Coronavirus-related travel insurance policy updates
Keep up-to-date on the latest coverage alerts from major U.S. travel insurers.
This story was updated on March 16, 2020 to highlight ongoing travel insurance policy alerts. You can read the original report below the table.
COVID-19 has had a widespread effect on travel, with flight and cruise cancellations and the CDC advising against all non-essential travel to the areas affected by the coronavirus. Most of the major travel insurance companies across the US have issued alerts that explain what is and isn’t covered, from trip cancellation benefits to medical evacuation coverage, and updating those alerts as the news evolves.
Find out if your insurer will reimburse you for cancelling or changing your upcoming travel due to the coronavirus.
Coverage alerts from major travel companies in the US
|Insurer||Date of Alert||Contact Details||Coverage Alert|
|Updated Feb 8, 2021||1-866-884-3556|
|The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19, “Coronavirus”) is a known and rapidly evolving epidemic that is affecting travel worldwide, with continued spread and impacts expected. COVID-19 became a known event on January 22, 2020 and was recognized as an epidemic as of February 3, 2020. Claims due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, or fear of travel are generally not covered, and coverage can vary by state. However, until further notice, although not covered under most plans, we are currently accommodating claims for:|
These accommodations are strictly applicable to COVID-19 and are only available for customers whose plan includes the applicable benefit. All other terms, conditions, and exclusions of the plan apply as normal.
|Updated Jan 7, 2021||1-844-207-1930|
|World Nomads travel Protection Plan purchased by U.S. residents may provide coverage for specified benefits if you test positive for the COVID-19 virus.|
These benefits may include emergency medical, emergency medical evacuation, trip delay and trip interruption coverage if you contract COVID-19 while traveling.
You may also be eligible for trip cancellation coverage for pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses such as flights, hotels and excursions covered by your Travel Protection Plan as part of your covered trip, if after you purchase your Travel Protection Plan, your doctor advises you that you are unfit to travel on your scheduled departure date due to being diagnosed with COVID-19.
|Updated Feb. 12 2021||1-877-686-7170|
|As of January 21, 2020, the Coronavirus became a known event and was recognized as an epidemic as of February 3, 2020. As such, the Coronavirus outbreak is considered a foreseeable event under any plans purchased on or after January 21, 2020.|
Does my Policy cover trip cancellation or interruption because of fear of travel due to the Coronavirus?
Does my Policy cover trip cancellation or interruption because the Policyholder’s intended destination has reported incidents of COVID 19 or any other Pandemic?
Does my Policy cover trip cancellation or interruption because the Policyholder’s intended destination is the subject of a CDC Travel Warning?
Does my Policy cover expenses if the Policyholder is physically quarantined while travelling, whether there is an operable forseeability date triggering or precluding said coverage?
If I am travelling to a US State that has implemented that inbound travelers are required to self quarantine for 14 days or the duration of my visit, whichever is shorter, do I have coverage?
|Updated Jan 7, 2021||1-800-335-0611|
|What if the country I am traveling to will place me in quarantine when I arrive at my destination? Can I cancel or interrupt my trip to avoid this?|
If the government of a country you are traveling to is requiring all travelers to the country to be quarantined for a period of time upon entry into the country, you may be eligible to cancel your trip if the quarantine you would face is in effect within 14 days of your scheduled departure date.
Or, if you have already departed on your trip but have not yet entered the country that is requiring all arriving travelers to be quarantined, you may be able to interrupt your trip if the quarantine you would face is in effect within 14 days of your scheduled arrival in that country.
The RoundTrip plans include quarantine as a covered reason for trip cancellation, trip interruption, missed connection, and travel delay. What is considered a covered quarantine?
A “self-quarantine” would not be covered.
A “shelter in place” order would also likely not apply. If a government or legally qualified physician orders you to remain in your home, this can be considered a quarantine if the order to shelter in place applies twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week throughout the duration of the order. If there are exceptions that permit you to leave your home to obtain necessary provisions or food, et., during certain hours of the day, this is not considered to be a quarantine.
|Updated March 2, 2021||1-800-826-5248||I want to cancel my travel plans because I’m afraid to travel due to the COVID-19. Am I covered?|
Trip cancellation that is due solely to concern or fear of travel even if associated with sickness, epidemic or pandemic, including COVID-19, is not covered.
