Does travel insurance cover Covid-19?
Most travel insurance policies offer trip cancellation and interruption benefits if you test positive for Covid and you need to cancel or if a doctor asks you to quarantine. This means that if your trip is canceled or interrupted because your Covid test is positive, you can be reimbursed for prepaid, non-refundable travel costs.
Most medical travel insurance covers you if you contract the virus while traveling and need medical attention. You can be reimbursed up to the limits of your policy for medical and hospital expenses, laboratory work and drugs, among other types of treatment.
Generally, travel insurance companies treat Covid-19 like any other illness, but not all. Epidemics and pandemics may be considered “foreseeable events” once declared by federal or international health agencies, which means that in some cases travel insurance benefits may not apply. This is why it is imperative to review your policy for any possible exclusions.
Does travel insurance cover quarantine?
There are travel insurance policies that can cover unexpected expenses if you need to quarantine in another country. But for the benefits to apply to most of these plans, you must test positive for Covid-19 and your travel insurance plan must cover Covid related expenses.
If you fall ill abroad due to the virus, a plan’s travel medical benefits may also kick in if it’s travel insurance that covers Covid-19.
“Travel insurance policies that provide benefits if a traveler contracts Covid-19 may also extend their coverage beyond the original return date, typically up to seven days,” says spokesperson Steven Benna. from Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.
Related: When should I use a Covid home test?
Quarantine Travel Insurance Coverage
The following travel insurance benefits may cover quarantine costs, assuming the plan covers Covid-19 related expenses.
Trip delay coverage
This benefit can cover the cost of your accommodation and meals during quarantine if you have contracted the virus. If you are forced to stay beyond your return date due to a positive test, this coverage can be extended for up to seven days.
“Policies with this benefit offer a range of total coverage between $100 and $2,000 per person, with a daily limit that ranges from $50 to $300,” Benna explains.
Trip interruption coverage
This cover will reimburse you for missed parts of your trip if you are forced to self-quarantine due to a positive Covid test. It can cover 100% to 200% of your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses, depending on the policy, Benna says.
For example, Trawick International’s Safe Travels Voyager plan covers expenses if you are forced to self-quarantine at home or abroad due to a positive Covid test. “These plans can also provide reimbursement for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation costs incurred if you are injured or ill while traveling,” said Bailey Foster, spokesperson for Trawick International.
“Cancellation for Any Reason” Coverage (CFAR)
Consider a plan that lets you switch to “cancel for any reason” coverage. This upgrade typically adds 50% to the cost of your travel insurance, but it will allow you to cancel your trip for any reason and get a refund (often 75%) of lost travel costs. Your reason could be Covid-related, such as finding out there’s a Covid spike at your destination. Or your reason could be unrelated – for example, you could make a CFAR claim because you don’t like the rainy outlook at your resort.
If you want CFAR coverage, be sure to purchase a travel insurance plan and add CFAR soon after making your first travel deposit. There is usually a purchase lead time for CFAR, for example two weeks.
“Interruption for any reason” coverage (IFAR)
If you are worried about being forced into quarantine during your trip due to a positive Covid test, standard trip interruption insurance can reimburse you for the parts of your trip you missed, if your plan provides coverage for Covid. For example, you can file a claim for trip interruption benefits if you prepaid for non-refundable hotel stays, tours, or entertainment and cannot attend because you the virus and that you need to quarantine yourself.
But what if you don’t have Covid and have to comply with a mandatory quarantine? This is where “interrupting for any reason” would help. “Interruption for any reason” coverage is offered as an upgrade with a small number of travel insurance companies. If you have this upgrade, you can be reimbursed for the parts of your trip you miss if you need to quarantine but don’t have Covid. He can also pay for transportation costs to catch you up on your planned route.
“Discontinuation for any reason” is not a common benefit, but the following companies offer it on some plans: iTravelInsured, Nationwide, Seven Corners and Travel Insured International.
Other Diet Benefits to Look For
A comprehensive travel insurance plan will also include coverage for:
- Travel delays, such as extra expenses when you’re stuck at an airport due to weather issues
- Missed connections
- Baggage and personal effects, including lost or damaged baggage