Travel Insurance & Coronavirus
Last updated on 02/18/2020
Does Travel Insurance Cover Coronavirus?
When it comes to public health threats, travel insurance benefits may apply in the following scenarios:
- Trip Cancellation: a traveler gets ill and must cancel a trip or a traveler must cancel a trip because a travel companion or family member gets ill.
- Emergency Medical Coverage: a sick traveler must see a doctor and/or go to the hospital during a trip.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage: in rare cases, a sick traveler requires an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate hospital or back home for recuperation.
- Trip Interruption: an extremely sick traveler cannot continue with a trip and must return home.
All claims must be supported by a doctor.
In the event a person is afraid to travel due to health risks, consider a travel insurance policy with the optional time-sensitive Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) included.
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us for help. Our Customer Care representatives can be reached by dialing toll-free at 800-487-4722 Monday - Friday 7:00am to 12:00am EST and Saturday - Sunday 9:00am to 9:00pm EST.
What Countries are Affected by the Coronavirus Outbreak?
There are confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus reported all across the world. The virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. As of January 2020, there are no bans on travel in place, but travelers intending to visit China are being asked to reconsider their plans.
How is Coronavirus Spread?
The coronavirus is spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing, through close personal contact (such as touching or shaking hands), or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it before touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
Why is Coronavirus Dangerous?
The coronavirus, sometimes written as "corona virus," is a highly contagious, pneumonia-causing illness that infects the respiratory system. Symptoms of coronavirus include a fever and cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia, which causes shortness of breath and difficulties breathing. The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new, previously unknown strain of coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China. The situation is evolving as more information becomes available. For the latest information on the virus, refer to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Is There a Coronavirus Vaccine for Humans?
There are currently no vaccines available. Being proactive is the best method of prevention - wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, prevent the spread of illness by staying home, avoiding contact with others, cleaning surfaces and objects with disinfectant, and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Refer to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest information on prevention.
Additional Travel Advice for Coronavirus
Stay informed of the latest information on the Novel Coronavirus by referring to:
Coronavirus & Cruises - Common Traveler Questions
If I get sick and quarantined on a cruise ship, does travel insurance cover me?
Possibly. Companies have different requirements for what is considered "quarantined", so it is important to read your policy or call to clarify coverage.
If I'm not sick and quarantined on a cruise ship, does travel insurance cover me?
Possibly. Like cruisers who get sick and are quarantined, those who are not sick but are still quarantined are subject to the same guidelines as defined by the provider and policy.
If I get sick with coronavirus on a cruise ship, will travel insurance help evacuate me?
It is extremely rare for travel assistance companies to arrange for evacuation off of a cruise ship. Typically, you have to be hospitalized first and the assistance company will work with the attending physician to arrange transportation to another hospital, or back home if required.
If I get sick with coronavirus on a cruise ship, who pays my medical bills?
If a traveler gets sick on a cruise ship and requires medical care, he or she may be able to file a claim with their travel insurance company to request reimbursement. It is important to keep all receipts and detailed documentation related to medical care received while on your trip.
If my cruise line cancels a cruise due to coronavirus, does travel insurance cover me?
We recommend that the traveler try to work with the cruise line, airline or tour operator to see if any refund is being offered by them first. If the traveler has purchased a plan with optional Cancel For Any Reason selected, they may be able to be refunded a portion (typically 50-75%) of their insured pre-paid non-refundable trip cost if the cruise line cancels the cruise prior to departure and they decide to cancel their entire trip. Cancel For Any Reason is a time sensitive benefit with some eligibility requirements, and you must be cancelling at least 2 days prior to departure.
What if I'm afraid to go on an upcoming cruise due to coronavirus?
Coverage is very limited, as typical travel insurance policies don't cover fear of travel. If the traveler has purchased a plan with optional Cancel For Any Reason selected, they may be able to be refunded a portion (typically 50-75%) of their insured pre-paid non-refundable trip cost if there is fear of traveling due to coronavirus prior to departure. Cancel For Any Reason is a time sensitive benefit with some eligibility requirements, and you must be cancelling at least 2 days prior to departure.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article serves as a general overview of benefits and should only be used for informational purposes. Refer to your individual certificate of insurance for specific coverages, exclusions, and benefits. When in doubt, please contact one of our licensed agents for additional assistance.