Advice is changing daily

The Coronavirus is having a global impact – including on the photography and creative industries. It’s important to know what you are covered for and what actions you need to take. We will continue to update this advice.

If you have a shoot scheduled or are due to travel to an area that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised not to travel to, you should change your plans immediately. If you have any concerns, call us on 020 8659 5038 or email

For clients insured with Williamson Carson, it is likely your insurance will be with one of two providers: Alpha or Axa. Both insurers are providing similar advice to the FCO in respect to overseas travel.



FCO advice

On 28 January 2020, the FCO updated their advice to the following:

  • Advise against all travel to Hubei Province
  • Advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Mainland China including Hong Kong and Macau

The FCO recently updated their advice in February 2020 to:

  • Advise against all but essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea
  • Advise against all but essential travel to ten small towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto in Northern Italy (which have been isolated by Italian authorities)



Do not travel against FCO advice

  • Most travel policies do not provide cover to customers under any section if they decide to travel against the advice of the FCO. This is for All Travel and All But Essential Travel unless the insurers have been contacted in advance and the reasons for travel and cover agreed are by them.
  • Please be aware all claims are subject to validation. Any policy, trip or expense purchased to an area which is already suffering an outbreak and/or has regulatory advice in place at the time of purchasing of the policy may result in a claim not being considered.



Advice for customers yet to travel

  • Check the FCO advice online and follow the guidance provided. If you have any concerns in regard to your destination, please contact us on 020 8659 5038 or
  • Customers should contact their airline or tour operator, to enquire about amending their travel plans or obtaining a refund. If you’re offered an alternative destination or dates, typically insurers will transfer cover to the new trip. This is provided if it is within six months of the original departure date, for the same duration and there is no change in the geographical zone.



Advice for customers already abroad

  • If you are considering returning to the UK earlier than originally planned as a result of the viral outbreak, please be aware that most travel insurance policies would not typically cover these circumstances. Customers should contact their travel agent or tour operator for advice and information on the availability of flights home.
  • Insurers have advised customers abroad who are in a destination affected by the virus to follow the instructions of the authorities and maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene whilst avoiding visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms.



Quarantined hotels or areas

If your hotel or the area you are staying in is quarantined or closed and you are unable to return as planned, you should:

  • Speak to your tour operator or transport and accommodation provider in the first instance for a refund of costs and/or additional costs incurred.
  • Where you have been subject to compulsory quarantine whilst on a trip, you should keep written evidence detailing this and any refunds you have received. In most cases this instance would be covered by your travel insurance; however, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss further.



Shoot cancellation

If you have a shoot planned in a location where there is a known and significant outbreak, we recommend that you take immediate action to make contingency plans and, where possible, reorganise your shoot to a new location with no known outbreak.

At present (2 March 2020), in some circumstances cover can still be provided for shoot cancellation. If your shoot is cancelled for the following reasons it should be covered on the proviso that you are not aware that anyone on the shoot knowingly has the virus:

  • As a direct result of a person within the cast or crew contracting the virus
  • As a direct result of the illness of the cast or crew only

As the coronavirus is now a known event, no insurance companies are providing cover for shoot cancellation as a result of government quarantines or isolation due to the threat of coronavirus.



For further information

All our clients should check the UK’s Foreign Travel Advice for their chosen destination:

For up to date information about affected areas please visit The New York Times map:



Useful links




The above guidance is for general information purposes and does not claim to be or constitute legal or other professional advice and shall not be relied on as such. You should contact you insurance broker or company for further information and clarification on the cover present under any policy you have in place. If you are a Williamson Carson client, please contact us on 020 8659 5038 or

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