These are difficult times – and we’re having to deal with disruption in most areas of our lives. If your travel plans have been disrupted or cancelled due to coronavirus, it’s important to know where you stand. This guide sets out the main reasons for making a claim, as well as the steps for getting a refund.

Note:

For general information about travel insurance during coronavirus, where to see the latest government advice, and answers to frequently asked questions, see our Important travel information page.

Why you might make a claim

1. Get a refund from your travel provider

The first thing to do is speak to your provider


  • If your provider has cancelled your travel plans, then in most situations they are legally required to offer you a refund.
  • Although phonelines are busy right now, you must speak to your provider first to know your options.
  • If you have booked your holiday in parts – for example, you booked your flights directly with the airline and your accommodation directly with the hotel – only one part might be cancelled. In such cases speak to the providers that have yet to cancel and see if they will also provide a refund due to the change in circumstances.

Keep in mind


  • If you’re offered a travel voucher or credit note instead of a refund, it’s your decision to either take it or ask for a refund instead. If you do take it in the first instance, you can still ask for a refund. Be aware that if you refuse a travel voucher or credit note, you will no longer be able to claim through your travel insurance.
  • Don’t expect an instant refund. This is a very busy time, with many people requesting refunds. So be prepared to wait at least a month to get your money back.
  • If your provider says no to a refund, ask them to confirm this in writing, including the reason why. You’ll need this as proof later.

2. Get a refund through your bank or building society

Only try this if:


  • your travel provider said no to a refund
  • you paid for your trip by debit or credit card

Important information about card schemes and payment protection


  • Card payment schemes, such as Visa, let you dispute and charge back payments where you do not receive the goods or services that you have been promised when making a purchase. You are only able to charge back the value of the original purchase.
  • You also have protection under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you paid by credit card and the payment was between £100 and £30,000. It doesn’t matter if the payment on your credit card was only for part of the balance, your booking will still be covered by section 75 cover for the whole amount.
  • If you have booked part of your holiday by credit card – for example the flights but not the hotel – and the part booked on your credit card is cancelled, you may be able to claim for the parts not cancelled. This is not guaranteed and will depend on the terms and conditions of the provider that you have booked with.

You’ll need to send us evidence to support your claim

There are a few pieces of evidence that we’ll need to see in order to try and get your money back for you. See our evidence guide for more info. If you register your claim using our online form, make sure to have copies of your evidence ready to attach to the form – so that we receive your claim and your evidence at the same time.


Keep in mind


  • You’ll need to speak to the bank or building society whose card you used
  • For a Nationwide debit or credit card, you can find out more or make a claim.
  • You’ll need confirmation that your travel provider cancelled your trip and refused a refund.
  • Visa dispute claims must be made within 120 days of the trip being cancelled, or the date when you were meant to travel. There are no time limits for a Section 75 claim.
  • We’re working as quickly as we can during this busy time, so claims are taking longer than normal to process.
  • If your card provider couldn’t resolve your claim, ask them to confirm it in writing. You may need this as proof later.

3. Get a refund through your travel insurance

Only try this if:


  • you couldn’t get a refund from your travel provider – and have proof of this
  • your travel insurance policy covers cancellation and travel disruption due to Coronavirus

Keep in mind

If you are a FlexPlus account holder or have the travel insurance benefit as part of your FlexAccount, your policy does provide cover for cancellation in certain scenarios.

You can find out more detailed information and make a claim on our travel insurance important information page.

1. Speak to your provider


  • This should be the first thing you do, before looking at other options
  • They will be able to explain the terms and conditions that you agreed when you booked
  • Many providers are being understanding – if they can’t give you a refund, they may reschedule your trip or offer a credit note or travel voucher instead

Keep in mind


  • If you’re offered a travel voucher or credit note instead of a refund, it’s your decision to take it
  • Don’t expect an instant refund. This is a very busy time, with many people requesting refunds. So be prepared to wait up to one month to get your money back.
  • If your provider says no to a refund, ask them to confirm this in writing, including the reason why. You may need this as proof later.

If you decide to cancel, but the trip can still go ahead, you will not be able get a refund by disputing the card payment.

2. Get a refund through your travel insurance

Your policy may cover you if you decide to cancel. First, check the level of cover that you’ve got and the policy terms.

 

Only try this if your:


  • travel provider said no to a refund – and you have proof of this
  • policy covers travel cancellations and coronavirus claims

Keep in mind


  • If you can still travel, but you change your mind about going, you usually won’t be covered for cancelling.

If you are a FlexPlus account holder or have the travel insurance benefit as part of your FlexAccount, your policy does provide cover for cancellation in certain scenarios.

You can find out more detailed information and make a claim on our travel insurance important information page.

The first thing to do is get confirmation that your trip has been cancelled.

Some travel agents confirm your arrangements with third party accommodation or travel providers as soon as you book your trip. In which case, you might still be able to go as planned. If not, check if your trip is covered by an ABTA or ATOL bond. 


