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Does Travel Insurance Cover COVID?

Last modified: Jul 25, 2023

A new era, new rules, new insurance policy requirements. Just a year ago, we thought that the COVID-19 nightmare would last only a few months. Unfortunately, it ended up ruining all our vacation plans. Many people searched for pandemic travel insurance, not knowing whether or not it would protect their bankroll. 

One year later, hi 2021! How excited we were to start traveling again. But it turns out that even if you are vaccinated, it’s recommended to own an insurance policy no matter whether you travel domestically or internationally. 

Since pandemic was defined as a foreseen event, many insurance policies didn’t cover it. So, the question arises: does travel insurance cover COVID now? The short answer: “it depends on” is quite vague, but if you continue reading, we promise you that you’ll get a much clearer picture.

What to Know Before You Buy Travel Insurance 

Many people struggle with their insurance policies mainly because they don’t understand what factors influence the coverage and how much of the coverage they need. If you don't have any kind of travel insurance policy and want to buy one, we strongly advise you to do serious research on this matter. 

The coronavirus travel insurance can be tricky, as it may not provide all the benefits. If you are someone who spontaneously gets on an airplane and never stops traveling, you should seriously consider finding the best travel insurance. Note that many insurers have changed their policies because now we are living in a pandemic world. 

The best travel insurance for coronavirus should necessarily include medical coverage and be tailored to satisfy your needs. 

Remember that insurance coverages and packages vary by the insurance provider. Now, let’s find out the most important things to look out for when buying travel insurance.

Choose the Level of Coverage

Back in the day, it was easy to buy a policy that would pay for your canceled trip or cover the fees for your broken leg. That’s because these unexpected situations are included in the basic coverage. The five primary types of coverages for your vacation are: 

  • Cancellation or interruption of the trip — this is basic coverage included in every policy. It covers unforeseen events, such as sickness, pregnancy, weather issues or legal obligation. 
  • Medical coverage — in most plans, you are covered for 24-hour assistance, ambulance costs, dental work, and hospital services. In case you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must check with your insurance provider whether it’s covered prior to the purchase.
  • Evacuation coverage — you must include evacuation insurance as a part of your medical insurance if your travel destination is a remote area with limited medical facilities so that your medical repatriation can be covered. It will allow your adventurous spirit to enjoy a place without worrying should a medical event require emergency evacuation.
  • Baggage coverage has two instances: firstly, it can cover your lost, damaged or stolen possessions. Secondly, if your baggage arrives at your destination with a delay, you will be reimbursed for your essentials such as medications, clothes, etc.
  • Flight coverage — this insurance is purchased the most by international travelers because of the high airfares. It covers trip delays and cancellations because of bad weather, labor strikes, or mechanical breakdowns.

Now you’re probably wondering what plan to choose and which coverage suits you the most. If you’re interested in purchasing pandemic travel insurance, we recommend including medical, cancel/interruption, and evacuation coverages. However, you should consider your destination, what you will do there, how long you will spend there, and other factors when determining what policy you need.

Compare the Plans and Get the First-Hand Info

Every insurance is sold in packages, and that's why you need to take into account all the trip details. For example, if you travel to Paris, you will not need evacuation coverage since it is a big cosmopolitan city with excellent medical facilities. 

However, if you have many connecting flights to get there, you should think about getting baggage coverage. 

Many credit cards include great travel protection. The best one is the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance that covers coronavirus along with other incidents. Therefore, while planning your trip, check whether your credit card offers some coverage.

Many people learned a lesson when the Zika virus arrived. And since now you can compare quotes online, it is much easier to make the right decision. But don’t fall for a smaller price. Check if the vendor is secure. You can also talk with your friends and get first-hand info about their experiences.

When to Purchase a Policy?

If your goal is to save some money and get extra coverage, purchase your policy right after booking your trip. The closer the trip date, the higher the prices will be. Also, it is wise to save all of your travel documents online, so you can access and forward them if there’s a need while you’re away from home.

Does Travel Insurance Cover the Coronavirus Pandemic?

If you’re wondering, “Does travel insurance cover COVID?” it’s best to check with your insurance provider. Many companies cover it, while others cover just some partial costs such as medical emergencies. 

Just a year ago, everything was uncertain, and many companies were defending themselves by defining the coronavirus pandemic as a foreseen event. Now, with a good insurance plan, it is possible to cover your major costs while traveling.   

While we can give you general guidance on most insurance plans, it is best to double-check with your provider.

What Travel Insurance COVID Coverage Do You Need to Consider?

As you know, many insurers do not always allow you to buy exactly what you need and try to sell packages instead. While you cannot directly influence what is in the package, you can, however, make an online comparison of the plans from different insurance companies in order to find the one that is suitable for you. But don’t rely solely on those comparisons, as the devil lies in the details, fine print of the policy in our case. So, please pay attention to it. 

Good travel insurance can help you:

  • Cover non-refundable prepayments or cancellation penalties if you or another travel group member had an accident or got sick. It’s covered by trip cancellation insurance (TCI). 
  • Cover the extra expenses if you need to return home or shorten the trip for one of the reasons mentioned in the TCI (trip cancellation insurance). This is covered by trip interruption insurance (TII), which generally is combined with the TCI.
  • Cover the expenses for emergencies such as evacuation or needed medical treatment if you become sick or experience an accident. 
  • Cover the cost of unforeseen delays at any time during your trip.

