Coronavirus-related travel insurance policy updates

Keep up-to-date on the latest coverage alerts from major U.S. travel insurers.

Updated

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

InsurerDate of AlertContact DetailsCoverage Alert
Allianz TravelUpdated March 16, 20201-866-884-3556
customerservice@allianzassistance.com
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:
  1. Under Emergency Medical Care Benefit: Emergency medical care for a customer who becomes ill with COVID-19 while on their trip.
  2. Under Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption Benefits: Trip cancellation and trip interruption if a customer becomes ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip.

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.

Travel NomadsUpdated March 10, 20201-844-207-1930
serviceusa@worldnomads.com
Unlike other companies, World Nomads does not have an endemic or pandemic exclusion for policies purchased by U.S. residents, which means that you may make claims arising from the COVID-19 for the benefits specified in your policy.

These benefits include emergency medical and trip interruption coverage for you personally or a travel companion who contracts the COVID-19 or goes under quarantine when traveling. They also include travel delay coverage should your scheduled transportation be set back for at least six hours for say, a border closing or travel ban that has been announced during your trip. Things you may get reimbursed for include doctors’ visits and hospital stays, and certain pre-paid travel arrangements that get disrupted as a result of the infection or the delay of your common carrier.

If you unexpectedly catch COVID-19 at home before you leave for your trip, you may also be eligible for trip cancellation coverage, which represents compensation for any pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses such as flights, hotels and excursions.

Arch Roam RightUpdated April 16, 20201-877-686-7170
customerservice@roamright.com
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?
Like most travel insurance policies available, concern or fear of travel is not a covered event under our travel insurance policies, unless your Policy included Cancel For Any Reason (“CFAR”) upgrade.

Does my Policy cover trip cancellation or interruption because the Policyholder’s intended destination has reported incidents of COVID 19 or any other Pandemic?
Trip cancellation or interruption benefits are not available when the intended destination has reported incidents of COVID 19 or any other Pandemic, unless your Policy included a CFAR upgrade. A full list of unforeseen covered reasons for trip cancellation and trip interruption, along with general exclusions, is found in your policy document. We encourage you to file a claim that will be assessed in accordance with the facts of each case, your individual circumstances and the Policy language.

Does my Policy cover trip cancellation or interruption because the Policyholder’s intended destination is the subject of a CDC Travel Warning?
Trip cancellation or interruption benefits are not available because the intended destination is the subject of a CDC Travel Warning, unless your Policy included a CFAR upgrade. A full list of unforeseen covered reasons for trip cancellation and trip interruption, along with general exclusions, is found in your policy document. We encourage you to file a claim that will be assessed in accordance with the facts of each case, your individual circumstances and the Policy language.

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 the Policy was purchased on or before January 21, 2020, Trip cancellation or Trip interruption benefits may be available to cover expenses if the Policyholder is physically quarantined while traveling.

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?
If you depart on the trip and once you get there, you are quarantined, you may have coverage under Trip Interruption or under Travel Hazard if your trip delay is caused by or resulted from such an order, provided you purchased your policy prior to March 21st, 2020.

Seven CornersUpdated May 1, 20201-800-335-0611
sales@sevencorners.com
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.

Does RoundTrip Economy, Choice or Elite cover Trip Cancellations or Trip Interruptions because the country or state to which I plan to travel has closed its borders?
No. If you have a plan that includes coverage for Trip Cancellation and/or Trip Interruption, you must cancel or interrupt your trip due to a covered reason listed in the plan document.

However, if your plan includes Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR), benefits would be payable (subject to the standard rules that apply to CFAR).

I need to cancel my trip. Who do I contact first?
If you are cancelling or interrupting a trip, contact your airline, hotel, cruise line, or other travel providers before Seven Corners. Many of them are offering refunds and the option to reschedule trips.

Travel insurance covers nonrefundable trip expenses. To process claims, we must confirm you have expenses that will not or have not been refunded by your travel provider.

What if the airline cancels my flight due to the Coronavirus?
If the cancellation is due only to the Coronavirus, there is no coverage under the plan. There could be coverage if the airline cancellation was due to a covered reason in the plan. Review the list of Covered Reasons in your plan document to determine if one applies.

AIG logoUpdated March 31, 20201-800-826-5248AIG Travel is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and its potential impact on travel. While we will continue to provide periodic updates regarding travel safety, travelers should consult the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for the most up-to-date information on the Coronavirus outbreak.

Please note that due to the World Health Organization (WHO) announcement declaring Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, that as of, at the latest, March 11, 2020, COVID-19 is a foreseen event and certain coverages will not apply.

If you are considering canceling your trip due to the COVID-19, please read your insurance policy thoroughly. Generally, fear of travel is not a covered event under most of our policies.

Nonetheless, there may be additional options available to travelers whose plans have been impacted. Travelers planning to re-book their travel for later in the year may be able to modify their current insurance policy to apply to future travel.

Travelex Insurance Services logoUpdated April 28, 20201-800-228-9792
customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com
Travelex Insurance and our underwriter Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSIC) are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as it continues to evolve and impact travel worldwide. If an insured or Traveling Companion contracts the coronavirus or is physically quarantined while coverage is in effect, they are eligible for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption coverage. An insured may also be eligible for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption coverage if a non-traveling Family Member is diagnosed with the coronavirus and is considered life-threatening or they require the insured’s immediate care. If an insured’s Business Partner is diagnosed with the coronavirus and the insured must cancel or interrupt the trip to assume daily management of the business. In all scenarios, the sickness must be certified by a physician at the time of cancellation/interruption.

