Everything You Need To Know About COVID-19 & Travel Insurance

Last Updated: 11/02/2020

The current pandemic has caused many trips to be cancelled and interrupted. Even future trips are affected, causing uneasy travel planning. Below you’ll find frequently asked questions from our customers.

Please note: Benefits and coverage may vary by provider and policy. Reach out to the friendly humans at Yonder with specific policy questions.

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Cancellation Questions

COVID-19 Coverage Questions

Quarantine Coverage Questions

Claims Questions

Future Travel Planning Questions

COVID-19 Cancellation Questions

Can I cancel my trip for fear of contracting COVID-19?

Under a policy with standard trip cancellation coverage, fear of travel is not covered. If you purchase a specific benefit called Cancel for Any Reason, you may cancel your trip for any reason at all and receive a portion (usually 75%) of your trip cost back.

My doctor advises against me traveling due to higher risks of contracting COVID-19, will my trip be covered if I cancel?

Unfortunately, if your doctor is concerned about your age and underlying medical condition(s) causing increased risk while traveling, it is unlikely to be covered unless you have Cancel for Any Reason coverage.

If your concerned a pre-existing condition may unexpectedly worsen prior to or during your trip, purchasing a policy with a pre-existing conditions waiver is also a good measure of protection. Pre-Existing conditions are normally excluded under comprehensive policies. But again, this waiver would not provide coverage if your doctor is recommending you don’t travel due to your condition or age. This would have to be an unforeseen new or worsening condition.

There’s a COVID-19 outbreak at my destination, can I cancel my trip?

As pandemics are general exclusions, there would not be coverage.

Am I covered if I contract COVID-19 before my trip?

Since COVID-19 is considered an illness by most providers, trip cancellation coverage may apply if you were to contract COVID-19 prior to your departure date. It’s likely you’ll need documentation from a doctor providing proof of the illness and advisement against travel. Please read the statements from the top travel insurance providers to see how each are providing coverage during the pandemic.

My airline cancelled my flight, causing me to cancel the rest of my trip –is that covered?

This is not a covered reason under trip cancellation for most travel insurance providers. Some providers, like Travel Insured International, will allow you to claim for the reissue fee charged by the airline for the new tickets.

My trip was cancelled by the travel supplier. Can I use my policy on a future trip?

Usually as long as you don’t have an open claim and your departure date hasn’t passed, you can change the date on your policy to that of a future trip. No travel plans yet? Not to worry –many providers allow you to request a travel insurance voucher, like Generali and Travel Insured International, in which you can redeem for a future trip.

My trip was cancelled by the travel supplier. Can I get a refund on my policy?

Usually, you can only cancel your policy and receive a refund if you cancel within 10-14 days after purchase. However, some providers are being flexible if you don’t plan on traveling in the future. You must usually provide proof of a full reimbursement from your travel suppliers to qualify for a refund. Be aware that some travel insurance providers are only allowing vouchers at this time.

What policy would provide cancellation coverage for COVID-19?

The benefit called Cancel for Any Reason is currently the most flexible cancellation policy in the travel insurance industry in which you can cancel for any reason at all (including COVID-19 travel concerns) and receive a portion of your trip cost back.

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Since Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) allows cancellations due to COVID-19, how am I eligible to purchase that coverage?

There are usually three requirements to meet to receive CFAR coverage:

  • You must purchase the policy with CFAR within 14-21 days of your initial trip deposit.
  • You must insure 100% of your nonrefundable trip costs under the policy (ex. prepaid tours, prepaid hotels, prepaid flights).
  • You must cancel your travel plans at least two days prior to your scheduled departure date.

Does travel insurance cover cancellation due to bankruptcy or financial default?

Yes, some policies do include cancellation coverage if your travel supplier were to become bankrupt or financially default. Be sure to purchase early, as some policies require you to purchase soon after you make your first deposit towards the trip. Look for this coverage in select plans from AXA Assistance, Arch RoamRight, iTravelInsured, and Travel Insured International.

If my visa weren’t to arrive by my departure date, will my trip be covered if I cancel?

No, a delayed travel document is not typically a covered reason under trip cancellation for most travel insurance policies. However, if you purchased a policy with Cancel for Any Reason coverage, you would be able to cancel your trip at least two days prior to your departure date and get the majority of your trip expenses back.

COVID-19 Coverage Questions

Is becoming ill with COVID-19 covered by travel insurance?

For most travel insurance providers, COVID-19 is treated as any other illness. This means that trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical expense and medical evacuation coverage could apply.

Am I covered if I contract COVID-19 while I’m on my trip?

Since COVID-19 is considered an illness and treated as such, coverage could apply for medical costs during your trip like hospital stays, treatments, prescriptions, ambulance transportation, and even emergency medical evacuation. Once you return home, you may file a claim for reimbursement.

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Does travel insurance cover travel advisories?

No, unfortunately this would be considered a foreseen event and is not likely to be covered.

My destination country’s border closed, what coverage is available?

Without purchasing Cancel for Any Reason coverage, it’s not likely you could claim for trip cancellation or trip interruption if the destination country has closed it’s borders.

COVID-19 has impacted my job or work, is there coverage available?

Some plans include trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage if you were to be laid off or fired from your job before your trip departure. Your policy must have been effective at the time of the loss for coverage to apply. In addition, you might need to provide proof of the loss from your employer.

Some policies also include coverage if your approved time off for your trip was revoked, requiring you to work during your trip. There is also a coverage called Cancel for Work Reasons, in which you can cancel your trip if there was an unexpected event that occurred at your work place that prohibited you from taking your trip.

Can my policy coverage be extended?

