— 10 Oct 2021 09:01:07 by Kate Moore
Groups staying at our Normandy centres have the chance to take out our specialist school travel insurance which includes several benefits, including cancellation cover for COVID-19.
To help you decide whether you need to take out this travel insurance cover, our guide explains the types of insurance available to schools and what extra protection groups might consider when planning their first return trip to France since the pandemic.
How to insure your trip to France - top tips for schools
Unlike standard holiday insurance, specialist school trip policies should cover the needs of all the parties invested in the trip. So, as well as protecting the students and staff in the group against an unexpected event, the policy should also provide financial protection for parents funding the trip and schools organising the trip (e.g. to ensure that staff can return to work as planned).
Standard travel insurance will protect your group against these things going wrong:
Specialist school trip insurance will also protect the group for:
Travel insurance covers individuals for unexpected events and costs. But because insurance companies don’t have much experience of insuring travellers following the pandemic, some travel policies may exclude claims related to COVID-19.
At a minimum, schools require emergency medical treatment and repatriation for COVID-19 so that the group is covered for both medical treatment and the cost of returning home if someone in the group tests positive while in France.
In the current environment, we also recommend that schools look for an enhanced level of cover, which offers more COVID-19 protection than standard policies.
How much you pay for your insurance depends on the amount of cover you're likely to need. For example, it might be a good idea to include cover for gadgets (in our experience there’s always at least one child who leaves their phone on the coach), or choosing a policy with no excess, so parents aren’t left out of pocket after making a claim.
In the current climate, it’s a false economy to under-insure the group to save costs. But there may be ways to reduce out of pocket expenses while on the trip and give your trip extra financial protection.
Before deciding to opt for our insurance, it is worth checking the cover provided by your school’s commercial insurance policy or RPA (Risk Protection Agreement) as some policies include insurance for school trips abroad. If your school’s policy includes travel cover, you might want to double check that COVID-19 isn’t excluded from the cancellation and curtailment cover.
Though we have left the EU, travellers can still use an existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in EU countries until it expires. After that, teachers and students in your group can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) on the NHS website. You can use a GHIC to access healthcare in France at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. EHICs and GHICs are not a not a substitute for travel insurance, but can save teachers paying out of pocket medical expenses on the trip, that have to be claimed back later.
Some companies currently offer extra flexible booking terms and refund guarantees to help fill in the gaps not covered by a school’s insurance. For example our Peace of Mind Promise, goes above and beyond our normal terms and conditions by offering a full refund if the Foreign Office allows travel to France but the DfE advises against school trips.
To give schools extra reassurance following the pandemic, we offer ABTA’s STF Travel Sure School Trip Insurance. This specialist insurance includes enhanced COVID-19 cover.