We have made our centres ‘Covid Secure’ for our staff and visitors and are very pleased to be welcoming people back safely.
The current guidance for schools means that some groups may be unable to join us for planned residential courses at our FSC centres.
If you cannot come on your residential trip in the Autumn 2020 term, we have day courses at all FSC centres. We have also developed a range of over 70 digital, blended and outreach courses to help schools continue to deliver outdoor learning under the current circumstances.
Many of our stunning locations are also offering simple, no frills accommodation. Why not come and ‘Stay with Us’ this autumn? We are running a selection of our popular Natural History, Arts and 16-25 courses. You can find more details here.
Right at the start of the Covid crisis, FSC Chief Executive, Mark Castle, stated that it was important that “no one was left out of pocket”. We have been working hard with customers since then to make sure that is the case. We thank all of you who have worked with us to make this happen and we know that sometimes it isn’t easy. We are continuing to contact customers to discuss your options. All office staff are working remotely and because of the large number of bookings and their complexity, this process can take some time. We apologise if there is a delay in getting back you.
What should I do if our trip cannot go ahead?
If your trip cannot go ahead we can transfer your existing payments to new dates. If we cannot find suitable dates, you will need to make an insurance claim in the first instance. We are providing support to groups through this process.
You should first try to claim on insurance that you may already have in place. This may be via your school, MAT, local authority or university.
If your own claim is unsuccessful, then there is another option. FSC has paid for a School Journey Policy on your behalf. Please download the insurance claim form at the foot of the page. It is only 2 sides of A4 and takes just a few minutes to complete. There are three short sections that need to be filled in and completed forms should be sent to [email protected].
Local lockdowns could affect your booking – either because you are unable to travel to us, or because we cannot welcome visitors, or both. Each situation could be unique but we have a number of options ready that we can explore with you if your booking is disrupted.
Please see our Insurance FAQs for further help.
Is Covid-19 a Force Majeure event?
Due to the Government guidance and legal regulations in place at the time, we were unable to provide you with the service agreed. These same regulations also prevented you from being able attend the course. In this instance both parties are subject to a force majeure.
Force majeure events are covered under our terms and conditions in section 6.8. Under this section, depending on the date your course was due to take place, you can claim on the complimentary School Journey insurance. FSC pay for this on your behalf. A condition of our Insurers, however, is that you must have attempted to claim on any other insurance policy that you or your school have in place.
Is our booking covered by the Package Travel Regulations?
FSC courses are not covered by the Package Travel Regulations. This is because educational services do not count as a ‘package’ and other elements are provided after the point of initial sale.
For schools and other groups, it is a business to business contract.
For individuals, where the agreement is made directly between FSC and the individual, you are covered under consumer law.
Why do I have to claim on my insurance first?
In April, Zurich Insurance notified us of the following:
“We would expect the school to claim from their own insurance, if in place, in the first instance; one of the policy exclusions in FSC’s policy wording is that the policy will not respond if there are any other, and more specific, insurance policies that will respond to the loss. A school’s travel insurance will meet that criteria.”
We understand that this could be a frustrating step in the process. To support you with this, we will provide you will all the documentation you require for your insurers.
My insurance company needs confirmation that you won’t provide a refund before they consider our claim.
To help our customers with their insurance claims, we are providing statements to give to insurers. If you have not received one in your recent correspondence, and would like one, please email the centre that you were due to attend and we will send it to you. We can also provide you with any other documentation relating to the booking that might be helpful.
How are bookings from 1st August protected?
School bookings are covered by the FSC Financial Assurance. Whilst we cannot provide a refund you may be able to make a claim through your insurance provider if you are prevented from travelling.
How long will it take to hear from you?
We aim to respond to you within 5 days of your initial enquiry. We apologise that this is longer than would normally be the case. We have maintained staffing in our Customer Service teams as much as we can, though we do have staff on furlough, others are on shorter working weeks and all are working from home. If you have not heard back in this time, please contact [email protected]
Why can’t I just get a refund?
Under our terms and conditions for force majeure events, our resolution process is to transfer to alternative dates or where that is not possible to pursue the insurance claim. This process takes advantage of the insurance we pay for on your behalf and provides financial protection to yourself and the charity. Should none of those prove successful then we will continue to work with you to resolve your booking.
How long does the insurance form take to complete?
None of us enjoy having to fill in forms. We understand that requesting a refund may seem the easiest solution, but to support the sustainability of the charity, we ask that you initially try to claim on insurance. We have already paid for this cover on your behalf and the form is less than 2 sides of A4, with only 3 short sections to be completed. It should take less than 20 minutes to complete. We can provide you with any information you might need and because it is an insurance claim you have the added benefit of being able to claim for supplementary items such as coach costs that you may have incurred.
Once we have received your completed claim forms and supporting documentation, we will check them and forward them to the insurers. Our insurers are advising all our customers to submit claims and they will look at each case on its own merits. As we and the insurers are receiving a substantial number of claims it can take a while to process them.
Please note that under the terms of the policy there is an excess of £15 per claim.