Travel insurers called on to reimburse cancelled trips

Travel insurers called on to reimburse cancelled trips
Credit: Belga

Consumer association Test Achats is calling on insurers to encourage them to reimburse passengers whose trips were cancelled as soon as possible, the organisation announced on Thursday.

“For us, it is very clear: if a trip is cancelled, the insurance specifically relating to that trip will lapse,” Test Achats said in a press release. “You do not have to pay for a service that cannot be provided.”

“The premiums for baggage and travel assistance insurance must, in our opinion, be repaid in full. The cancellation insurance must be refunded in proportion to the period between the date on which the trip is cancelled and the scheduled departure or return date (if the trip has to be interrupted),” the organisation said.

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The consumer association contacted 13 insurers offering travel assistance “to make our position clear and to advocate compensation for the consumer,” they said. While four of them did not answer, nine were in favour of a refund.

Concerning insurance linked to a specific trip, the majority of insurers contacted will reimburse premiums for trips that had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. This reimbursement is sometimes offered in the form of a voucher or a transfer from the insurance contract to a subsequent trip.

The situation for insurance contracts concluded for one year is less clear. Only Ethias and Europ Assistance offer a discount on the premium, and only if the contract is renewed and is limited to cancellation insurance. Allianz Assistance and KBC Insurance also offer some concessions, according to Test Achats.

The consumer association has put a model letter online allowing consumers to request a refund.

The Brussels Times

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