Does Travel Insurance Cover COVID-19?
Travel insurance often can provide coverage if you contract Covid-19 before or during your trip, or if a government body changes the status or guidelines due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the region. Continue reading to learn how travel insurance can protect your vacation plans.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed your travel plans in 2020? Are you worried your 2021 vacation plans will be impacted by the ongoing pandemic and the rush for a widespread vaccination? Travel medical insurance can help reimburse expenses for medical care, but will it cover COVID-19 related occurrences?
Does Travel Insurance Cover COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a covered illness for trip cancellations and delays on most travel insurance plans. For example, many travel insurance carriers will provide coverage if you contract COVID-19 before your trip and need to cancel. If you become ill with COVID-19 while traveling, there may be coverage for medical expenses or medical evacuation, too. Additionally, if your trip is delayed because of changes in guidelines and statutes due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there may be travel insurance coverage depending on the travel advisories in the area.
What is excluded from travel insurance related to COVID-19?
If your travel supplier (hotel, airline, tour company, travel agent) cancels your trip due to concerns of coronavirus or if there is a Level 4 Government Travel Advisory or restriction preventing you from reaching your destination, that is generally not covered. Fear of travel due to COVID-19 ahead of a trip is also excluded under a travel insurance policy. The broadest and best international travel insurance policies previously provided an upgrade which would allow reimbursement of a portion of your trip for any reason. However, many insurers are limiting this coverage or stopping coverage altogether due to the pandemic.
Travel insurance costs start at $60 per trip to $350-500 annually, depending on the policy type and coverage. Travel medical insurance is a small investment that can provide a considerable value for you, while also eliminating headaches and stress. It is vital to consult with a licensed insurance advisor that can help coordinate the right plan for you.
What does travel insurance commonly cover?
Travel medical insurance isn’t the only travel insurance option. Most travel insurance covers much of the same inconveniences, beyond medical ones. Below are some of the most common concerns to travelers.
- Trip interruptions or cancellations
- Travel delays
- Medical expenses for illnesses, accidents, or injuries while abroad
- Concierge services, lost baggage, thefts, and more
1. Trip interruptions or cancellations
When travel plans are delayed or cancelled, it can be a headache. Travel insurance typically covers the cost of your trip if it is cancelled due to illness, injury, accidents, or inclement weather. Coverage can range from $10,000 to $50,000 for international travel. Domestic travel coverage limits are generally lower.
2. Travel delays
Flight delays can be a common occurrence for frequent travelers. Travel insurance covers additional expenses such as meals and temporary hotels if certain travel delays last longer than five hours. Unforeseen events such as bad weather and mechanical events are common examples. Coverage limits vary starting around $250 per day, depending on your policy.
3. Medical expenses for illnesses, accidents, or injuries while abroad
Picture this: you are hiking abroad, slip on a fallen rock, and break your leg. Did you know that most health insurance plans don’t cover you when traveling overseas? That leaves you footing the bill for X-rays, hospital fees, physicians, and surgeries, unless you carry adequate travel insurance. Additional coverages for medical evacuation are also available with travel insurance. These services can find safe transportation to hospitals and medical care. In early 2021, celebrity and activist Ashley Judd broke her leg in the Congo. She credits her travel insurance for saving her life.
4. Concierge services, lost baggage, thefts, and more
Most reputable travel insurance carriers have 24/7 travel assistance that can coordinate anything from lost baggage to connecting you with a reputable medical provider. Developing countries may lack access to effective medications and medical care services. Concierge services offered by many travel insurance providers can guide you to ensure your care is adequate for your situation. They can also help you locate translation services and assist with contacting government authorities or police departments when you need help.