February 28, 2020 - Beckah Ripley
Last Updated on 5/25/2021
The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a worldwide shutdown of almost all travel. We’ve addressed the top questions our team has been receiving below but you may click through the following links to review our providers’ official position statements regarding coverage available for your travel insurance policy.
Here are the top questions our friendly humans are being asked about COVID-19 and how travel insurance applies in situations like this.
If you already have a travel insurance policy, there is limited trip cancellation coverage if you choose to annul your trip due to a pandemic or fear of an outbreak of COVID-19 at your destination. Pandemics and epidemics are generally excluded from trip cancellation coverage. The virus was determined a “foreseen” event as early as January 21 and each major travel insurance providers have released position statements regarding even more restrictions since that date.
The only type of trip cancellation coverage that is sure to supply some type of reimbursement to cancel due to the pandemic would be a specific type of coverage called Cancel for Any Reason. This benefit allows you to call off your trip for any reason at all and receive a 50-75% refund of your insured trip cost. To qualify for this benefit, the traveler must 1) purchase their policy within 14-21 days from the initial deposit or payment date, 2) insure all their non refundable trip expenses, and 3) cancel at least 48 hours prior to their departure date.
Most travel insurance policies would still grant coverage if you develop a new health condition that causes you to call off your trip. You may also be covered to cancel or interrupt your trip if you are quarantined or subject to a mandatory evacuation issued by the government. Medical expenses or emergency medical evacuations would likely be covered if you were to contract COVID-19 during your trip.
If you do not have a claim open under your current travel insurance policy, you likely will be able to change the travel dates on your current policy to your rescheduled travel time. Reach out to our team to help you make this change.
If you don’t have your trip rescheduled yet, but know it’s in the works, your travel dates can be changed to the estimated new travel dates. Once you nail down the exact time of travel for your postponed trip, your scheduled travel can be changed again to reflect that.
If you know for a fact you won’t be able to reschedule your trip and use your travel insurance policy, some travel insurance companies are being extra flexible in their cancellation policy. Usually, there’s a 10-14 day free look period in which you can review the policy and if you aren’t satisfied, you can cancel the policy and receive a refund. However, due to the circumstances, some providers are able to cancel and refund your policy if you can show proof you’ve received a full refund (including the deposit) of all your trip costs from your travel suppliers. Other travel insurance companies are offering vouchers in which you can use your travel insurance policy on a future trip within the next 1-3 years.
If you have yet to purchase travel insurance and are concerned about an upcoming trip, make sure to check with an expert first to ensure you’re purchasing a policy that will provide the coverage you need. The friendly humans at Yonder can always be reached at 855-358-6433 or [email protected], 8:30am – 5:00pm CT, M-F.