If you're all set to embark on your next adventure, the last thing you want is a curveball like COVID-19 messing up your plans. The big question on your mind: Does your travel insurance cover the coronavirus? Let's dive into the nitty-gritty and figure it out together.
Understanding Your Coverage
So, does your travel insurance cover COVID? Well, it's not a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on various factors like the type of coverage, your insurance provider, and the reason for canceling your trip. Let's break it down.
Reasons Travel Insurance Typically Covers
While we can't cover every scenario, here are some common reasons your travel insurance might kick in:
- Sickness, injury, or death.
- Common carrier cancellations or delays.
- Labor strikes or car accidents.
- Hijacking, quarantine, or jury duty.
- Home or destination uninhabitable.
- Travel document theft or medical evacuation.
- Military duty or job loss.
- Terrorist acts or civil disorder.
If you or your travel companion contracts COVID-19, your travel insurance might cover cancellation for medical reasons. But, always check with your provider to be sure.
The COVID Conundrum
Is Coronavirus a Foreseen Event?
Purchased insurance after WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic? Your insurer might see it as a foreseen event, potentially not covered. Check with your provider about the "known" or "foreseeable" status dates and their impact on your coverage.
Due to the ever-changing pandemic landscape, many insurers now include coronavirus coverage. For instance, Allianz updated its plans in May 2021 to accommodate COVID-19-related claims.
Fear of Travel Clause
Most policies won't cover cancellations due to a "fear of travel." If you're scared to journey because of any sickness, you're likely out of luck. For ultimate flexibility, consider "Cancel For Any Reason" (CFAR) coverage.
Consider CFAR Travel Insurance
CFAR coverage allows you to cancel for any reason and get a partial refund (up to 75% of nonrefundable trip costs). It's an optional upgrade, so check with your provider about availability.
Credit Card Insurance
Premium travel credit cards often include trip insurance as a perk. While coverage limits may vary, it's worth checking. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card covers sickness-related cancellations but not a general fear of travel.
Travel Medical Insurance
If your trip doesn't involve nonrefundable costs, standalone travel health insurance might be your best bet. These policies focus on emergency medical expenses and evacuations.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I cancel due to a surge in coronavirus cases at my destination?
It depends. Fear of travel usually isn't covered, but with CFAR, you might get up to 75% of your nonrefundable deposit back.
2. Am I at risk for coronavirus if I travel?
Staying home is the safest, but if you travel, follow CDC precautions. Consider travel insurance or emergency medical insurance for added protection.
3. How can I be sure if my travel insurance covers COVID?
It's a personal decision. Understand your insurance and airline policies, especially regarding COVID-related losses, before making a purchase.