Thanks for your replies. I haven’t booked the holiday or bought any insurance yet but today I found a UK insurer online which Google says offers a “cancellation for any reason” policy. I read all through their example policy wording and Visas are not mentioned, so I phoned them, but after hanging on for ages to speak to a real person, I was told that they do not include Visa issues under their policies and I couldn’t be covered. Furthermore, the company told me that they are not aware of any insurers that would cover this. So that’s something to think about and meanwhile I’ll still keep looking!
Good advice, Steve, but all dealings with insurance companies are a minefield – as I very well know!
That’s a very interesting point @Jimshouse
I’ve had a quick “Google” & it seems generally accepted that this sort of risk isn’t covered by UK policies, alongside any issues with your passport e.g. it expired or doesn’t have the required 6 months validity if the country you are visiting requires it. Having said that, I had a look at my policy & it doesn’t specifically state it in the list of exclusions. That said, it doesn’t state it as a valid reason for cancelling either (or at least one they will pay out for). I’d suggest you contact your current insurer (if you have one) and ask them the specific question, plus if they would cover the risk for an additional premium (in a similar way to how they cover per-existing medical conditions).
Looking at this another way. The way I understand it is that its unwise to apply for a Chinese visa earlier than 3 months before your return date because you can’t request a length of Visa. The Chinese embassy arbitrarily issues the length (I don’t think anyone knows how this is decided). When I applied for mine I used a specialist visa company and they told me that the large majority of their clients got a 2 year visa but it wasn’t guaranteed (both my wife & I got a 2 year visa). So an option is to apply early but you run the rink of getting a visa that expires before your trip. I don’t know if specialist visa companies have more or any influence over the Chinese embassy but it may be worth contacting one to see. I can let you know who I used if you wish.
Does anyone know of an insurer with a policy which will cover us if our visa application is rejected? My family and I are thinking of booking a 12 day holiday to China in the summer next year. To get the best price, we need to book fairly soon. But I understand we can only apply for a visa 2-3 months before we go. We have no reason to expect this, but if one (or more) of us is refused the visa, we would obviously want to cancel the holiday. Are there any insurers where we could claim for cancellation under these circumstances, as it will be too late to get a full refund from the holiday company?