Insurance giant LV has confirmed it is suspending the sales of travel insurance in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
An LV spokesperson told TravelMole: “In light of the significant impact that coronavirus is having globally, LV has taken the difficult decision to pause the sale of travel insurance to new customers.
“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen the number of policies sold double. Whilst LV is a major motor and home insurer, we are a small travel insurance provider and it’s important for the long-term benefit of all our customers that our exposure to this market remains at a sustainable level for the overall business.
“We considered a number of different options, such as excluding cover or significantly increasing prices for new customers but we strongly believe this temporary measure of pausing the sale of new policies and focusing on our existing customers is the right decision.
“There is no change for existing customers who already have a policy with us. They can contact us in the normal way if they need to make a claim, and we are also still offering renewals to our existing customers so they can continue to be insured with us.~
“LV remains committed to the travel insurance market and this is only a temporary move given the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the decision on an ongoing basis.”
While LV is a small player, with only 1% of its business related to travel, other insurance providers have begun restricting the travel policies on offer.
For example, the AA is no longer quoting for single-trip policies covering Italy, France or Spain.
Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which? said the moves were alarming.
“The government, insurers and the travel industry must immediately tackle the huge challenge provided by coronavirus, as the industry depends on people having the confidence that they can travel with the knowledge that they will be covered.”