Not usually, unless you have a travel medical only policy. Comprehensive policies cannot be purchased while traveling, therefore you wouldn’t be able to purchase additional comprehensive coverage for your current trip while traveling. However, if there was an unforeseen event that cause you to be quarantined or medically treated, for example, some providers allow additional days for the coverage to be extended in specific cases. Check with your policy documents and specific provider for details.

Quarantine Coverage Questions

How is “quarantine” defined by travel insurance companies?

In most cases, quarantine is usually defined as a government mandated or doctor imposed isolation with the intent to keep you from spreading a disease. Self-isolation is not considered a quarantine. For some providers, the quarantine is only covered if you are confined for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of your quarantine.

What coverage is available if I’m quarantined?

Quarantine could trigger coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, missed connection, or travel delay. Please see examples below (coverage varies per provider).

  • If you were quarantined prior to your departure due to an illness and this causes you to cancel your trip, you could file a claim under trip cancellation coverage due to quarantine to be reimbursed for your unused trip expenses.
  • If you were quarantined during your trip due to an illness, causing you to miss the remainder of your trip and prepaid costs, you could file a claim under trip interruption benefits.
  • If you missed your cruise’s departure due to your quarantine after falling ill, you could file a claim for reimbursement of the additional cost to meet up at your next port under missed connection coverage.
  • If you were quarantined due to an illness on your way to, during, or from your destination and had to make additional payments for hotels, meals, and local transportation, you could file a claim under travel delay benefits.

My destination country requires a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Can I cancel my trip because of that?

Some policies, like those from iTravelInsured, will allow you to cancel your trip if you face a mandatory quarantine upon arrival. However, this is not the case with all providers, so purchasing Cancel for Any Reason coverage could be a wise choice.

Will my travel insurance cover the required quarantine lodging expense at my destination country?

This is a new requirement from several countries and travel insurance providers are working to add coverage to accommodate this! Stay tuned.

Claims Questions

How can I help my claim be processed quickly?

It’s best to file a claim right after your trip if something went wrong. Usually each policy has a designated time to file the claim. Also, it’s important the make sure you submit all the required documentation requested by the provider. A claims analyst will use this documentation to determine the outcome of your claim, so the more, the better! Submitting your claim online can usually expedite the process –you can find this on the provider’s website.

Why is my claim taking so long to process?

Even if you’ve done all the suggestions above, sometimes claims can take time to process. They are analyzed on a case-by-case basis after all! Usually, claims can take up to 30 days to process. However, with so many trips cancelled this year, that means a lot of claims that some providers are still catching up with.

If it’s been a while since you’ve filed your claim and you haven’t received any notice from the provider about progress, it might be a good idea to reach out to them to check the status of the claim. Or if you’ve purchased your travel insurance policy with Yonder, reach out to our team and we’d be happy to look into it for you!

Future Trip Planning Questions

What coverage should I be looking for when booking future travel?

The most flexible cancellation coverage in the travel insurance industry is called Cancel for Any Reason. This allows you to cancel your trip for any reason at all and receive 50%-75% or your trip cost back.

If you have concerns of your travel suppliers going bankrupt, purchasing a policy with Bankruptcy or Financial Default coverage could protect your trip investment.

Having COVID-19 medical coverage is also vital, since your major medical health insurance likely won’t provide coverage outside the States. Look for policies that contain coverage if you were to contract COVID-19 during your trip.

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How can I show proof of COVID-19 coverage for my future trip?

If you’re looking for a document proving your travel insurance policy contains COVID-19 medical coverage, not all providers will be able to offer you that. Instead, you can use your policy description. If that’s not enough, you can go to the provider’s website and screenshot the COVID-19 coverage language from their Coronavirus FAQ page for additional proof.

I’ve only paid for part of my trip, but plan on making additional payments in the future –do I insure the full cost of the trip or only what I’ve paid thus far?

It would be best to insure what you’ve paid towards your trip so far. Once you make additional payments, you can reach out to our team or your provider to increase your coverage and pay the difference in premium.

Do I really need to buy travel insurance for my domestic or short trip?

Traveling in any capacity, whether far away or not, poses many risks. For instance, if you’re flying, your bags could get lost or you flight delayed. Another example is if you have a high medical deductible, you can submit medical claims to your travel insurance company if you fall ill or injured on your trip. Not convinced? Check out more reasons why you should get travel insurance for a domestic trip.

What should I do after I purchase travel insurance?

  • Make sure you receive your full policy description and confirmation of purchase.
  • Double-check your name spelling and verify all other information is correct on your policy documents, especially your trip cost and travel dates.
  • If you do make any other payments towards your trip, make sure you increase the amount insured under your policy so if anything were to happen, your full trip cost is protected.
  • Also, make sure you program the emergency assistance phone number into your phone. That way, if you do experience an emergency during your trip, it’s one less step to getting the help you need.

What’s the most flexible cancellation coverage available?

The add-on benefit called Cancel for Any Reason is your best option. It essentially waives any exclusions to the trip cancellation terms of your policy. It allows you to receive a majority of your trip cost back if you do decide to cancel –as long as you cancel at least two days prior to your departure.

Can I purchase a CFAR policy if my trip has now been rebooked?

If your original deposit date is more than 21 days ago, you likely can’t purchase CFAR. Even if your trip was rebooked with your travel supplier, the trip deposit date doesn’t change. However, you could be eligible to purchase CFAR if you get a full reimbursement from your travel supplier and rebook with all new payments. This creates a new trip deposit date and allows you to purchase within the 21 days of that new date.

What’s Next?

We know that planning a future trip can be tricky –planning one during a pandemic adds a whole other level of difficulty! If you have any additional questions or need help finding the right kind of policy, our team of friendly humans is happy to help!

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