Thursday, May 20, 2021

Insurance for travel post-COVID

Today’s post is from John Cook, owner of Quotewright, a travel insurance comparison site.

One year and still counting!

To say that all of us have been through tough times over this past year is an understatement. However, things are starting to change for the better and good things are on the horizon. One of the foremost things on people’s minds is getting back out into the world safely. More people are purchasing travel insurance, so here are some things to think about when you decide to travel again.

Has Travel Insurance changed because of COVID19?

Contrary to some news articles, there haven’t been any material changes in travel insurance policies in regards to covering COVID19. For trip cancellation and trip interruption, coverage is only for an unforeseeable covered reason stated on the policy. 

What’s covered for COVID19?

Most comprehensive package plans cover trips that are cancelled or interrupted due to an unforeseen sickness of the insured, traveling companion or immediate family member. An attending physician must state that the sickness is debilitating enough to prevent you from traveling (trip cancellation) or continuing to travel (trip interruption).  And in most policies COVID19 is treated as any other sickness would be covered.  However, there are some policies that have an exclusion for “pandemics or epidemics.”  Stay away from these unless it doesn’t matter to you.

If you’re concerned about your destination being shut down due to COVID19, or you’re worried the tide of COVID19 might shift, you need to look at those plans that offer Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR). CFAR still remains the best protection for travel. Remember, it’s still only available if the insurance is purchased within 15-21 days of your initial trip deposit, and it covers only a stated percentage of the purchase price (usually 50-75 percent).

Does my destination have any insurance requirements?

Know the insurance requirements of the country that you’re visiting. The most common so far we have been seeing are those countries that are requiring $2,000 for bed rest while being quarantined if you contract COVID 19. Not all policies include that, so be sure to read your policy for details.

Is default or bankruptcy coverage included?

Should you be concerned about having coverage for the “default or bankruptcy” of an airline, cruise line, or tour operator?  Yes.  This past year has put a financial strain on all travel companies.  Trip cancellation/interruption plans with “default” as a covered peril can help you mitigate this risk, but remember it’s not uncommon for companies to make this a time sensitive coverage that is only available within a short time following your first trip payment.

It’s time to travel but travel smart.

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