Agents are calling on travel insurance companies to extend their cover so that consumers feel confident enough to book holidays for next year.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, Designer Travel managing director Amanda Matthews said insurers were currently not offering policies to cover situations in which consumers fall ill abroad on holiday with coronavirus.

Miles Morgan Travel chairman Miles Morgan said this was proving a sticking point, particularly for older clients wanting to book for 2021. He stressed there was an urgent need for insurance companies to change their policies.

He said: “It’s a question people are asking. Is it covered for Covid 19 next year or not? The situation needs to change otherwise there won’t be any reassurance for people.

“They need to look at that now if the market is going to recover fully. It’s clearly one of the main questions we get asked all the time, so Covid will be top of people’s minds. They need to look at it and look at it quickly. They need to do something about it now to help the industry.”

Matthews said she was hoping insurance companies would act before customers come to pay their balances.

She added: “We are advising [clients] if you book now with a small deposit, when you have to pay the balance we are hoping the insurance market will understand that they have to have some of this risk. At the moment they have got away scott free compared with the rest of the industry.”

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