The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused worldwide panic, especially for travelers with upcoming trips to infected areas. The Yonder team has seen a sharp spike in calls surrounding concern about how the virus will affect their upcoming travel plans.
Here are the top three questions our friendly humans are being asked about the coronavirus 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 cancel your trip due to an outbreak, or fear of an outbreak of the coronavirus at your destination. Pandemics and epidemics are generally excluded from trip cancellation coverage. The virus was considered 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 coverage that is sure to provide some type of reimbursement to cancel would be a specific type of coverage called Cancel for Any Reason. This benefit allows you to cancel 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 provide coverage to cancel your trip due to a new medical condition that causes you to cancel 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 a virus 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 dates. 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 travel dates 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, 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, most 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.
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.