November 2, 2020 - Meagan Palmer
Last Updated: 1/06/2022
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.
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 costs 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 a covered reason under trip cancellation unless you have Cancel for Any Reason coverage.
If you’re 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 for cancellation coverage to apply.
There’s a COVID-19 outbreak at my destination, can I cancel my trip?
As pandemics are general exclusions, there would not be coverage unless you purchased Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance within the time-sensitive period of 1-21 days within your first trip deposit.
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 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, 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 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.
Does travel insurance cover cancellation due to 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 non-medical COVID-19 cancellations) and receive a portion of your trip costs back.
Since Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance 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:
Is there Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance for New York residents?
Most providers don’t offer Cancel for Any Reason (CFAF) coverage to residents of New York. However, travel supplier partners such as cruise lines, tour operators, and travel agencies can provide residents of New York a non-insurance Cancel for Any Reason Waiver. Check with your travel supplier partner if you purchased a plan with them to see if they offer a non-insurance CFAR Waiver.
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.
Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to work time off being revoked?
Some travel insurance 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 workplace that prohibited you from taking your trip.
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 of these medical expenses.
Does travel insurance protect against travel advisories?
No, unfortunately, this would be considered a foreseen event and is not likely to be covered, unless you have Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance.
My destination country’s border is 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 its 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.
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.
Will travel insurance cover a missed flight?
If you miss a flight due to a flight delay, bad weather, natural disaster or even quarantine, benefits under travel loss/delay, trip interruption, or trip cancellation could apply.
Is travel insurance required at my destination?
Some countries require travelers to purchase travel insurance to cover the costs should they contract COVID-19 during their trip. Most destinations don’t require a specific amount of coverage, just that it lists coverage for COVIVD-19 medical events. However, being informed about your destination’s insurance requirements is important to being able to enjoy your trip.
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.
Will travel insurance cover quarantine costs if I contract COVID-19 before or during my trip?
Quarantine could trigger coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, missed connection, or travel delay. Please see the examples below (coverage varies per provider).
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.
When to claim reimbursement under your travel insurance?
If things didn’t go according to plan during your trip and you experienced a financial loss or a travel or medical emergency, you can file a claim for reimbursement of those unexpected costs once you return home.
How many days do I have to claim travel insurance benefits?
Each policy is a bit different, but usually, you must notify your travel insurance company you are going to file a claim soon after the loss occurred. You’ll then have a longer amount of time to submit your supporting documentation along with your claim form to the travel insurance company for review. Check your policy documents or reach out to the Yonder team for more specific timelines.
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 due to COVID-19, 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!
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% of your trip cost back.
If you have concerns about 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 medical coverage if you were to contract COVID-19 during your trip.
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 documentation.
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?
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 coverage 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.
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!