If the cancellation of your trip is not covered, you may be eligible for an insurance premium refund or a travel insurance voucher.
I have upcoming travel. Will I be able to cancel my trip and be reimbursed?
|Updated Feb 8, 2021||1-800-228-9792|
|What if I contract coronavirus while traveling?|
If you or a traveling companion contract coronavirus while traveling, and it is diagnosed by a physician, you could be eligible for trip interruption, trip delay, emergency medical and medical evacuation coverage.
Trip interruption provides coverage for the unused portion of your prepaid non-refundable expenses as well as any additional transportation expenses you may incur to return home or re-join your trip.
Trip delay provides coverage for any additional expenses you may incur, such as hotel and meals, if a physician orders you to physically quarantine while on a trip and you are delayed by it.
Emergency medical and evacuation provides coverage for medical expenses incurred while treating the coronavirus and emergency evacuation if medically necessary.
What type of coverage would I have if I am quarantined while on my trip?
|March 12, 2020||1-844-411-2487|
|Trip Cancellation coverage: Reimbursement for trip cancellation due to concern or fear of travel associated with sickness, epidemic, or pandemic is not covered. Also excluded from trip cancellation benefits are any travel advisories, government regulation or prohibition for travel, and your destination being inaccessible due to this illness.|
Your travel insurance policy still includes trip cancellation coverage for many reasons listed in your policy including any serious injury, death or sickness. For example, if you contract the coronavirus and you are deemed by a doctor unfit to travel before your trip, you may be eligible for trip cancellation coverage. Please read the policy for a complete list and explanation of coverage, limitations, and exclusions.
Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage: Travelers who purchase CFAR coverage, which typically costs around 40% more than the plan’s quoted rate, may be eligible for reimbursement of up to 50% of their non-reimbursable total trip cost. CFAR is a time-sensitive coverage and you may only be eligible if you purchase CFAR at the time of your base policy purchase, insure your full trip cost, and cancel more than 48 hours prior to departure.
It is important to note other travel insurance benefits included in your comprehensive travel insurance plan still apply when traveling:
Emergency Medical coverage: Can provide coverage if you get sick or injured on your trip, including if the traveler were to contract the coronavirus and require treatment while on their trip.
Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage: can provide coverage if it is determined by a medical provider that a sick traveler requires an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest hospital or back home.
Trip Interruption:: can provide coverage if it is determined by a medical provider that a sick traveler cannot continue with a trip and must return home. If you are quarantined during your trip as a result of coronavirus, you may be covered under trip interruption for expenses up to the limit of coverage in your specific plan.
|March 10, 2020||1-88-243-2358 for TravelGap, Global Student or Global Citizen policies|
1-844-276-1213 for TripProtector
|On January 23, 2020, the United States State Department issued a travel warning not to travel to China due to the Coronavirus. The World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a Global Health Warning on January 30, 2020.As a result, the Coronavirus is no longer an unforeseen event for travel to China starting on January 24th, 2020, and for travel worldwide starting on January 31st, 2020. This means the Trip Protector policies do not provide trip cancellation nor trip interruption coverage for the following perils as it relates to this known event:|
All other benefits and perils will continue to be adjudicated per the wording as issued to each insured. If a Traveler is quarantined while on their trip due to the Coronavirus, their travel insurance policy will continue to be in effect during their quarantine.
|Updated March 4, 2021||1-855-752-8303|
|Is COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) treated the same as other sicknesses under the terms of the Plan?|
Yes. COVID-19 is treated that same as any other sickness for purposes of all coverages that are triggered by
Do limitations and exclusions apply to claims for losses caused by COVID-19 related sicknesses? Does the Exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions apply to losses caused by COVID-19 related sicknesses? Can the Waiver of the Exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions apply to COVID-19 related sicknesses?
The same limitations and exclusions that apply to all claims also apply to claims for losses caused by COVID19 related sicknesses, including the Exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions (where applicable). Please note that the same rules that determine whether a sickness is considered to be a Pre-Existing Condition also apply to COVID-19.
|March 4, 2021||1-855-481-6647|
firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to cancel your coverage
|Will GeoBlue provide coverage and waive cost-sharing for the COVID-19 test?|
Coverage: The claim will be covered in any of the following circumstances:
Testing that is not medically necessary or is required as a prerequisite for work, school or entry into country is not covered.
