Now that the respiratory virus has spread to more than 80 countries, including the UK, many people are contemplating whether or not to continue with their imminent overseas travel plans.

If you are due to travel imminently, then check the up to date travel advice for your particular destination from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Follow the advice from the FCO. If you need to cancel the trip due to the advisory warnings, contact the business you booked with to discuss your options, as well as contacting your insurer to make a claim for any non-refundable costs.

Some flights, cruises etc. have already been cancelled due to FCO advisory warnings or because of reduced demand. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the business you booked with to discuss your options and also contact your insurer to make a claim for any non-refundable costs.

If you wish to travel to an area in relation to which the FCO is advising against all but essential travel, you will need to speak to your insurance company to see whether they will still cover you, i.e. whether they agree that the reason for your travel is essential. A holiday to the area is unlikely to be seen as 'essential travel'.

If you have not yet obtained insurance for your trip, then do so as soon as possible. Advisory warnings can change and if you have purchased insurance prior to a warning being issued, then you should be covered for cancellation following issue of such warning.

If you simply do not wish to travel due to the virus but an advisory warning has not been issued by the FCO in relation to your destination, then you will need to discuss the matter with the business you booked through and with your insurer; they will be able to advise you of their policies and the options available to you. However please note that insurance policies are not designed to cover “disinclination to travel” and therefore you are not likely to be covered unless there is another reason, such as medical grounds, for not travelling.