Will travel insurance be an issue?

Travel Forums General Talk Will travel insurance be an issue?

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1. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 926 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

One thing I have noticed that keeps coming up about future issues to travel is the fact that over all travel insurance will not cover for any COVID19 related problems. Is this something you are worried about for your future travel?

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1269 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

>Is this something you are worried about for your future travel?

We don't and can't know for certain that ordinary travel health insurance won't cover for Covid-19: the situation is changing all the time and no-one knows what it will be when people start travelling for non-business reasons again (business travellers are insured via their employers). There will almost certainly be legal restrictions on changing the terms of existing insurance policies.

This is not something I'm 'worried' about as such. Imo travel health insurance is an essential expense and if I have to pay extra, so be it. There is no way insurance companies will refuse cover for Covid-19 in future though there will certainly be a general hike in premiums. Some policies may include an optional 'pandemic' cover which people can choose to pay extra for or not. Practices will differ from provider to provider.

I have to travel to the US (I wouldn't visit if I didn't have family there) and have no desire to be bankrupted by Covid-19 or anything else thar may happen to me, so I have a thorough travel health insurance policy. Before my April trip was cancelled, I checked (mid-March) whether I'd be covered for Covid-19 by my existing insurance and I am. When I plan my next trip I'll be checking again and, if my insurance terms have changed (though I'm not sure they can legally do that in the UK), I'll just bite the bullet and pay any additional premium required.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2020, 06:59 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1587 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I refuse to worry about stuff that isn't connected to my actual family especially when it is unsubstantiated speculation.

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1355 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I don't anticipate that travel insurance will be an issue since I already have an annual plan that covers for sickness, accident and emergency medical evacuation.

There are indications that some countries and some air carriers may restrict travel if one exhibits signs of illness or fails to submit proof they are healthy. See this link as example:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-austria-airport/vienna-airport-to-offer-coronavirus-tests-to-avoid-quarantine-idUSKBN22F0IO

Monday United Airlines updated its Contract of Carriage to include a new provision on who it can refuse to transport:

"Passengers who are incapable of completing a flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight, and Passengers who appear to have symptoms of or have a communicable disease (or there is reason to believe there was exposure to a communicable disease) or other condition that could pose a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves or others on the flight, or who refuse a medical screening for such disease or condition, whether suspected or actual."

[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2020, 16:54 GMT by berner256 ]

5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1447 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

We have a yearly travel policy and when this virus made itself known, we received a notice from the company reminding us they didn't cover epidemics. Currently looking for a different insurance company . . .

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1355 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I'm still covered under my annual plan:

"Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is covered without copay or other member contribution.

"Treatment for COVID-19 is covered as an Illness under the policy, and we are waiving copay and other member contribution for covered treatment of COVID-19 cases diagnosed through May 31. Please note the following important exclusion: Coverage for pandemic illness, including COVID-19 is not covered if a member failed to depart a country within a reasonable time from the date the country became subject to a level-3 travel warning by the CDC, or similar travel warning from that country’s government. Members remaining in a country in that circumstance would not be covered for COVID-19, but otherwise would retain all coverage under the policy within its normal terms and conditions."

The CDC's Level 3 is "Avoid nonessential travel"
Level 2 is "Practice enhanced precautions"
Level 1 is "Practice usual precautions"

7. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1269 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Just checked my annual insurance and the position is much the same as above:

>Am I covered if I contract coronavirus on holiday?

If you become ill while on holiday, your travel insurance covers your medical
expenses abroad – unless you travelled to a location the FCO advised against at
the point of travel.
<

8. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1447 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

Just checked my annual insurance and the position is much the same as above:

>Am I covered if I contract coronavirus on holiday?

If you become ill while on holiday, your travel insurance covers your medical
expenses abroad – unless you travelled to a location the FCO advised against at
the point of travel.
<

Interesting. We don't buy travel insurance to cover medical expenses. Since we don't have national health care in the USA, we have our own private medical insurance that covers us even when we travel. We buy trave; insurance to cover unexpected expenses including trip cancellation, repatriation or changes in plans due to emergencies.

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1269 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

The vast, vast majority of UK citizens do not have private health insurance nor have any need for it. The NHS is not 'free': we pay for it through National Insurance contributions which form a very substantial part of our wage deductions.

Consequently it would be a very unusual UK travel insurance that didn't cover medical expenses when abroad as well as 'ordinary' travel problems such as theft, lost luggage etc though you normally have to pay an additional premium if you engage in 'dangerous' activities such as skiing, snowboarding, diving and suchlike. :-)

10. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1355 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I'm only interested in primary medical coverage and repatriation. I self-insure for the others, although one of my credit cards provides the following complimentary coverage among other benefits:

Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance
If your trip is cancelled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.

Baggage Delay Insurance
Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days.

Trip Delay Reimbursement
If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you're covered up to $3,000 per passenger.

Travel Accident Insurance
When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $1,000,000.

Emergency Evacuation & Transportation
If you or a member of your immediate family are injured or become sick during a trip far from home that results in an emergency evacuation, you can be covered for medical services and transportation up to $100,000.

Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit
If you’re 100 miles or more from home on a trip, you can be reimbursed up to $2,500 for medical expenses if you or your immediate family member become sick or injured.

I buy primary medical and evacuation coverage annually because the U.S. Medicare program for seniors, for which I am enrolled, usually does not cover medical care when traveling outside the U.S. and its territories. While I'm also covered by my former employer's medical plan for retirees that coverage is secondary to Medicare.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2020, 21:25 GMT by berner256 ]