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5 Things You Need to Know About Travel Insurance and COVID-19

5 Things You Need to Know About Travel Insurance and COVID-19

The novel coronavirus has changed many facets of daily life as health precautions and other prevention measures continue to change frequently. Although many countries are open to tourism again, travel restrictions are changing all the time. If you’re planning on traveling soon, let’s take an in-depth look at some facts and frequently asked questions, and ensure that you’re informed before you set out on your adventure.

1. Current travel bans and restrictions

Although most countries in Europe and Central America are open for tourism, travelers should be aware of the travel bans or restrictions that might impact their trips. Because the COVID-19 outbreak is a continually developing situation, these bans or restrictions could change from day to day, and it’s imperative that travelers look for any changes or announcements pertaining to travel limitations. This includes travel advisories from government officials and organizations including the CDC and World Health Organization, as well as notifications from airlines and other travel companies.

2. Event cancellations and business closures

Travelers should also look into the possibility that the event, conference or meeting that they plan to attend has been canceled. In many areas of the United States and abroad, large-scale events are being postponed or rescheduled, so that citizens can follow recommendations to avoid large gatherings.

Schools and businesses including restaurants, bars, dentist offices and other organizations may be experiencing closures in accordance with new Covid recommendations, especially in lieu of the spread of the Delta variant.

These types of cancellations or closures may affect the nature of your trip, and may require an adjustment to your itinerary or a cancellation.

3. What to do if you can’t cancel or postpone travel

Although unforeseen elements like travel restrictions or an event cancellation may prevent some people from traveling, there are certain situations in which travel simply can’t be postponed or moved. For instance, people traveling specifically for medical treatment, or those traveling to provide support for family members in an emergency may need to maintain their plans.

As the Covid outbreak and vaccine rollout progresses, recommendations pertaining to travel in certain areas will likely change. While coronavirus-related elements may not impact your trip and you may be able to freely travel, there are certain preventive measures and precautions you should take to ensure your health and safety, including washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

4. How travel insurance works during the pandemic

During this type of global public health emergency, it’s more important than ever before for travelers to have the right travel medical insurance and trip insurance to comprehensively cover their journeys. Although the details of certain policies from different travel insurance providers may have been changed or adjusted in light of the coronavirus outbreak, travel medical insurance and trip insurance—including particularly trip insurance with “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage—is still a smart investment.

Some things to know about your trip and travel medical insurance include:

  • What each type of policy covers: Travel medical insurance provides coverage for health issues during a trip, including things like illness, injury and accidents. Trip insurance, on the other hand, provides protection against financial losses in the event that the trip must be cancelled, is interrupted, delayed or otherwise impacted. Different travel insurance and trip insurance policies will provide varying levels of coverage and not all policies cover the same events or instances. Check out this article to learn more.
  • Will my trip insurance cover me? If you have a trip insurance policy that includes the optional “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage, you may be covered in the event that you need to cancel your trip due to coronavirus concerns. However, travelers should always double check this with their trip insurance provider, as many providers are eliminating the availability of this coverage currently.
  • Will my travel medical insurance cover me? If you are traveling internationally, your regular domestic healthcare will most likely not provide you with health service coverage. In these instances, your travel medical insurance can help ensure that you don’t have to pay for healthcare services out of pocket while abroad. However, travel insurance coverage in light of the coronavirus outbreak may have changed, depending on when the policy was purchased. Travel insurance policies may not cover travelers or may be limited if they purchased their insurance after Covid became a “named event.” In other instances, coverage may be limited due to travel advisories or restrictions. Similar to trip insurance coverage, it’s best for travelers to check with their travel insurance provider to get the most up-to-date information about their coverage availability.
  • Can I adjust or cancel my travel insurance? This is another element that can change according to the insurance company providing the policy. However, if travelers want to cancel their policy before the start date, they are typically permitted to do so.

For more information about trip insurance and travel insurance and how coverage may be affected by Covid, check out our main coronavirus information page.

5. Prevention and safety while traveling

In addition to having the right travel insurance that provides health coverage, travelers should also follow common-sense health and safety tips. During travel, practices like frequent hand washing, avoiding touching one’s face and social distancing can help reduce the spread of Covid. Be sure to follow other prevention and precaution tips from the CDC, including recommendations for traveling within the United States or abroad.

Check out our other Covid resources, available here on our website, for the most up-to-date information about traveling safely. And before your next trip, connect with us about a travel insurance policy.

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