We know many customers are affected and have concerns about the impact the Coronavirus pandemic may have on their insurance policies. Please read the most frequently asked questions for our guidance and advice.

How we're supporting you

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What are we doing to help?

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Important updates to our Travel Insurance – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the ongoing risk of global travel disruption, we’ve made some important changes to our cover.

Important Information for existing customers

As the world begins to open and we learn to live and travel with COVID-19, it is important that the cover provided by your travel insurance meets your needs.

From the 5th October 2021, our policies will provide the following cover for COVID-19 (including any variants) and other pandemics for all trips booked but you are yet to take and any future trips you book:

Cancelling a trip if:

  • You or any insured person, a close relative or travelling companion are diagnosed with COVID-19 or a pandemic disease.
  • You, a travelling companion, or a person you’re planning to stay with during your trip has been advised to quarantine/self-isolate (either abroad or in the UK).
  • The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO, previously referred to as FCO) advise against all travel to your destination or all but essential travel to your destination within 28 days of departure, as long as the advice wasn’t in place when you booked your trip or purchased your policy (whichever was later).
  • You are unable to use your pre-booked and pre-paid accommodation because the accommodation, or immediately surrounding area, is adversely affected by the disease COVID-19.
  • Emergency medical expenses abroad if you or any insured person are diagnosed with COVID-19 or a pandemic disease while on your trip.

    Cutting your trip due to:

    • A change in Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice as long as you weren’t aware of this advice when you travelled.
    • You being unable to stay in pre-booked accommodation due to COVID-19 or a pandemic, as long as you weren’t aware of this when you travelled.

    If you’re planning to travel abroad, it's important to check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice before you book a new trip and before your planned departure date. You'll find the most recent UK Government COVID-19 help and guidance here.

Frequently asked questions – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our travel insurance policies provide the following cover for COVID-19 and other pandemics:

Insured to travel to any country as long as the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) aren't advising against 'all' travel.

Emergency medical expenses including additional transport and accommodation if you or any insured person are diagnosed with or need to quarantine due to COVID-19 or another pandemic disease while on your trip.

Cancelling a trip due to:

  • You or any insured person, close relative or travelling companion being diagnosed with COVID-19 or another pandemic disease.
  • Quarantine (including if it's because you are contacted by Test and Trace).
  • The FCDO advising against 'all' or 'all but essential' travel due to COVID-19 or another pandemic.
  • You are unable to access you pre-booked accommodation due to COVID-19 or another pandemic.

Cutting short a trip due to:

  • A change in FCDO advice, as long as you weren’t aware of this advice when you travelled.
  • You being unable to stay in pre-booked accommodation due to COVID-19 or another pandemic, as long as you weren’t aware of this when you travelled.

No, our travel insurance policies do not require you to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be insured to travel.

Our travel insurance policies have a specific exclusion relating to recoverable expenses, meaning that any expenses you can recover from elsewhere are not covered by your travel insurance policy.

You should only contact our claims department once you have tried to recover your costs from elsewhere.

Before contacting us to make a claim please take the following steps:

  • Speak to the provider of your trip to understand if a refund is available, including a credit note or a voucher.
  • If you booked your trip using a credit or debit card, you should speak to your card issuer for advice on whether you can claim a refund from them. This is only applicable if you paid more than £100 for the trip and the service you have paid for isn’t available, for example the hotel is closed so you can’t stay there as planned.

We cannot log a claim until you have tried to recover costs from elsewhere where that option is available.

No, our policies do not provide cover for the cost of additional testing or staying at a quarantine hotel such as may be required to re-enter the UK.

Your travel insurance policy usually only allows refunds if you cancel within the first 14 days of purchase.

However if you have been unable to use your cover as you intended due to COVID-19 then please contact us to discuss this.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UK cruise providers require travel insurance to provide higher than normal cover for medical and repatriation costs. In response to this change we have extended our limit for UK cruises to £10,000,000. You can only purchase this cover extension over the phone and you should call 0345 246 8704 to get a quote. You must ensure you meet all the conditions of carriage for your cruise provider.

No, you're not covered for cancelling a trip due to having to quarantine or self-isolate when you return home.

Yes, as long as you weren't aware of this when you booked the trip. Please note, you should first seek recovery of your costs from other relevant parties (for example, the travel provider with whom you booked your trip, or your card issuer if you used a credit or debit card to purchase all or part of your trip).

You won't be covered if you're refused entry to your travel destination because you don't have the correct travel documentation including evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.

You should speak to your trip provider to see if they can provide a refund or offer you an alternative. Before booking a trip and travelling you should read the advice provided by the FCDO on what the entry requirements are for your destination and ensure you keep track of any updates.

