Planning that perfect vacation is expensive. And trips, cruises and European tours have a prepaid trip deposit and balance. So, if there's a trip cancellation, it could be disappointing and costly. With a worldwide pandemic in full force and the possibility of catching COVID-19 a reality, finding the right travel insurance plan is vital. But what is the best travel insurance?
COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Insurance Reality
People purchase trip interruption insurance for travel protection if a sudden illness or other events prevent them from going on their trip. Another reason is if there is an unexpected interruption to their trip. But what happens if a COVID-19 lockdown occurs? A lockdown is possible for both domestic and international travel.
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Most people assume that this interruption to their trip is covered if they've purchased travel insurance coverage. But it may not be covered. Travel insurance covers an "unforeseen event for travel." The pandemic isn't unforeseen.
The World Health Organization declared the worldwide pandemic on January 31, 2020. By doing this, disruption or cancellation was no longer seen as an unforeseen event for travel. Any individual who purchased travel insurance after January 31, 2020, did not have coverage for the coronavirus-initiated disruption or travel cancellation.
Unfortunately, travel insurance providers typically don't offer an upgrade that you can purchase to override this exclusion. It's standard for most travel insurance policies.
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According to SquareMouth, a website that allows you to compare travel insurance companies, you can purchase COVID-19 travel insurance to cover yourself if you contract the coronavirus. This insurance will kick in with most of the travel insurance companies if you contract COVID-19 within 14 days of your trip as long as you've purchased your policy before getting sick.
There is coverage if you purchased the additional coverage and contract COVID-19 during your trip. You will be reimbursed for trip expenses. There is also coverage for additional transportation costs to return you home.
To have coverage on your travel insurance policy covering COVID-19 sickness, purchase the "cancel for any reason" upgrade. But, for some travel companies, the "cancel for any reason" endorsement doesn't include COVID-19.
Unfortunately, for any travel insurance company, benefits from the endorsement may not cover your total loss.
Best Pandemic Travel Insurance Companies
Although there are several fine travel insurance companies available, three stand out that make them the best:
Although these companies provide upgrades or policies with COVID-19 coverage, check with your health insurance company to see if they offer coverage if you contract the coronavirus while traveling. The travel insurance must be paid in advance, but you can use credit cards.
Consider also: COVID Made This Part of Flying Easier
AXA’s Platinum Plan
The Platinum Plan trip insurance pays out more than their lesser plans. For instance, a baggage delay pays you $200 with their lowest plan (Silver) but pays the coverage limit of $600 with the Platinum Plan. Keep in mind that your baggage delay must be at least 12 hours.
AXA's Platinum Plan gives you the option to purchase the "cancel for any reason" upgrade. But it must be purchased within 14 days of your trip's departure date. It reimburses you with 75 percent of your trip's cost.
Seven Corners Travel Insurance Plans
In the Seven Corners FAQs, they state that they have several plans that cover you if you contract coronavirus while traveling. You have the choice of:
- Round Trip Basic
- Economy Choice
- Elite Plan
These plans cover your medical expenses for coronavirus. This is because the coronavirus is treated like any other sickness would be treated under this plan.
Consider this: How to Financially Plan for a Vacation
Allianz Travel Insurance and COVID-19
Allianz has the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement that can be purchased to cover you if you contract coronavirus. It covers trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation and more.
Read the coverages' fine print and be aware that if you cancel your trip because you are afraid of becoming ill, you will not receive reimbursement. The trip cancellation coverage does not apply under this circumstance.
Unfortunately, for any travel insurance company, benefits from the endorsement may not cover your total loss. There is a maximum limit.