this will be indicated throughout your policy documents.

  • For tifgroup policies, issued prior to 1 September 2020 – 0203 829 6745
  • For Millstream policies, issued after 1 September 2020 – 0330 660 0742

q - can tifgroup assist in getting me home?

A - Unfortunately, Tifgroup are unable to assist in the re-arrangement of flights or transport in the event of changes to your holiday caused by changes to regional or national restrictions. You should contact your tour operator or flight/transport provider to arrange this at the earliest possible opportunity.

Tifgroup can continue to offer assistance for repatriation should you become injured or due to illness, as per the terms of the Emergency Medical Assistance cover of your policy.

q - I'm stuck abroad due to local emergency restrictions - what should i do?

A - You should follow all local and national emergency restrictions when abroad. If this results in the delay or failure of your return travel to the UK, Republic of Ireland or Channel Islands from your international departure point and you are unable to complete the trip before your travel policy expires, cover will automatically be extended without additional premium for the additional days necessary to complete your trip, as long as you are making every effort to return home.

Tifgroup/Millstream are not normally able to arrange extensions whilst abroad – the exception to this as above, if you are unable to return home on your booked transport before your policy expires. FCDO advice to “avoid all but essential travel” does not preclude you from travelling back to the UK – this is considered “essential” travel.

Tifgroup/Millstream are unable to assist in the re-arrangement of travel – except as a result of illness or injury. You should contact your tour operator or flight/transporter provider to arrange this.

q - I'm stuck abroad and my single-trip/multi-trip policy is about to expire - what do i do?

A - All Ski Club Single-Trip or Multi-Trip policies allow for travel between the start and end date of the policy. If you are stuck due to either:

  • Death, injury or illness during your trip
  • Delay or failure of public transport services during your trip
  • Delay or failure of your return flight to the UK, Republic of Ireland or Channel Islands from your international departure point;

And you are unable to complete the trip home before your travel policy expires, cover will be automatically extended without additional premium for the additional days necessary to complete the trip as long as you are making every effort to return home.

Tifgroup and Millstream are not normally able to arrange extensions whilst abroad – the exception to this as above, if you are unable to return home on your booked transport before your policy expires. FCDO advice to “avoid all but essential travel” does not preclude you from travelling back to the UK – this is considered “essential” travel.

Tifgroup and Millstream are unable to assist in the re-arrangement of travel – except as a result of illness or injury. You should contact your tour operator or flight/transporter provider to arrange this.

q - I'm stuck abroad and I'm about to reach the single-trip limit on my multi-trip policy - what do i do?

A - All Ski Club Multi-Trip policies – including the insurance provided as part of Platinum membership – include a 31-day limit to any one single trip abroad between the start and end date of the policy. If you are stuck due to either:

  • Death, injury or illness during your trip
  • Delay or failure of public transport services during your trip
  • Delay or failure of your return flight to the UK, Republic of Ireland or Channel Islands from your international departure point;

And you are unable to complete the trip home before your travel policy expires, cover will be automatically extended without additional premium for the additional days necessary to complete the trip as long as you are making every effort to return home.

Tifgroup and Millstream are not normally able to arrange extensions whilst abroad – the exception to this as above, if you are unable to return home on your booked transport before your policy expires. FCDO advice to “avoid all but essential travel” does not preclude you from travelling back to the UK – this is considered “essential” travel.

Tifgroup and Millstream are unable to assist in the re-arrangement of travel – except as a result of illness or injury. You should contact your tour operator or flight/transporter provider to arrange this.