How to Find a Plan That Covers Coronavirus? 

The easiest way is to compare policies online, filtering them by coverage, price, and even coronavirus pandemic. In this case, you’ll have a clear picture of the rates, coverages, and any add-ons.

The drawback, however, is that when you choose your preferred coverage and search with a “travel insurance that covers COVID” filter, your results are reduced by 50%. Moreover, the discovered insurance might not cover everything you need. 

Thus, the best solution is to ask your provider about the coverage. 

Other Plan Benefits to Look For

Fee-Change and Cancellation Waivers from Airlines

Many airlines have started offering fee-change and cancellation waivers for travel, some from March 2020. Moreover, some companies eliminate change fees for their domestic flights and provide extended flexibility for standby flights. However, you should check the dates when this is possible. In case your desired dates are unavailable, you should pay for travel insurance. But read the fine print carefully, as you don’t want to end up with your travel insurance not covering coronavirus expenses.

Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance

CFAR or cancel for any reason is a good type of coverage that allows you to cancel your trip for whatever reason and receive up to 75% of your non-refundable trip cost as long as you cancel it at least two days in advance. However, the big drawback is that you cannot purchase CFAR on its own. It comes as an add-on available when buying a certain type of coverage. 

Do not hesitate to ask your provider for more details or search online before making the purchase. Unfortunately, when it comes to coronavirus and travel insurance, our experience gained by research shows that you need to get the insurance matter into your own hands instead of wasting your precious money.

What to Do if Your Trip Turns Sour?

First, you should look out for the three main symptoms of the COVID-19, which include:

  • Fever
  • Persistent cough
  • Loss of smell/taste

Try not to panic and call the hotel front desk to guide you on what to do according to the local guidelines. Never rush to the hospital as there is a high risk of infecting other people or the medical staff. 

Sometimes you will be obligated to isolate yourself or search for medical assistance if the symptoms escalate. To avoid paying out of your pocket for any medical expenses, consider purchasing travel insurance that covers COVID. 

If you start to feel unwell while being at the airport, train station, or port, you must stop the trip immediately because you will certainly spread the virus to other people. Moreover, you should isolate and contact your doctor in case your symptoms worsen. Honestly, there is no point in continuing the journey all the way to the destination and then failing at the border control because of fever. 

If you’re considering going on a cruise trip during the current pandemic, discuss your plans with your insurance provider rather than wonder, “Would travel insurance cover coronavirus?”

Tips for Travelling During the Pandemic

By the end of June of 2021, 10.8% of the world population has been fully vaccinated, and 3.04 billion people received one dose. Many people believe that by vaccinating, we would achieve herd immunity. But due to many contradictions, some refuse to get vaccinated. 

The best thing that you can do now that the restrictions have been lifted is to follow the WHO’s recommendations and enjoy your time. However, check the rate of new COVID cases in the places you are going to. Regardless of whether it’s high or low, take all the necessary precautions and purchase travel insurance that covers COVID. After all, you want to be safe!

Try to visit some hidden gems, which are not overcrowded with people. There are many secluded beaches available — it can be your paradise. Note that each country has its travel requirements. Check them before booking a hotel and tickets. Moreover, find out if you need to do the test or quarantine on arrival to the destination and back home. 

If you are vaccinated, you don't need to do the COVID test or self-quarantine unless it's required by the state. 

The rest is now our new normal and everyday practice: 

  • Wash your hands
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Maintain a distance of two meters
  • If overcrowded, wear a mask

Final Thoughts

Everything changes so rapidly that it’s very hard to predict which path the virus will take. 

To protect your travel plans and get peace of mind, purchase pandemic travel insurance, which is recommended whether you travel domestically or internationally. 

Many people believe that insurance isn’t worth it. What if we told you that uninsured people have to pay $42,486 to $74,310 in case they need to be hospitalized? Do you still need more facts, or did this “Does travel insurance cover COVID?” article clarify all of your doubts?

Don’t rush into buying a cheap policy; check first whether it covers COVID because 50% of the plans do not cover it even if they claim they do. You are the one who cares about yourself the most. Therefore, manage your money wisely and confirm every small detail with your insurance provider.   


Does travel insurance cover pandemics?

Usually, travel insurance sees the pandemics and epidemics as a foreseen or known event, such as a tornado, let's say. Therefore, insurance will not cover you if you buy a policy after the World Health Organisation declares a pandemic. This is the same as traveling right in the eye of the tornado and asking for insurance. However, several types of insurance can help you cover your expenses, and we’ve listed them in this article.

What travel insurance covers coronavirus?

Please be aware that the coverages below can cover you only if purchased as a part of your policy packages. 

What does travel insurance cover for COVID-19?

It depends from policy to policy package, but usually, it covers the costs of:

Will my health plan cover me if I get COVID while traveling abroad?

A health plan will definitely cover you in your country. Regarding coverage abroad, you should check directly with your insurance provider because it depends on your policy.

If I cancel my trip, will a travel insurance claim cover my costs?

If you have Trip Cancellation or Cancel For Any Reason coverage, worry not. Just remember that you need to cancel the trip two days in advance. The coverage amount will depend on your policy and can reach up to 75%. If you don't have either of these coverages, the policy might not cover your expenses.

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