As of January 1, 2021, existing plan rules apply where there may be cost sharing for a COVID-19 test. Please consult your Certificate of Coverage for more information on co-pays, deductibles, coverage and benefits.
Are members covered if they contract COVID-19?
Medically necessary treatment for COVID-19 is covered as an Illness under GeoBlue Voyager and Trekker plans, up to age 95. As of January 1st, 2021, medically-necessary COVID-19 treatment is covered, however the policy deductible applies (if applicable).
GeoBlue Navigator and Xplorer plans
|Updated Feb 8, 2021||1-800-874-2442|
|If I buy a travel insurance plan now, how can it help if COVID-19 affects my trip?|
If you, a family member or a traveling companion are diagnosed with COVID-19 before or during your trip, and meet the requirements for coverage due to sickness, you can be covered for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Travel Delay, Medical & Dental, and Emergency Assistance & Transportation, in addition to our 24/7 Emergency Assistance services.
My trip has been canceled. What can I do with the travel insurance plan I bought?
If you were scheduled to depart on your trip between January 29, 2020, and March 31, 2021, and have not departed and will not travel or file a claim, you may be eligible for a travel insurance policy voucher to use at a later date. You can apply for a voucher now even if you have not yet scheduled a new trip.
We’ll update this page as new statements are released.
What do to if your travel insurance company hasn’t issued an alert
There are a few things you can do to learn if you’re covered:
- Check if you have CFAR coverage. You would have had to purchase this rider when you bought the policy, so search your original confirmation email to confirm it’s there.
- Read your policy documents. Look for an exclusion relating to epidemics and pandemics — if your policy has one, it likely won’t pay out if you cancel or change your trip due to the coronavirus. And if you’re already on your trip, see if your policy has medical evacuation coverage that could help you get medical assistance if you contract COVID-19 while traveling.
- Contact your travel insurance company. Call the number listed on your policy documents, or head to your insurer’s site to find their contact details. Since the news about COVID-19 is still evolving, you may experience a longer wait time for responses.
Original report (March 4, 2020)
CDC advises Americans to avoid all travel to China’s Hubei province
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 4 Travel Warning to China’s Hubei province on Monday, Jan. 27. It also issued a Level 3 Alert against all non-essential travel to China. The U.S. Department of State reinforced the warning, urging Americans to “reconsider travel” to the country because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It went on to say that older adults and those with underlying health issues are at the highest risk for contracting the disease, which is spread through coughing, sneezing or touching an infected person.
The department ordered all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their families to leave the Hubei province Monday, saying the U.S. government doesn’t have the resources to offer emergency services to citizens in the area.
The outbreak began in Wuhan in December 2019, and Chinese authorities were reporting 2,000 cases and 56 deaths throughout China as of Jan. 28, according to the New York Times. Authorities have suspended all air, rail and bus travel to and from Wuhan in an effort to contain the coronavirus.
If you must travel to China, the department advised steering clear of sick people and avoiding animals and animal products — including uncooked meat.
Cases of coronavirus in the United States
There were five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., the CDC told Reuters on Jan. 26. All five people had recently traveled to the country from Wuhan, China. They are located in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and Seattle.
So far, reports have stated that airports in New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD) and Atlanta (ATL) have screened 2,400 passengers from Wuhan for the symptoms of coronavirus.
The disease presents as the flu and can also cause pneumonia. Its symptoms include fever, sore throat and respiratory issues.
What this means for American travel to China
Typically, the Lunar New Year Holiday, which began on Sunday, is one of China’s busiest travel periods. Last year, tourism revenue reached $78 billion during the week of the festival, according to the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
But not this year. The Chinese government has ordered China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China to cancel flights to and from Wuhan and give prospective passengers full refunds. Additionally, American Airlines and Delta Airlines are offering full refunds to passengers up until January 31, while United Airlines has extended the deadline to February 7, Forbes reported.
If you have an upcoming trip to China, check with your airline to see if your flight is still scheduled. It’s also a good idea to confirm your coverage with your travel insurance company. Some providers won’t offer coverage related to a specific threat — such as the coronavirus — until it becomes a “known event.” For example, Allianz put the disease on its list of uncovered events on Jan. 22.
Unless your policy has a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) clause, your provider might not pay out for passengers who travel to China and contract coronavirus despite the warning.
Picture: Getty Images
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