The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that “the new Coronavirus, which has resulted in more than a thousand confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States.” These types of events can cause confusion and stress for travelers, especially given the various headlines in recent years involving SARS, Zika, and Ebola outbreaks in various parts of the world.
We’ve gotten questions from customers asking if they can cancel their trip or what steps they can take to ensure they’re protected on their trip.
Travelers who are concerned about the Coronavirus or similar outbreaks should look into a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy. These plans protect against the unexpected, such as an outbreak of a new illness, allowing a traveler to recoup up to 75% of their trip cost. Keep in mind with a CFAR policy, the full trip cost must be insured and you must cancel a trip 2 or more days before the scheduled departure date. A CFAR plan must be purchased within 30 days of initial trip deposit and for the full cost of the covered trip (maximum trip cost of $10,000 per person.)
Unless you have purchased a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy, the fact of the matter is that most travel insurance does not cover you canceling a trip out of fear of contracting the Coronavirus (or any similar illness). However, as with everything, there are exceptions.
Partner and Industry specialist from TravelSafe, Amanda Hand says: “An exception to this rule might be if the U.S. State Department issues an official statement that requires the mandatory evacuation of U.S. residents. If this is the case, travelers who have not yet traveled could be covered under their trip cancellation benefit, and those who are already traveling could be covered by trip interruption if they are forced to end their trip early. In extreme cases, non-medical emergency evacuation might be an option as well, although not all travel insurers include this in their plans.”
Should a traveler contract the Coronavirus, travel insurance would most likely apply and cover emergency medical care. It’s essential for travelers to review their policy details or speak to one of our customer care experts to learn more about specific plan details.