Tesco is getting in on the travel insurance market action with its latest Covid-related travel insurance offering available across its standard policy, its backpacker policy and its later life policy.

All of the policies provide travellers with cover for medical expenses, trip cancellation or delays, and lost or stolen baggage or money. In addition, travellers can also tailor their policy (which can be purchased on either a single- or annual-trip basis) with a range of add-ons, including gadget protection and winter sports cover.

Covid cover

In terms of Covid cover, the policies offer cover for:

  • Trip cancellation should the traveller contract Covid before departure, be contacted by the NHS Track and Trace service and be unable to travel, be denied boarding a plane due to having Covid symptoms (including a temperature caught in routine screening of travellers), or need to cancel due to receiving host family members needing to self-isolate.
  • Medical treatment, costs for quarantining and return transportation expenses should the travellers fall ill with Covid while overseas.
  • Payout should a traveller need to return early because their destination enters lockdown or because a close relative has fallen ill.

Tesco Bank notes that it won’t cover travellers for cancellation of their trip if the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office or local authorities advise against all travel or all but essential travel; if official advice changes while you are away; or if they decide to cancel their trip due to no longer wanting to travel.

Mark Airey, insurance commercial director at Tesco Bank, commented: “We appreciate that the immediate outlook for travel remains uncertain, however the need for travel insurance is greater than ever – whether holidaying in the UK or abroad. Offering Covid-19 protection as standard helps to give customers peace of mind that they are protected should they test positive, and they have to cancel or cut short their trip.”

Incentivising travel insurance

In addition, Tesco Clubcard members will receive loyalty points when purchasing a policy, picking up one point for every £1 spent on insurance – an extra incentive for travellers to take out travel insurance, which is what we here at ITIJ like to see!

Tesco is clearly of the opinion that UK citizens are keen to travel (and it’s not wrong), and its partnership with ROCK (which recently launched an underwriting agency) and AXA Partners – both active players in helping shape the face of travel insurance in response to the pandemic – further strengthens its offering.

What’s more, having big customer-facing retail organisations such as Tesco offering travel insurance to its shoppers, and with incentives to boot, should actively improve consumer access to insurance, and so improve insurance take-up rates.