British insurance giant LV= has temporarily stopped selling travel insurance policies to new customers as the coronavirus (Covid-19) impact continues to rise globally.
All the existing customers can continue to claim or renew their travel covers, according to the company’s website.
LV= also reported that the number of travel covers it sold has almost doubled in the past few weeks.
The move is in part of the company’s strategy to avoid passing large price hikes to its existing customers.
The company on its website said: “The Government currently advises against all but essential travel to mainland China and some surrounding areas, Italy and some cities in South Korea due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
“In light of the impact that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having globally, we’ve made the difficult decision to pause the sale of travel insurance to new customers.”
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“We considered a number of different options, such as excluding cover or significantly increasing prices for new customers.
“We strongly believe this temporary measure of pausing the sale of new policies and focusing on our existing customers is the right decision.”
The move follows the decision of Aviva to restrict the level of cover in new policies as airlines cancel thousands of flights worldwide.
The existing customers of Aviva who bought their travel covers before Monday will continue to have the full level of cover.
A spokesman for Aviva said: “Insurance is designed to provide cover for unforeseen and unexpected events and is priced on this basis.
“The outbreak of the coronavirus means there is an increased likelihood of disruption to people’s travel plans.”