With Coronavirus continuing to spread globally, many are wondering what to do about upcoming vacations. Do you cancel them? Reschedule? How do you know when to reschedule the trip when there’s no seen end for the virus? Many look toward travel insurance to help them during global issues such as this, but in truth, there’s a lot of grey areas. Here are seven things to know about travel insurance and coronavirus.
What To Know About The Coronavirus And Travel Insurance
Will travel insurance cover a cancelled holiday?
Chances are, no. More often than not, coverage will only kick in if all but essential travel is advised against. For example, the current limitations on travelling to China would justify coverage. However, cancelling travel to say, France, where there has also been an outbreak, would not.
What is classed as ‘essential travel’?
Most insurance companies classify ‘essential travel as business commitments or urgent family matters. Vacations are not considered to be essential and should be discussed with your insurance agent.
Will travel insurance cover returns home if it is advised by the government?
If the government advises all of its citizens to return home, your travel insurance may cover a portion of this expense. While most times there are perks to having travel insurance during a government advised return, you should consult your agency first.
Where is it not safe to travel?
Currently, all travel is advised against to Wuhan, China along with Daegu and Choengdo in South Korea. Additionally, all but essential travel is advised against to northern Italy and the rest of China. Be sure to check with your countries advisories to see where it is safe to travel. You can view the United States travel advisories here.
Will my insurance cover an event that has been cancelled due to the virus?
In short, yes and no. If you have purchased a tour package that includes and event, such as a football game or festival, then the chances are that you’re covered. However, if you put the package together yourself, you are less likely to receive a refund.
Should I purchase travel insurance now?
While most insurance policies have quite a bit of a grey area when it comes to the virus, it doesn’t hurt to have a policy in place. We recommend a CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) policy if you need to cancel or postpone a trip due to the virus. This covers all bases and ensures that you will be covered whether you are cancelling due to government advisory or for your own protection.
Should I contact the airline first for a cancelled trip?
Yes. Several airlines such as Delta, American and United are offering waived change fees given the circumstances. It’s worth calling to see if you can have some assistance cancelling or changing the flight.