Holiday Scenarios And Switched On Travel Cover

Now that we’ve been given the thumbs up to travel abroad – albeit with a few more hoops to jump through than usual – those that are itching to get out into the world once again will be prepping their packing.

But at this time of continuing uncertainty, travel insurance can prove invaluable. Not only does it recover funds if things go wrong, but more than anything the peace of mind it brings is what’s needed to fully enjoy the build-up to the trip as well as when we’re away.

​​While COVID-19 has proved a challenge for many travel insurance providers, not only has Switched On already stepped up its protection for COVID related issues under its medical expenses, cancellation and repatriation sections in its standard cover, the recent introduction of its new COVID-19 Protect add on offers even wider-ranging reassurance for today’s travellers.

​​The add-on is available for those heading on European holidays, including destinations such as Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Lapland, Russia and Egypt (see the full list of country’s here), and costs an additional £21 for Annual cover and only £16 extra on Single Trips.

From vaccine-related issues to catching COVID-19 abroad, here are a few of the scenarios it impacts – but as with any insurance its vital to read the full policy to be fully informed on all the details of what is, and isn’t, covered.

​Scenario 1 – The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against travel to your destination

​​You’ll find that a pretty standard exclusion on almost all travel policies is that your insurance will be invalidated if the FCDO advise against travel to a destination and you decide to travel there anyway. With the COVID-19 Protect add on however, if you find the FCDO is advising against travel but the sole reason for them doing so is because of COVID-19 then your insurance will be valid if you continue to travel to your destination.

Scenario 2 – ​You have to isolate due to COVID-19 which results in you having to cancel your holiday

​​If you have to isolate because you, a family member, a household member, your travelling companion, or the friend you were going to stay with has had a positive COVID-19 test within 14 days of your departure, Switched On’s standard policy will cover you for the cancelled holiday up to a stated amount. ​​However, the COVID-19 Protect add on gives an added layer of security: it also compensates you if you’re contacted by the government’s Test and Trace service and you have to self-isolate instead of jetting off on holiday.

​Scenario 3 – You become ill with COVID-19 while abroad

The last thing you want to worry about when you’re enjoying your holiday in the sun is what cover is in place should you fall ill, especially if it’s with COVID-19. Switched On’s standard policy will cover emergency medical treatment and repatriation costs, plus any extra travel and accommodation expenses if you need to stay at your destination until you’re fit to return to the UK. There’s also a free 24 hour emergency medical helpline to support you and your loved ones when you need it most.

​Scenario 4 – You can’t travel as a result of lockdown or tier restrictions

​​Just as we want to be clear about what our policies do cover, we want to be upfront about what they don’t cover too. Unfortunately, you won’t be covered by either our standard policy or the COVID-19 Protect add on should lockdown or tier restrictions mean you can’t travel. Instead approach the company that you booked with to ask about changing your travel dates or getting a refund. If you do change your dates Switched On will allow you to amend the dates of your cover (depending on your new itinerary an additional premium may be required).

​Scenario 5 – You experience a bad reaction to a COVID-19 vaccination

If a medical professional advises you that you’re unfit to travel following an adverse reaction to a COVID jab, having the COVID-19 Protect add on means you’ll be able to claim compensation for your missed holiday. But this isn’t covered as part of our standard policy.

​Scenario 6 – You fall ill and can’t complete your vaccine course

​​If you, or your travelling companion, suffer an unforeseen illness and have to reschedule a vaccine appointment, and as a result you won’t be fully vaccinated for a holiday where it’s mandatory, while this isn’t covered under our standard policy if you’ve purchased the COVID-19 Protect add on you’ll be able to claim for cancellation.

​Scenario 7 – You choose not to have the COVID-19 vaccination

Obviously having the vaccine is a personal decision. It’s important to be aware however that if you have been offered a recommended COVID-19 jab and you choose not to have it, you may not be covered by either our standard policy or the COVID-19 Protect add on in relation to COVID-19 and this may impact your ability to claim (unless your medical records show that you’re unable to have the vaccine).


To find out more you can visit the dedicated COVID-19 section of the Switched On website here or the Switched On team are ready to answer any questions by calling 0330 041 2880 or emailing


The details contained in this article were correct at the time of writing, but please ensure you check the policy wording to be fully aware of what you are and aren’t covered for at the time of taking out your cover.