Last Update April 17th 2023 . This post may have affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them.
The last three years of the pandemic and other worldwide events has taught us to expect and plan for the unexpected as the unexpected can definitely occur! Trip cancellation and medical insurance in the 2020’s is now an absolute necessity. Below are some FAQ’s regarding travel insurance for pandemics, cancellation and more.
1. What exactly is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is an insurance policy purchased through a licensed trip/travel insurance company that is intended to cover such things as medical expenses (should you fall ill while travelling), trip cancellation, lost bags, and other mishaps when traveling abroad. This coverage has nothing to do with any credit card coverages NOR with your health insurance as it is a SEPARATE policy specifically to protect your trip.
2. Is travel insurance coverage included with my package?
We do NOT include trip insurance automatically in our packages. We do NOT include the insurance in our packages, because policies vary in cost depending on factors such as age, state/country of residence, trip cost, and other factors and you must OPT in and purchase it separately.
3. Is trip cancellation for COVID-19 included in standard travel insurance policies?
It depends on the reason for a potential cancellation. Typically you ARE covered for cancellation if you or your travel companion fall ill with COVID-19 and cannot travel due to being ill/positive with COVID just like any other illness or injury that would prevent you from traveling. Currently, this even includes testing positive for the virus before departure and not being able to travel due to a positive test! (should it be required) .
Trip cancellation insurance policies may possibly NOT cover if you cancel your trip due to reasons such as:
- Fear of traveling due to a new outbreak or for a new pandemic (unrelated to covid) or strain or unknown new illness.
- Your government issuing a travel warning against travel to a destination. (or upgrading a warning to a higher level due to pandemics or political instability, security threat, civil unrest, etc)
- Implementation of NEW restrictions at the travel destination involving updated vaccinations booster shots.
- Implementation of Travel Visas to enter destinations or other travel documentation. (such as tourist visas).
- Failure to obtain travel documentation on time.
4. How can I protect my trip if policies do NOT cover the situations above?
One of the only ways to protect future travel plans from disruption and cancellation for COVID or other diseases would be to purchase a travel trip cancellation insurance that has a specific upgrade to CANCEL FOR ANY REASON or “CFAR”. These these policies typically are “upgrades” to standard coverages and you must OPT-IN and UPGRADE (if available) to “CANCEL FOR ANY REASON” when purchasing them. CFAR policies usually will reimburse up to 75% of your non refundable or non recoverable trip costs and the cancellation must be done at least 2 days prior to departure. You also must typically insure the full cost of your trip.
5. Can I file a CFAR claim if a trip or special event has been Cancelled?
Generally NO. CFAR Cancel for any reason is valid if YOU the traveler cancels the trip for any reason. In the event that a travel company cancels a trip (for example if a special event is cancelled or any force majeure event beyond our control makes us cancel or postpone the trip) and a CREDIT is granted for future travel or is rolled over for the following year’s event, most travel insurances will MAKE YOU TAKE THE CREDIT. This was effective for most policies starting in mid 2021. Remember, CFAR is only valid typically if YOU CANCEL the trip for any reason.
6. When do I need to purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Travel insurance policies can usually be purchased any time you wish prior to departure, but the “cancel for any reason “CFAR” upgrade usually has to be purchased within maximum 21 days of the date you initially booked your initial trip deposit. Additionally other coverages are time specific too (such as some pre-existing medical condition coverages) so it is always best to purchase it ASAP after booking. We advise that you call the travel insurance company that you will be purchasing the policy from PRIOR to booking so you have the correct and updated information as purchase time limits can vary by state and some states may not offer CFAR coverage or have limit amounts for coverage.
7. Do you recommend a specific company?
We recomend TravelSafe. To get a price quote or more information the different travel insurance policies: CLICK HERE FOR US RESIDENTS / CLICK HERE FOR CANADIAN RESIDENTS. If you are a NON USA or Canadian resident, we recommend shopping online for a reputable travel insurance provider in your country of residence for Trip Cancellation Insurance for COVID-19.
If you are partaking in any adventure sports (such as hang gliding, rafting, zip lining,hiking, or other activities, please check with the provider we suggested OR shop around to make sure you are covered for those particular activities as sometimes specific additional “sports riders” must be purchased with certain companies).
We recommend that all clients shop around and be as knowledgeable as possible about insurance to make the right choice for them. Before committing to any kind of travel insurance coverage it is always a good idea to call the insurance provider to make sure that everything you think is covered will be covered for your exact trip to the exact destination you are going to. It is also a good idea to discuss any potential situations or hypothetical scenarios you have questions about in terms of whether or not those would be covered as well.
8. What is the cost of the Trip Cancellation Insurance ?
The cost will depend on your state of residency, as well as your trip cost and age. The link above will help you calculate the coverage cost.
9. Is medical coverage included should I fall ill while on the trip with COVID-19?
Currently – YES. COVID-19 is treated the same as any other sickness for purposes of all coverages that are triggered by a sickness.
10. The world has largely opened for travel due to COVID19. Should I still get the coverage?
Yes. It is important to remember that currently , even though the COVID-19 pandemic has largely subsided, new variants and lockdowns or other restrictions can always occur! Even if you have been vaccinated and boosted and countries are easing restrictions for travel, they can always be re-imposed such as pre-travel testing or new booster requirements etc. For this reason it is a good idea to have insurance. Insurance can also cover you for testing positive and not being able to board the aircraft (should your destination require a COVID -19 test to enter). Lastly, some countries still require that you have medical insurance while on your trip in case you fall ill with COVID. Medical insurance is included with most policies.
11. Is this travel insurance only valid for COVID related claims?
NO this coverage including CFAR is valid for medical and cancellation that is completely UNRELATED to COVID too – for example, the coverage could potentially cover a cancellation due to not feeling comfortable traveling for any personal reason (political unrest in a destination or region you are traveling to, you simply not feeling like traveling for any personal reason whatsoever, an accident or illness that prevents you or your travel companion from traveling unrelated to the pandemic). etc.
12. Can I still purchase the coverage if I missed the CFAR window?
YES! If you missed the window for CFAR you still may be able to purchase a standard policy and just NOT upgrade to CFAR and still be covered for normal “covered reasons” (primarily illnesses that would prevent you from traveling, a death in the family, certain job losses, certain natural disasters, etc). Note that filing a claim for a normal “covered reason” will pay you back 100% but CFAR cancel for ANY reason (meaning you decide to cancel for a “non covered reason” will pay you 75% back in most cases.) If you purchase a CFAR you can still cancel for a “covered reason” and obtain 100% vs 75%.
This post is for general information purposes only. The COVID-19 situation is a highly dynamic situation. Travel insurance products are subject to change without notice, as well as country entry requirements. It is up to the individual traveler to obtain up to date and correct information prior to purchasing any coverage and/or traveling abroad. We do not endorse traveling against government travel advisories and recommend that you consult with your physician prior to traveling during the pandemic.
If you have any further questions, please contact your sales rep or click HERE. Due to the fast-evolving situation with COVID-19 we do recommend that you call the travel insurance provider PRIOR to purchasing any trip to make sure you are up to date with all policies and coverage as they are always subject to change.