No, there is no cover for additional expenses, as a result of you not receiving your test results in time.

Yes, if you test positive whilst on a trip, you will be covered for emergency medical expenses, including additional accommodation until you can return home and additional transport costs.

Cancellation advice

If your travel provider has cancelled your trip, you should speak to them to find out what alternative options are available to you. If you booked using a credit or debit card, get in touch with the card issuer for advice on whether you can claim a refund from them. If you paid on a credit card you can only apply for a refund if you paid more than £100 and the service isn't available, for example, the hotel you booked is closed. However, if the hotel is open, but you can't get there because your flight's cancelled, your card issuer won't cover that, and you should contact us to make a claim.

Important note: This general advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy. Please read your policy booklet for more information.

Coronavirus guidance and advice: Life insurance - AIG

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

Yes. AIG remains open for business and continues to help meet the needs of customers with both in-force and new business. A customer can apply for life insurance or critical illness insurance in the UK. When they do, they should answer all application questions honestly and accurately, to the best of their knowledge and belief.

AIG has no plans to introduce exclusions related to Coronavirus on its UK policies and has no plans to stop customers applying for life insurance or critical illness insurance at this time.

When a customer applies for life insurance or critical illness insurance with AIG in the UK, it bases its underwriting decision on the information the customer provides and on its underwriting philosophy at the time. So, it's important that customers answer all application questions honestly and accurately, to the best of their knowledge and belief.

AIG hopes and encourages its policyholders to stay healthy at this time, claims related to Coronavirus would be reviewed and handled like any other life insurance claim.

The virus is not currently a named critical illness. In most cases, a Coronavirus diagnosis will not lead to a critical illness claim. However, there may be a valid claim for medical complications, such as intensive care treatment if you need mechanical ventilation for seven consecutive days.

Due to Coronavirus, we understand you may be experiencing temporary financial difficulties and looking for ways to reduce your monthly outgoings. AIG aims to help by offering three potential solutions:

A premium deferral option

A Mid-term Alteration Option

A flexible policy request

If you’re looking for information and advice on how to manage debts, AIG provide further information on their website, here.

If you’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus and apply for life insurance, AIG (who provide Direct Line life insurance) will only be able to decide if they can provide cover once you’ve made a full recovery. This is their standard approach whenever you’re aware of a potential health risk that’s still being assessed at the time of your application.

If you develop more serious complications with coronavirus, resulting in you being hospitalised, AIG may not be able to offer insurance for a longer period of time, to understand if your symptoms have fully resolved and whether you have any longer lasting effects.

Important note: This general advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your Life Insurance 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, contact Direct Line for Business.

Coronavirus guidance and advice: Life insurance - L&G

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

This refers to policies bought between 1st January 2013 and 19th July 2019, provided by L&G.

Bereavement: In the unfortunate event that COVID-19 leads to a claim, we'll approach this as we normally would. Please refer to your policy documents for information on what would be a valid claim, including any exclusions that may apply to your policy.

Critical Illness Cover: COVID-19 isn't a specified critical illness under the terms of our policy. In the unfortunate event that you were to develop a critical illness that we cover as a result of Coronavirus, we would approach this claim in the same way as we would usually. For more details of your policy please refer to your policy documents.

This refers to policies bought between 1st January 2013 and 19th July 2019, provided by Legal & General.

Legal & General understands that you may find it hard to pay your monthly premiums right now, and wants to help you stay protected.

If you're suffering from financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19 you may be able to take a payment holiday*. A payment holiday lets you take a three month break from paying your monthly premiums. You'll remain covered by your policy, subject to your policy terms and conditions – giving you some breathing space.

To find out how payment holidays work, go to Legal & General's dedicated payment page for more details: https://www.legalandgeneral.com/coronavirus/payments/

This refers to policies bought between 1st January 2013 and 19th July 2019, provided by L&G.

*Eligibility criteria apply

This refers to policies bought between 1st January 2013 and 19th July 2019, provided by Legal & General.

Legal & General understands that you may find it hard to pay your monthly premiums right now, and wants to help you stay protected.

If you've missed or cancelled a payment, you'll remain covered by your policy for 60 days from the date of your first missed premium (this is the day your payment would have been collected). This will give you time to bring your account up to date.

If you're concerned about your finances due to the impact of COVID-19, you may be able to take a payment holiday*. A payment holiday lets you take a three month break from the date of your first missed premium. You'll remain covered by your policy, subject to your policy terms and conditions – giving you some breathing space.

To find out how payment holidays work, go to Legal & General's dedicated payment page for more details: https://www.legalandgeneral.com/coronavirus/payments/

*Eligibility criteria apply

Important note: This general advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your Life Insurance 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, contact Direct Line for Business.

