Norwegians who want to travel are warned: – Risks gigantic bill

On Tuesday, TV 2 wrote that many Norwegians long to travel to warmer regions.

– It is difficult to know what will happen in the future, but we see a huge desire to travel. A survey among our customers shows that almost 60 percent will travel abroad as soon as possible, said PR and content manager Beatriz Rivera in Apollo.

TUI and Apollo see that there are also some who are already making orders.

– People book trips already from January and into the summer, so there are many who want to go out and travel as soon as possible, said communications manager Nora Aspengren in TUI.

The fact that some choose to book trips abroad now makes the insurance companies react.

– Understand that it can be tempting

Due to the corona pandemic, Norwegians are advised not to travel abroad at least until the beginning of next year. At the end of September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended its global travel advice from 1 October to 15 January.

– We understand that it can be tempting to think about future trips, and that there are many discounted prices and good offers out there. But you should still think very carefully before you buy and pay for a trip now, says Andreas Bibow Handeland in European Travel Insurance and If.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health continuously updates its map of Europe with colors of the various countries. The government’s advice is basically to avoid all unnecessary travel abroad.

Red color means high spread of infection and that you must be quarantined when entering Norway, while yellow color means increased risk, but that you must not be quarantined when entering Norway.

If you book a trip to a country that is marked in red when you book, the travel insurance does not apply.

– As the situation is now, there is a worldwide travel council with very few exceptions. If you buy a trip now and the area is still red on departure, you will not be reimbursed for cancellation costs the airline or travel company will not refund. You also do not get valid travel insurance if you defy the advice and travel, says Handeland.

Almost the whole of Europe is marked in red on FHI’s infection map. Photo: FHI

– A game of chance

If you bought a trip to a country or area while it was green or yellow, and this turns red before departure, you can be reimbursed for cancellation costs that the airlines or travel companies are not obliged to take.

If you choose to travel even if a country is red, it can be a very expensive affair if something goes wrong.

– If you defy a travel advice and go to a country or area that is red, you do not have valid travel insurance on the trip. A private hospitalization or a repatriation from abroad are examples of incidents where the bills can reach the million mark, so it is important that customers are aware of this, warns Handeland.

Communication consultant Andreas Bibow Handeland in If / European Travel Insurance. Photo: Kilian Munch / If

Communications consultant Andreas Bibow Handeland in If / European Travel Insurance. Photo: Kilian Munch / If

Should the destination be green or yellow on departure, you are covered as normal, also for corona-related incidents.

– What do you think about the fact that some have started booking holidays until 2021?

– This is a game of chance and something you should wait for. You risk being left with a potentially gigantic bill for a holiday you never get to travel on.

His advice is to await the situation.

– I’m in the stomach. We understand that it is tempting, but the timing for booking a trip is not correct.

– Too much risk

In a survey YouGov has conducted for Tryg Forsikring, 38 percent answer that they plan to holiday abroad next year. The survey was conducted among people over the age of 18 who are employed and have a car in the household.

– It is allowed to be optimistic even though there are high infection rates throughout Europe right now. The fact that just over one million Norwegians are planning a holiday abroad next year is probably mostly an expression of hope that a vaccine will soon work, says communications manager Ole Irgens in Tryg Forsikring.

Ole Irgens, communications manager at the delay company Tryg. Photo: Gunnar Ringen Johansen / TV 2

Ole Irgens, communications manager at the delay company Tryg. Photo: Gunnar Ringen Johansen / TV 2

– People like to dream of sun and heat, but I do not think there are many who actually buy flights to the Mediterranean now, until the risk is too great.

He advises against buying a holiday trip to a red country in the hope that it has turned green before departure.

– If you book a trip to a place while the place is red, you have waived all cancellation coverage regardless of when you are going to travel, Irgens says.

– The authorities’ advice is very clear

Gjensidige’s head of communications for non-life insurance, Bjarne Aani Rysstad, encourages travelers to do nothing hasty.

– We also warn against booking a trip abroad now. Those who consider it, should think very carefully about and check carefully what rules apply to cancellation with the tour operator, says Rysstad.

Bjarne Aani Rysstad, Head of Communications for Non-life Insurance in Gjensidige. Photo: Gjensidige

Bjarne Aani Rysstad, Head of Communications for Non-life Insurance in Gjensidige. Photo: Gjensidige

– If you book a trip for 50,000 kroner, you must have the finances to lose 50,000 kroner. We recommend thinking so carefully now, as there is a lot of uncertainty.

He has noticed that many travel agents are marketing their travels hard at the moment.

– Norwegians are used to traveling a lot, so it is not difficult to understand that the desire to travel is great. But you should take it easy. The authorities’ advice is very clear, says Rysstad.

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