does travel insurance cover covid-19?
Most travel insurance policies provide trip cancellation and interruption benefits if you test positive for covid and need to cancel or are required by a doctor to quarantine. that means if your trip is canceled or interrupted because you test positive for covid, you can be reimbursed for non-refundable, prepaid trip costs.
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Most travel health insurance covers you if you contract the virus during your trip and need medical attention. You can be reimbursed up to the limits of your policy for medical and hospital bills, laboratory tests and medications, among other types of treatment.
Typically, travel insurance companies treat COVID-19 like any other illness, but not all do. Epidemics and pandemics may be considered “foreseeable events” once declared by federal or international health agencies, meaning that in some cases, travel insurance benefits may not apply. That’s why it’s imperative to review your policy for possible exclusions.
Does travel insurance cover quarantine?
There are travel insurance policies that can cover unexpected expenses if you have to quarantine in another country. but for any benefit to apply for most of these plans, you must test positive for covid-19 and your travel insurance plan must cover covid-19 related expenses.
If you get sick abroad from the virus, a plan’s travel medical benefits can 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 steven benna, a spokesperson for squaremouth, a provider travel insurance comparison.
related: when should i use a covid home test?
quarantine-related travel insurance coverage
The following travel insurance benefits may offer coverage for quarantine costs, assuming the plan covers covid-19 expenses.
travel delay coverage
This benefit may cover the cost of your room and board 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 up to seven days.
“Policies with this benefit provide a range of total coverage between $100 and $2,000 per person, with a daily limit between $50 and $300,” says Benna.
trip interruption coverage
This coverage will reimburse you for missed portions of your trip if you are forced to quarantine due to a positive covid test. It can cover 100% to 200% of prepaid, nonrefundable travel costs, depending on the policy, Benna says.
for example, trawick international’s safe travel voyager plan covers expenses if you are forced to quarantine at home or abroad due to a positive covid test. “These plans may also provide reimbursement for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation expenses incurred if you are injured or become ill while traveling,” says Bailey Foster, a spokesperson for Trawick International.
coverage “cancel for any reason” (cfar)
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Consider a plan that allows you to upgrade to “cancel for any reason” coverage. this upgrade typically adds 50% to the cost of your travel insurance, but will allow you to cancel your trip for any reason and get reimbursed (often 75%) of the costs of the missed trip. your reason could be covid related, such as finding out there is a covid spike at your destination. or your reason might be unrelated; For example, you might file a cfar claim because you don’t like the prospect of rain at your beach resort.
If you want cfar coverage, be sure to purchase a travel insurance plan and add cfar soon after you make your first travel deposit. there is usually a purchase deadline for cfar, like two weeks.
coverage of “interruption for any reason” (ifar)
If you’re worried about being forced to quarantine during your trip due to a positive covid test, standard trip interruption insurance can reimburse you for the parts of your trip you miss, if your plan has coverage for covid. For example, you may file a claim under trip interruption benefits if you prepaid for non-refundable hotel stays, tours, or entertainment and are unable to participate because you have the virus and have to self-quarantine.
but what if you don’t have covid and you’re forced to comply with a mandatory quarantine? that’s where “interrupt for any reason” would help. “Interruption for any reason” coverage is offered as an upgrade from a small number of travel insurance companies. If you have this upgrade, you can be reimbursed for parts of your trip that you miss if you have to quarantine but don’t have covid. You can also pay transportation costs so you can reach your planned itinerary.
“interruption for any reason” is not a common benefit, but the following companies offer it in some plans: itravelinsured, national, seven corners and travel insured international.
other plan benefits to look for
A comprehensive travel insurance plan will also include coverage for:
- travel delays, such as additional expenses when stuck at an airport due to weather conditions
- missed connections
- luggage and personal items, including lost or damaged luggage