Coronavirus guidance and advice: Home insurance

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

If you're having financial difficulties, we can review your levels of cover, change your payment dates or offer a payment deferral. A payment deferral means putting off your payments for a short period. When you start paying again, the amount that has been “missed” gets spread over the remainder of the agreement.

We will not charge any additional interest to you so the total payable won't increase as a result.

Payment deferrals should only be used when absolutely necessary, the full credit agreement balance will still be due, but will be paid for over a shorter period.

Agreed payment deferrals won't harm your credit score as long as you make the payments after the agreed deferral period. If you don't, this could negatively affect your credit score and prevent you from securing credit for a policy in the future (if applicable).

What should I do next?

If you're struggling financially then please contact us and we'll see what we can do to help. Don't cancel any payments or direct debits through your bank as this can affect your policy with us and damage your credit history.

For free and impartial money advice, go to the Money Advice Service and use the Money Navigator Tool

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 246 8372 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.

Important note: This general advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your Home Insurance 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, contact Direct Line for Business.

Coronavirus guidance and advice: Car insurance

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, check your insurance still meets your needs, you don't need to contact us in order to renew.

If you're having financial difficulties, we can review your levels of cover, change your payment dates or offer a payment deferral. A payment deferral means putting off your payments for a short period. When you start paying again, the amount that has been “missed” gets spread over the remainder of the agreement.

We will not charge any additional interest to you so the total payable won't increase as a result.

Payment deferrals should only be used when absolutely necessary, the full credit agreement balance will still be due, but will be paid for over a shorter period.

Agreed payment deferrals won't harm your credit score as long as you make the payments after the agreed deferral period. If you don't, this could negatively affect your credit score and prevent you from securing credit for a policy in the future (if applicable).

What should I do next?

If you're struggling financially then please contact us and we'll see what we can do to help. Don't cancel any payments or direct debits through your bank as this can affect your policy with us and damage your credit history.

For free and impartial money advice, go to the Money Advice Service and use the Money Navigator Tool

We're not offering refunds while the current local restrictions/circuit breakers remain in place across the UK, although we will be continuing to monitor the situation to ensure we are offering our customers the best possible options for their needs. However, you may be eligible for our Mileage MoneyBack offer

Yes, you can. We'll need to amend your policy, so just give us a call on 0345 878 5587 and we'll be able to help.

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'll come out to you. However, if you're self-isolating at home, please contact us after your isolation period ends.

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.

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 expired on or before 30 March, you can find the Government guidance here.

MOTs due from 30 March until 31 July were automatically extended by six months, you can find the Government guidance here.

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.

Car repairs: At peak demand times, we may prioritise urgent car repairs. If your vehicle's still roadworthy, we may contact you to change the original booking date. We'll do our best to minimise any inconvenience, and we'll let you know if your current repair is affected. However, if you're in isolation, please contact us. Vehicles are being cleaned in line with Government guidelines.

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

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

If your occupation or employment status has permanently changed:
You must tell us to ensure you have the correct cover in place.

If you are volunteering (unpaid) for the NHS and/or supporting those affected by COVID-19:
You will be covered, and you don't need to tell us.

If your occupation has temporarily changed and you are not volunteering (i.e. you are being paid):
You don't need to tell us and you will automatically be covered to drive your car to various places of work, regardless of whether or not your employer has changed, unless:

  • You are working as a chauffeur, courier or driver
  • You work in the motor trade
  • You are being paid to deliver goods that are not owned by you or your employer.

In these cases we can only insure your vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure (SDP) purposes. If you require additional cover, please seek specialist insurance through a different provider or through your employer.

We encourage everyone to follow Government guidelines on only essential travel during lockdown.

If you’re involved in a collision while the new national or local lockdown measures are in place, you should make a claim in the usual way.

If you have Green Flag breakdown cover alongside your motor insurance, please check the Green Flag Coronavirus updates page for important information on their services during the pandemic.

Important note: This general advice does not replace the terms and conditions of your Car Insurance 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, contact Direct Line for Business.

Coronavirus guidance and advice: Pet insurance

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

If you're having financial difficulties, we can review your levels of cover, change your payment dates or offer a payment deferral. A payment deferral means putting off your payments for a short period. When you start paying again we will agree a date with you to collect the premium that is owed.

What should I do next?

If you're struggling financially then please contact us and we'll see what we can do to help. Don't cancel any payments or direct debits through your bank as this can affect your pet insurance policy.

For free and impartial money advice, go to the Money Advice Service and use the Money Navigator Tool

The British Veterinary Association have confirmed that there have been very few cases of COVID-19 in animals, and transmission is likely to be from human to animal. There is no evidence that pets can pass COVID-19 to their owners.