An insured is also eligible for Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage if the insured contracts the coronavirus while traveling.

It is important to note that fear of travel, travel advisories and destination being inaccessible due to this illness are not covered risks under the Travelex Insurance plans. However, insureds are still eligible for Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage in the event they are prevented from taking their trip due to one of the other reasons listed in their Travelex plan.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection logoMarch 12, 20201-844-411-2487
assist@bhtp.com
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.

HTH Travel Insurance LogoMarch 10, 20201-88-243-2358 for TravelGap, Global Student or Global Citizen policies
1-844-276-1213 for TripProtector
tripprotection@hthworldwide.com
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:
  • “An occurrence in a country or region that is part of the Trip that causes the United States Department of State to issue a travel warning that You should not travel within that country or region for a period of time that would include the Trip;”
  • “If the Center for Disease Control issues a travel warning that travel should be avoided to Your destination country or region for a period of time that would include Your Trip;”

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.

Travel Insured International logoUpdated April 27, 20201-855-752-8303
customercare@travelinsured.com
Should travelers become ill with the Coronavirus while traveling, coverage may be available for:

Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation: If travelers become ill with COVID-19 while traveling, claims will be considered on the same basis as any other covered sickness.

Trip Interruption: If a traveler has to leave their trip early because they become ill with COVID-19, claims may be paid under this benefit.There may be other eligible reasons to submit a claim if the coronavirus impacts your trip.

Cancel for Any Reason: Some travelers may prefer to cancel their trip out of concern for the Coronavirus. For insured travelers who purchased Cancel for Any Reason coverage, we remind you that cancellations must be made 48 or more hours prior to your scheduled departure date and payment is limited to 75% of the non-refundable trip cost up to the stated plan maximum limit.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption: An insured traveler must cancel or interrupt their trip due to a covered reason. One covered reason for Trip Cancellation or Interruption that could apply is quarantine.

There are additional triggers that could be implicated as well.

In addition, if your travel supplier cancels your trip, the Trip Cancellation benefit may pay for the reissue fee charged by the airline for the tickets. You must have insured the entire cost of your trip including the airfare cost.

Please note that not all plans will contain these coverages and the same covered reasons are not included in all plans.

Travel Delay: An insured traveler must be delayed for the time period specified in the plan document while en route to, from, or during a trip due to a covered reason – provided this coverage is included in your plan.

Missed Connection: If a delay causes you to miss a cruise or tour departure due to a covered reason, you may have coverage under Missed Connection – provided this coverage is included in your plan. The delay must meet the time period specified in your plan.

Every Travel Insured plan also includes Non-Insurance Emergency Travel Assistance Services available 24/7 to help travelers whenever they are in need of assistance during their trip.

GeoBlue LogoMarch 10, 20201-855-481-6647
customerservice@geo-blue.com
enrollment@geo-blue.com if you want to cancel your coverage
Medically-necessary COVID-19 Testing
To offer protection and resources to keep our members safe, we announced several steps in response to the outbreak. Effective immediately, the following resources are available to GeoBlue members enrolled in our fully-insured plans. Self-funded plans will be able to opt-out of this program:
  • GeoBlue will cover, with no cost-share to members, medically-necessary, prescribed diagnostic testing for the virus, known officially as COVID-19, consistent with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
  • This coverage includes the cost of the COVID-19 test, physician/doctor consultation fee and associated costs related to administering the COVID-19 test.
  • GeoBlue will waive prior authorizations for medically-necessary, prescribed tests and covered services related to COVID-19, consistent with CDC guidelines.
  • To help reduce potential exposure, GeoBlue encourages members to utilize our telemedicine service, Global TeleMD™, which provides 24/7 confidential access to a global network of doctors around the world via telephone or secure video call. Global TeleMD is available to GeoBlue’s corporate, scholastic and individual enrolled members at no additional cost. For a limited time, we are expanding access to Global TeleMD to Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Traveler members as well.
  • The above actions apply to all plans with medical benefits underwritten by 4 Ever Life Insurance Company or 4 Ever Life International Limited.

Impact to Short-term Plan Coverage of Eligible Members
No benefits are impacted with the exception of Trip Interruption coverage on the Voyager plans as noted below. For eligible members who contract COVID-19, GeoBlue short-term medical plans would cover eligible medical costs, including quarantine in a hospital/medical setting before it was a foreseen event. Preventive quarantine in a hotel, cruise ship or any other location would not be covered. The plan would cover medical evacuation if deemed medically appropriate for the illness/injury, subject to the usual plan provisions.

Impact to Long-term Coverage of Eligible Members
For existing members with long-term coverage, there is no impact. For new long-term applicants who have noted China or South Korea as the Host Country, there is currently a pend status in underwriting review.

Generali Global Assistance logoApril 30, 20201-800-874-2442
customerservice@generalitravelinsurance.com
The Coronavirus outbreak is considered a foreseeable event under any plans purchased on or after January 29, 2020. That means you could be covered if you are diagnosed with Coronavirus, but foreseeable events such as becoming quarantined due to the Coronavirus will not be covered. Please note, that plans will not cover fear of travel, unless you purchased Trip Cancellation for Any Reason coverage. In addition, some of the plans (including the Standard, Preferred, and Premium) exclude losses due to a pandemic. For plans that exclude losses due to a pandemic, there will be no coverage for this event for losses occurred on or after March 11, 2020, the date COVID-19 was formally declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Why it’s important to read the fine print of your policy

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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