Galashiels travel agent now offering UK-first Covid-19 insurance cover

The travel firm that rescued Thomas Cook’s Galashiels shop following its closure last September has now become the first in the UK to offer insurance cover for coronavirus.

The Hays Travel team in Galashiels, from left, Sarah Paterson, Edith Bertham, manageress Amy Turner and Carmen Foster.
The Hays Travel team in Galashiels, from left, Sarah Paterson, Edith Bertham, manageress Amy Turner and Carmen Foster.

The Channel Street shop taken over by Hays Travel in October is now open again following further easing of Covid-19 lockdown laws by the Scottish Government and it’s offering comprehensive travel insurance covering the virus and other pandemics as standard across all policies.

That industry-first cover, available from today, July 10, is supplied by Rush Insurance Services and Allianz Insurance.

Unlike existing policies, it covers cancellation or curtailment of holidays, emergency medical expenses and repatriation following diagnosis of Covid-19 or any other disease classed as an epidemic or pandemic.

Hays Travel owner John Hays.

It also covers cruise holidays if travellers are confined to their cabins or miss out on port stops and prepaid excursions because of the virus.

“As people are beginning to book their holidays again, we wanted to give them real confidence that if they are affected by Covid-19, they will not lose out financially, which would be one thing less to worry about should the worst happen,” said John Hays, managing director of the Sunderland-based firm.

“We have worked hard with our partners to put together insurance cover that answers the concerns that many of our customers naturally have as we gradually emerge from the lockdown.

“We are now including explicit references to being diagnosed with an epidemic or pandemic disease such as Covid-19 as standard with all travel insurance policies.

“We have ensured there is cover for all permutations we can think of because we want our customers to go on holiday whether home or abroad and feel secure about the cover they’ve got.

“We’ve been doing all we can to give customers confidence and get the travel industry bouncing back.

“Introducing this new insurance cover for everyone is another step forward.

“We have also introduced our peace-of-mind guarantee, which, on certain holidays, means you can cancel or change free of charge for any reason up to six weeks before you travel.”

Customers who have already booked holidays can still take out the insurance before they travel and those with existing insurance can upgrade to give themselves additional Covid-19 cover.

Hays Travel has now reopened most of its 650 branches around the UK, and its Channel Street shop is trading six days a week, from 9.15am to 5.30pm on weekdays and shutting half an hour earlier on Saturdays.

For details, call 01896 477015 or email [email protected]