  • If your provider has gone into administration, you probably won’t be able to contact them by phone.
  • Visit their website for more details on what to do next.
  • If your trip was booked as a package, it should be protected by ABTA or ATOL. A package typically includes travel, accommodation, car hire and activities.

1. Get a refund through ABTA or ATOL


  • Check your booking to see if you’re covered by ABTA or ATOL
  • If you do, visit their website and complete the form to make a claim

Remember


  • ABTA and ATOL are industry organisations. So, if there are failures across the travel industry, it may take some time to get your refund
  • Trips booked separately or in parts are not usually covered by ABTA or ATOL

2. Get a refund through your bank or building society

Only try this if you:


  • are not covered by ABTA or ATOL
  • paid for your trip by debit or credit card

Important information about card schemes and payment protection


  • Card payment schemes, such as Visa, let you dispute and charge back payments where you do not receive the goods or services that you have been promised when making a purchase. You are only able to charge back the value of the original purchase.
  • You also have protection under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you paid by credit card and the payment was between £100 and £30,000. It doesn’t matter if the payment on your credit card was only for part of the balance, your booking will still be covered by section 75 cover for the whole amount.
  • If you have booked part of your holiday by credit card – for example the flights but not the hotel – and the part booked on your credit card is cancelled, you may be able to claim for the parts not cancelled. This is not guaranteed and will depend on the terms and conditions of the provider that you have booked with.

You’ll need to send us evidence to support your claim

There are a few pieces of evidence that we’ll need to see in order to try and get your money back for you. See our evidence guide for more info. If you register your claim using our online form, make sure to have copies of your evidence ready to attach to the form – so that we receive your claim and your evidence at the same time.


Keep in mind

  • You’ll need to speak to the bank or building society whose card you used
  • For a Nationwide debit or credit card, you can find out more or make a claim.
  • Visa dispute claims must be made within 120 days of the trip being cancelled, or the date when you were meant to travel. There are no time limits for a Section 75 claim.
  • We’re working as quickly as we can during this busy time. So, claims are taking longer than normal to process.
  • If your card provider couldn’t resolve your claim, ask them to confirm it in writing. You’ll need this as proof later.

3. Get a refund through your travel insurance

Your policy may cover you if a travel company goes into administration. So first, check the level of cover that you’ve got.

Only try this if you:


  • weren’t able to get a refund through ABTA or ATOL – and have proof of this

Keep in mind

If your provider goes into administration and they are the ‘end supplier’, for example, airline or hotel, you will be covered if you're a FlexPlus Account holder.

FlexAccount holders with the travel insurance benefit are not covered if a travel provider goes into administration.

You can find out more detailed information and make a claim on our travel insurance important information page.

Other questions you may be asking

Things are changing almost every day, so we can’t say how things will pan out. Only you can decide whether to pay for the rest of your trip or not.

Things to think about:

If you don’t pay the balance
You probably won’t get your deposit back. But your deposit is all you’ll lose. Because it is your decision to cancel at this stage, then it’s unlikely that you’ll get your deposit back.

See the ‘You would like to cancel your trip’ section on this page for more information, including the reasons why you could be eligible for a refund.

If you pay the balance and travel
This is the best outcome for everyone. If the government lifts travel limits and your trip goes ahead as planned, neither you nor the travel provider loses out. However, if your holiday isn’t as expected due to restrictions when you get there, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make a claim for compensation.

If you pay the balance but don’t travel
It depends why you weren’t able to travel. The rest of this page sets out the reasons why you might not travel, as well as your options.

But keep in mind, if you make a travel insurance claim at the end of the process, you will be covered in full (less any excess and recoverable costs). If you have paid for any of the balance of your trip on a credit card, the whole balance payable to that provider will be covered under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

It’s important that you check the situation at the destination you are travelling to. For example, some beaches or certain hotel facilities may be closed, and you probably won’t be able to make a claim if this happens. So, you should be comfortable with this before you travel.

Speak to your travel provider and do some research online before deciding to go ahead.

If your travel provider has cancelled your trip, in most cases they are legally required to offer you a refund. However, to ease the pressure on themselves, many providers are offering travel vouchers or credit instead. It’s your decision whether to take this or not. Ask yourself if you’re likely to travel with the company again. Or if they’ll still be in business when you come to rebook.

See the ‘Your provider cancelled your travel plans’ section on this page for more information.

Keep in mind, if you’re offered a travel voucher or credit but don’t take it, you won’t be covered by travel insurance on a FlexPlus or FlexAccount.

There’s no cover for this situation. Your travel provider may be flexible with their policy and refund or rebook your trip. So talk to them in the first instance. If they say no, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) still advises against travel to your destination, then you may be able to claim through your travel insurance. It’s important to weigh up your options before deciding to travel.

See the ‘You would like to cancel your trip’ section on this page for more information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) help and support

We’re here to help if you have any worries regarding coronavirus whether it’s money, managing your accounts, getting to branch or fraud.