British Insurers Suspend Sale of Travel Insurance to New Customers

British insurers Admiral, Aviva and Direct Line are no longer offering travel insurance to new customers, they said on their websites on Friday.

“The ongoing global situation with coronavirus means there’s much greater likelihood of disruption to people’s travel plans, so we’ve decided to focus our attention on our existing customers,” Aviva said.

The decision took effect from 1500 GMT on Friday, an Aviva spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Aviva said last week it had paid out around 500,000 pounds ($618,200.00) in travel insurance claims related to coronavirus and the pandemic “presents a new uncertainty in 2020.”

Admiral and Direct Line also said the impact of coronavirus around the world meant they had decided to temporarily suspend the sale of travel insurance to new customers.

British insurer LV=, owned by German insurer Allianz , said earlier this week it would “pause” the sale of travel insurance to new customers.

Several governments, including the United States, have this week banned visitors from other countries as they battle the spread of the virus.

($1 = 0.8088 pounds) (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Rachel Armstrong and Jane Merriman)