FAQ’s: Coronavirus Outbreak & Your Travel Insurance

FAQ’s: Coronavirus Outbreak & Your Travel Insurance

Should I avoid travel?

Most countries are discouraging their citizens and residents from international travel. Still, if you choose to travel, make sure that you take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from the contagious virus. Please follow your local government regulations and advisories.

According to our company’s perspective, it is highly inadvisable to travel to or from any country where there is an active travel warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Should I cancel my international trip due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommendations for international travel, including guidance on when to consider postponing or canceling your trip. Most of the time, this guidance is provided through travel health notices and is based on the potential health risks associated with a certain destination. Travel health notices are designated as Level 1, 2, or 3, depending on the situation in that destination. 

Watch Level 1: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with, but it is important to take steps to prevent getting and spreading diseases during travel.

Alert Level 2: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  recommends older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel.

Warning Level 3: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to these destinations.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends all travelers, defer all cruise travel worldwide. This is particularly important for older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions.

If you do travel, take the following steps to help reduce your chances of getting sick:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, including the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine.

Does my travel insurance provide coverage for coronavirus?

G1G offers a wide range of plans that provide coverage for coronavirus. G1G plans offer trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, missed connection and medical coverage for coronavirus. Travelers might bear monetary expenses during times when trip postponements and cancellations are inevitable. The right travel insurance plan not only provides monetary compensation for trip cancellation and trip interruption but also provides coverage for sudden illness due to coronavirus while traveling abroad.

Can I change or cancel my travel insurance plan?

You are not allowed to change your current plan after you purchase. However, the company allows a policyholder to request the correction in the plan. Items such as date of birth, citizenship, name, and travel dates are the only parameters that can be requested to be changed. If you are unsatisfied with your current plan and wish to move to another one, you can do that by canceling your current plan and buying another one. 

Policy premiums are always refundable and may be canceled before or during your trip, but some might require a small service fee. If you cancel before your departure, you will simply be charged a small service fee. If you have already departed from your home country, you will be prorated on top of the service fee. To cancel a policy, simply go to your customer portal and follow the instructions. After doing so, you will receive a confirmation email with your policy cancelation details and the refund should process in a few business days.

If I am a U.S. citizen traveling overseas and I get the coronavirus, can my travel insurance help me be evacuated?

It is important to note that only some plans provide coverage for emergency evacuation due to coronavirus, either to the nearest hospital or back to the insured’s home country for additional treatment. However, some plans may not provide this benefit if the reason for evacuation is sickness due to an epidemic or pandemic. Be sure to read the policy details carefully before purchasing a travel medical plan.

Will my airline refund my flight if I decide not to travel due to the coronavirus outbreak?

Flight refunds depend on the airline. Some airlines are waiving change and cancellation fees due to the coronavirus outbreak. An airline’s refund policy may vary, so it is advised to directly reach the airline to determine if you can change or cancel your flight due to the coronavirus outbreak.

I need to cancel my trip. Whom do I contact first?

Policy premiums are always refundable and may be canceled before or during your trip, but most will require a small service fee. If you cancel before your departure, you will simply be charged a small service fee. If you have already departed from your home country, you will be prorated on top of the service fee. To cancel a policy, simply go to your customer portal and follow the instructions. After doing so, you will receive a confirmation email with your policy cancelation details and the refund should process in a few business days.

I have rescheduled my trip. Can I change my travel insurance coverage period?

You can move your coverage dates ahead to cover your new travel dates. It’s important to note that to be eligible, your new travel dates cannot occur more than 24 months from the date you originally purchased the insurance.

What if I contract Coronavirus while I’m on my trip?

Some plans provide monetary compensation for trip cancellation and trip interruption, as well as for coverage from a sudden illness due to coronavirus while traveling abroad. However, some plans may not provide these benefits if the reason for sickness is due to an epidemic or pandemic. Be sure to read the policy details carefully before purchasing a travel medical plan or contact one of our Customer Care Experts!

What Makes Me Eligible For CFAR?

With a CFAR (Cancel for Any Reason) 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 the initial trip deposit and for the full cost of the covered trip (maximum trip cost of $10,000 per person.) Full eligibility can be found in the plan details or by speaking with one of our Customer Care Experts!

What If I’m afraid to travel as the coronavirus outbreak worsens?

We recommend travelers to consider the risks of the destinations they’re traveling to. We have over 35 years of experience guiding travelers through challenges just like the ones we’re facing today. You can always call G1G and speak to our Travel Safety division to assess the risk factors involved with your trip. You can also consult the advice of authoritative organizations such as the World Health Organization, the US State Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s important to mention upfront that epidemics are generally excluded from the reimbursement for cancellations on all general travel insurance contracts. Unless you have a CFAR plan, most general travel insurance will not pay cancellation benefits for fear of travel alone.

Does travel insurance cover airline flight cancellations due to coronavirus?

If the cancellation was solely due to coronavirus, you might not be covered. However, if any covered reason (as defined in your plan details) caused your airline cancellation, you could stand to receive coverage. Check your policy details to determine if coverage applies. 

When I cancel my flight due to coronavirus, will it be covered?

When you have a Cancel for Any Reason plan and you cancel your trip under the terms of your contract, you could be eligible for up to 75% of your non-refundable trip costs.

Is it possible to change or cancel my travel insurance plan?

You might be able to cancel your travel insurance policy after submitting a cancellation request before the policy’s start date. However, some policies might allow you to cancel after the start date and get a full refund (only if no claim is submitted).    

Does domestic health insurance cover me if I’m overseas and I contract coronavirus?

Most people are unaware that domestic health insurance does not cover you outside of your home country. This is why a G1G travel insurance plan is essential. However, it’s important to read the fine print as there are limitations to what is covered during the coronavirus pandemic. Check your policy details or contact one of our Customer Care Experts to determine if coverage applies. 

Will travel insurance help a U.S citizen with medical evacuation, if they contract coronavirus while overseas?

It all depends upon the plan you chose before traveling. Some plans cover evacuation to the nearest hospital or back to the home country for medical treatment. Some plans might not cover medical evacuation in the event you get sick during an epidemic or pandemic.

I have seen a rise in certain everyday commodities during the coronavirus pandemic. Have the insurance companies raised prices for travel insurance plans?

The prices for insurance are regulated by law, so no insurance company can raise prices on a whim. 

Say I’m traveling from one region to another and the plane stops at an infected (Level 3) region. Does insurance cover me if I contact the virus during the stop?

Unfortunately, if the Center For Disease Control (CDC) has already issued a Level 3 threat to the region your plane stopped you will not be covered, even if your final destination wasn’t a threat.