Why you need COVID travel insurance for summer trips


Key findings

  • Some travel insurance will cover COVID-19 infection and quarantine. However, most plans do not cover the fear of COVID. In this case, it can provide “Cancel for any reason” protection.
  • Many countries now require travel insurance. Depending on where you go, you may need to purchase a nationwide managed plan.
  • If you are planning a trip, know that these requirements change frequently. Always read the fine print on whatever cover you are considering. Before you leave, double-check your plan to make sure it is in line with the requirements of the country you are traveling to.

Jonathan Tucker did not intend to get COVID-19 in Ireland in early April.

Tucker, who plays the djembe and sings with the pirate band The Musical Blades, has toured the Emerald Island as part of a guided tour of the band.

After seeing many monuments, he and about 20 of the 65 participants in the tour received COVID and had to remain in quarantine.

Although quarantine in an Irish hotel room is not ideal, Tucker told Verywell that he was ready for it.

“We got travel insurance, even though it wasn’t exclusively for COVID,” Tucker said. “We also made sure we saved enough on double the travel costs in case that happened. Otherwise, it would be irresponsible. ”

Tucker chose a to Plan Through Allianz | who reimbursed him for expenses, including accommodation during travel.

As the quarantine period in Ireland is calculated from the first sign of COVID symptoms, without this coverage, Tucker would be prepared for another seven days of accommodation.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance has been around for much longer than COVID, but thanks to the pandemic, it is much more attractive to travelers.

Typical plans include travel delays, lost luggage or medical care if a passenger has to visit a medical facility abroad. Most home health plans do not offer coverage.

Some plans, such as Tucker’s, work for solo travelers or couples who travel together – even if only one person has tested positive for COVID.

Travel insurance for COVID

While there are opportunities for passengers trying to prepare for the possibility that COVID could derail their plans, this has not always been the case.

Damian Tysdal, founder of Fr. CoverTripVerywell said the epidemics have historically been excluded from travel insurance.

Tysdal has written about travel insurance trends on his blog since 2006. He told Verywell that he had seen changes in plans during the pandemic.

“COVID travel insurance coverage has evolved since the beginning of the pandemic,” Tysdal said. “Some companies have completely ruled out any losses resulting from the epidemic. Others covered it, but only if you bought insurance before it became a “known event” – after which it was no longer possible to insure. ”

According to Tysdal, most companies covered COVID as if it were any other illness – they paid for medical care, or if you were diagnosed before the trip, they covered the cancellation.

However, consumers need to read the plans carefully and look for gaps such as epidemic exemptions.

Is the fear of COVID covered?

Tysdal said that one thing most plans do not cover is the fear of COVID, although a number of cases justify this fear.

“The main problem was that people wanted to cancel for fear of getting COVID. It’s not covered, “Tysdal said.

According to Tysdal, the exception would be a plan to cover “Cancel for any reason”, which is an “optional update that expands your list of covered reasons for cancellation.” In that case, you could cancel it out of fear. ”

What will be covered by travel insurance?

Joe Cronin, MBAPresident of International Citizens Insurance, Verywell said that the coverage of the travel insurance plan varies, especially with regard to COVID-related expenses.

For example, some plans will only cover the cost of medical treatment, while others will pay for quarantine costs (as in Tucker’s case).

As part of the quarantine coverage, the plans may pay a set amount of money for food, transport and accommodation.

Read the Fine Print

Cronin said passengers need to know that self-administered COVID tests are not always enough to trigger a coverage plan.

“In most cases, your doctor must diagnose COVID to get coverage,” Cronin said. “If you find that you have COVID through your own test, you may need to see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis for the coverage to take effect.”

Cronin explained that “some policies will only apply to quarantine if you can prove that it has been ordered by a government agency or a doctor and that it was because you have had a positive test or are symptomatic.”

To make sure you follow the principles you bought, Cronin said it was important to read the fine print.

Some traditional travel insurance plans have been changed to suit COVID, but there are others that are specifically targeted at COVID. For example, CAP a Covac Global both offer programs that are optimized to cover COVID.

Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance was an optional expense in the past, but Cronin said many countries now require it to enter.

As borders are open to passengers in the summer, some countries are beginning to require passengers to purchase insurance coverage offered by their national governments.

Since February 2022 Belize requires all visitors to purchase compulsory international health insurance through its tourist portal and covers medical treatment in the country.

Other countries require travel insurance only if you are not vaccinated.

For example, Singapore requires travel insurance from unvaccinated passengers with a minimum coverage of S $ 30,000 (approximately $ 22,000). Vaccinated passengers are advised but not required to have insurance.

Know the requirements – and check the changes

Cronin said travel insurance requirements are changing rapidly, so it can be difficult to keep up.

“Some countries have said they have introduced a travel insurance requirement just to cancel it at the last second,” Cronin said. “Other countries have officially abolished the travel insurance requirement – but border control agents still require your travel insurance plan upon entry. It’s important to verify the requirements of the country you’re going to. ”

As of April 2022, the United States has no travel insurance. Nevertheless This was announced by White House officials that it does not intend to waive the test requirement to re-enter the United States

As this testing remains, more Americans could get stuck abroad with COVID – whether they are symptomatic or not. Travel insurance can be the only thing standing between them and a very expensive quarantine.

What it means for you

Travel insurance used to be a precautionary measure that many travelers considered an unnecessary expense. You may now need to enter the country you plan to visit.

If you opt for travel insurance, read the fine print carefully. Make sure you know what is covered – and what is not – when it comes to medical care and support in COVID quarantine.

The information in this article is current as of that date, which means that more recent information may be available after reading this article. The latest COVID-19 updates can be found on our coronavirus news page.

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