Travel Insurance Questionnaire

For the School to agree to proceed with a foreign travel venture, it is obliged to ensure that appropriate insurance cover is in place, both in the form of traditional travel insurance with the usual range of provisions and, now, in relation to potential financial losses that could be caused by Covid 19, in a variety of different ways. We believe at True North it's not always easy to see or understand every element of what's in a policy, so this is a very "black and white" set of questions and answers we have collated together to address the questions from a teachers and school point of view. The questions have been directly answered by the Insurer "Endsleigh" based on our policy.

Endsleigh's answers are in RED

True North comments and answers are in Blue

Pre departure

1. The trip is prevented by guidance or regulation - cancellation

If the trip has to be cancelled due to a range of effects caused by Covid 19 . Is the trip as a whole covered for these losses? The causes may include

 ·       National, regional or local restrictions in the UK, advice or regulation by the Department for Education not to travel abroad or to the intended destination, similar restrictions and advisories made by FCO.

Is this risk covered? Yes No

 ·       National, regional or local restrictions in the destination country, which prevents travel or make it impossible to conduct the activities that are the primary purpose of the trip.

Is this risk covered? Yes  No

 Endsleigh - If the restrictions are associated to a known risk at the point of booking then these known risks would not be covered under the policy. Any risks that at unknown at the time of booking present themselves after the booking has been made which result in restrictions being present in the Country that limit the ability to complete the trip can be claimed.

True North - These circumstances above are not covered by the travel insurance policy, please see True North Travel – “Our Booking Pledge” policy and conditions.

Unlike many other operators True North operates a trust account financial model, where all monies received from customers is paid directly into the stand-alone trust account. In the pre departure phase of your booking the monies you have paid us can only be used in regard to elements of your booking ie flight tickets, accommodation deposits etc, and is only released on approval from the 3rd party trustees under the strict criteria that these elements of your trip are protected and insured against potential failure. Therefore, if a refund is due the balance of the funds is immediately available. We are a member of the Travel Trust Association (Membership No. Q9293) Consumer Protection | TheTravel Network Group and regulated under their terms of conduct and conditions. If you are a flight group, your trip will also be protected under ATOL (True North Travel ATOL No. 12017).

2. The trip is prevented by staff Covid infections or isolations - cancellation

The trip has to be cancelled because too many of the trip’s staff leaders and assistants are infected or isolating at the time of departure, and they cannot be replaced, making it impossible for the trip to safely take place and for appropriate organisation, leadership and pastoral care to be in place.

 Is this risk covered? Yes No

 Endsleigh -This risk is not covered by the Group Travel Insurance Policy.

True North - These circumstance above is not covered by the travel insurance policy. In this “worst” case scenario True North would work with the school to see what options are available and what potential costs could be recovered from the trip being cancelled at this late stage.

3. An individual participant tests Covid positive and / or will be required to self-isolate at the time of departure

·       An individual participant has tested positive for Covid 19, confirmed by lateral flow test and then PCR test within 10 days of the date of departure, making them unable to travel.

Is this risk covered? Yes  No

 EndsleighUnder the Covid Endorsement provided to the Group Policy the policy provides cover for an individual testing positive within 14 days of their departure date via a PCR test and with 28 days of their departure date if they are hospitalised due to Covid 19.

·       An individual is required to self-isolate by Public Health England at the time of departure

Is this risk covered? Yes  No

EndsleighPresuming this is linked to Covid 19 then unless the individual isolating also produces a positive Covid test result, there would be no cover for an individual should they have to cancel due to being placed into a period of self-isolation

True North - This circumstance isn't covered in the travel insurance as the isolation rules are very different to when the they were first introduced. The NHS has a set of guidelines here, which highlight if you are vaccinated or under 18 years 6 months old there is no need to self isolate and gives instructions as to how to stay safe if another person in your house hold is self isolating. We appreciate that every circumstance is different, hence if there is a need for a person to self isolate who isn't covid positive, we will look at each case on an individual basis

Post Departure

4. Whole trip curtailment

If the whole trip has to be cut short, for example due to changes in local or national restrictions, guidance or other circumstances at the destination, is this loss covered and to what extent?

Is this risk covered? Yes  No

5. Participants test Covid positive or are required to self-isolate

An individual / individuals test Covid positive, initially by lateral flow and confirmed by PCR test. They are now unable to participate in the trip and they are unable to travel home. They are required to stay put and to self-isolate and are likely to be unable to travel home at the intended time. Ditto requirement to self-isolate.

·       Are they covered for the loss of holiday?

Is this risk covered? Yes  No

 EndsleighAt the point a beneficiary tests positive and they enter isolation their trip is curtailed and therefore are eligible to make a claim under cancellation and curtailment clause of their policy.