In the small number of known cases, dogs do not show symptoms but cats can show clinical signs of the disease - symptoms of pets affected with Coronavirus are very mild upper respiratory disease and would be difficult to diagnose as Coronavirus. If you suspect that your pet or a member of your household has COVID-19, the British Veterinary Association advises that as a precaution if you are self-isolating because you have symptoms of Coronavirus, you keep your pets indoors if possible during that time.

If you have concerns about your pet and Coronavirus please contact a vet for advice. As a Direct Line customer you can get advice from a vet at PawSquad, free of charge and at any time of day. If your pet needs treatment and you need to make a claim just visit our pet insurance claims page.

You do not need to isolate from your pet, however If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them. 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 pets 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 you have a Direct Line policy, PawSquad can help. We find that many concerns can be dealt with safely and effectively through an online consultation, without the need to visit a vet. Speak to a PawSquad vet now.

If as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) you’re unable to get to your vet or your vet is postponing non-urgent treatment such as surgery we'll temporarily extend the 12 month time limit by an additional six months.

This doesn't apply where the 12 month time limit has already been reached or for routine or maintenance treatments such as repeat medication.

As the latest news and advice around Coronavirus continues to evolve daily, we may update our Coronavirus guidance and advice in accordance with our terms and conditions. Please check back for further updates.

Where you're not able to get to your vet for your pet's medication, you can ask your vet for a prescription and register with our partner Pet Drugs Online by visiting https://www.petdrugsonline.co.uk/directline

You can also claim up to £15 back on the cost of prescription fee by sending Direct Line a copy of your prescription along with a receipt or invoice for the amount the vet charged to write the prescription.

If you can't get to your vet or are unsure if your pet needs to see a vet you can speak with a fully-qualified vet on video chat or via webchat by registering with our partner, PawSquad. Go to www.pawsquad.com/direct-line to register and activate your PawSquad account.

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.

As long as the consultation is for an eligible condition, we will cover remote vet consultations. Normal terms and conditions apply including the consultation fee limit as stated under vet fees in your policy booklet. If you're unsure whether your pet needs to see a vet or if you are unable to speak to your vet, you have free 24/7 access to PawSquad as part of your Direct Line policy, who can advise you on the best steps to take regarding your pet. Speak to a PawSquad vet on https://www.pawsquad.com/direct-line

If you‘re not able to visit your vet for your pet's annual dental check-up, or if your vet is unable to carry out dental treatment within three months of recommending it as a result of Government advice, we will continue to cover your pet for necessary dental treatment as long as you arrange the treatment as soon as reasonably possible and providing this is within 12 months of your vet recommending the treatment.

 

Important note: All other terms and conditions of your pet insurance policy apply and you should read your policy booklet for further information.

Your pet will continue to be covered if you have been unable to see your vet and your vet confirms that your pet’s vaccinations have been delayed as a result of Government advice concerning Coronavirus. However, in order to make sure your pet remains protected against disease you should arrange for your pet to be vaccinated as soon as reasonably possible.

If your pet's vaccinations were not up to date before Government restrictions were imposed you will not be covered should your pet require treatment for a condition that a routine vaccination is available for.

Important note: All other terms and conditions of your Pet Insurance policy apply and you should read your policy booklet for further information.

You can visit our website and submit your claim using our online claims portal or alternatively downloading a claim form from our website and emailing this to us. Alternatively, you can give us your permission to contact your vet directly and ask them to use our online claims portal. Get the form from this link.

We're aware that vets may have limited resource to deal with pet insurance claim forms. Please be assured that if your claim is delayed a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) this will not affect your claim.

If you're experiencing issues with PawSquad registration, please contact the PawSquad customer service team at charlotte@pawsquad.com or use the customer service live chat on the PawSquad website

Unless you or a member of your household has Coronavirus you don't need to keep your pets indoors. If you're unable to exercise your pet or have reduced their exercise remember there are other things you can do to support their wellbeing. Making time to play with them will help to keep them stimulated, happy and healthy.

Playing with their favourite toys or hiding part of your pet's daily food allowance or treats in a suitable toy will help to keep them occupied. Or just take time to groom your pet. Despite this, some animals may show signs of anxiety or stress due to the change of routine and conditions at home. The British Veterinary Association has produced a useful guide to recognising behavioural signs of stress and how you can help your pet in such circumstances.

If you're not able to visit your vet as a result of Government advice concerning Coronavirus, and your pet requires ongoing medications we will pay postage up to £7.50 per item. As the latest news and advice around Coronavirus continues to evolve, we may update our Coronavirus guidance and advice in accordance with our terms and conditions. Please check back for further updates.

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.

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