·       Are they covered for additional associated costs eg a possible need for alternative accommodation, the cost of tests, medical care if required, on-going accommodation and food after the main party leave during mandatory self-isolation, the equivalent costs associated with staff to care for that individual and supervise them, changes to flights and the cost of airport transfers.

Is this risk covered? Yes  No

 Endsleigh - Should this scenario arise a claim should be logged with CEGA via the Medical Assistance Number, they will need assist with the arrangements regarding accommodation, transport, flights etc.

 ·       Alternatively, are they covered if someone has to travel from the UK to care for them until they can travel home, for travel, accommodation and associated expenses.

Is this risk covered? Yes  No

 Endsleigh - Under the Emergency Medical benefit of the policy, with the prior authorisation of the Emergency Assistance Service, reasonable additional transport and/or accommodation expenses for a friend or Close Relative to remain with the Beneficiary or travel to them from the their Home Country or escort them and additional travel expenses to return the Beneficiary to their Home if they are unable to use the return ticket are provided.

6. Impact of a member/s of the School’s staff on the trip testing Covid positive or being required to isolate

School staff members are confirmed Covid positive during the trip or told to isolate, to the point where appropriate leadership, pastoral care and supervision cannot be ensured, and additional staff must be sent out to fill the gap – associated costs.

 Is this risk covered?  Yes No

 EndsleighThe policy does not provide cover for a replacement group leader. However should all staff attached to the trip contract Covid and have to enter a period of self-isolation then the trip would have to be curtailed and a responsible person/guardian set out to bring the students home. Costs associated with the safe return of the students would be covered under the policy.

Handling a cancellation claim

7. Would such claims be handled as individuals or a group claim?

In the event of cancellation of the whole trip would the claim be made by individual participants or handled as a group claim by the School or by the tour operator?

Individuals / School / Tour Operator

 EndsleighClaims should be lodged by the School via the details shown on the Schedule of Insurance.

Tour Operator Question

In the event of forced cancellation, is the insurance claim pursued by the Tour Operator or the School?

Tour Operator / School

In the event that some participants are required to remain in country after the party returns home, due to a Covid infection or isolation requirement, what support is offered by the Tour Operator? Is the Tour Operator responsible for organising on-going alternative accommodation, transfer to the airport and the transfer of flights.

True North - If some participants are required to remain in the country after the rest of the party returns home, then naturally we are there to offer support. The organising of on-going alternative accommodation, repatriation coordination and bookings are organised through the insurance (as per the True North Travel/ Endsleigh Policy) and is conducted on a case file being opened by the party leader or accompanying teacher with the 24/7 assistance company (CEGA). As the tour operator we are naturally interested in the well being of those who are travelling with us. For us, it's important that we know that a case file has been opened and our office and overseas staff are trained to help assist this process of contacting the assistance company. Where we can help and support, we will. In our experience and the reason why we have chosen to work with Endsleigh who in turn contract Cega as their assistance company is that the service and cover is second to none. For reasons concerning GDPR and maintaining high service levels we don’t directly open a case file or make a claim for our customers.

In the pre travel phase of your booking you have your individual trip page in our secure platform S.A.M. where all the information in regard to the trip, students and staff is kept ie allergies, passport numbers etc, we have standard information requirements to operate your booking, however this information (if you require more) can be bespoke to your request to include parents contact numbers etc. The ease of this system is twofold, the data is collected by the system from the parents completely the input tasks, and once you are travelling you have access to all data online and offline through our phone app. This makes life a lot easier if a situation arises (Covid related or not) to access the information that is required for the assistance company etc. As the operator of your booking, we can also access this information if the circumstances are required to assist to provide this to you so the case file can be opened as and when the need is required.

It isn’t uncommon that a participant has to remain in the country after the rest of the party has returned due to sickness or further treatment required. In some cases the assistance company will contact True North to ask for our help in regards to local knowledge and our networks to help ongoing logistics to make any transitions as simple as possible, and we always stay in contact with the participants on the ground, the party leader/ school until everyone has arrived home. True North has an out of office (for Emergencies) number that is provided to the school, and this would naturally be provided to the accompanying adults (teacher or potential parent that had to travel out). Every circumstance is different, hence we want to keep channels of communication open so we know the ongoing actions and plans and assist appropriately.

As part of our booking terms and conditions we ask for each customer to confirm that they have adequate travel insurance including wintersports cover at the time of booking, so if the school has their own insurance cover and doesn’t require the True North Travel Policy, then please ensure that the cover is adequate including repatriation (which most policies will have). If a school has their own cover again we will support them to the best of our ability whilst they are away, however as a tour operator we aren’t responsible for on going logistics or financial implications.