Does travel insurance cover Covid-19?
Most travel insurance policies provide trip cancellation insurance and trip interruption insurance if you test positive for Covid and need to cancel or are required by a doctor to quarantine. That means if your trip is canceled or interrupted because you test positive for Covid, you can be reimbursed for pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs.
Most medical travel insurance covers you if you contract the virus during your trip and need medical attention. You can be reimbursed up to the limits in your policy for doctor and hospital bills, lab work and medicine, among other types of treatment.
Generally, travel insurance companies are treating Covid-19 like any other illness, but not all do. Epidemics and pandemics can be considered “foreseeable events” once declared by federal or international health agencies, which means in some cases travel insurance benefits may not apply. That’s why it’s imperative to review your policy for any possible exclusions.
Does travel insurance cover quarantine?
There are travel insurance policies that can cover unexpected expenses if you have to quarantine in another country. But in order for any benefits to apply for most of these plans, you must test positive for Covid-19 and your travel insurance plan must cover Covid-related expenses.
If you get sick abroad from the virus, a plan’s travel medical benefits can also kick in if it’s travel insurance that covers Covid-19.
“Travel insurance policies that provide benefits if a traveler contracts Covid-19 can also extend their coverage past the original return date, typically up to seven days,” says Steven Benna, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.
Related: When should I use a home Covid test?
Quarantine-related travel insurance coverage
The following travel insurance benefits can offer coverage for the costs of quarantine, assuming the plan covers Covid-19 expenses.
Travel delay coverage
Travel delay insurance can cover the cost of your accommodations and meals during a quarantine if you have contracted the virus. If you are forced to stay beyond your return date due to a positive test, this coverage can be extended up to seven days.
“Policies with this benefit provide a range of total coverage between $100 and $2,000 per person, with a daily limit that ranges from $50 to $300,” Benna says.
Trip interruption coverage
This coverage will reimburse you for missed portions of your trip if you’re forced into quarantine due to a positive Covid test. It can cover 100% to 200% of your prepaid and non-refundable trip costs, depending on the policy, says Benna.
For example, Trawick International’s Safe Travels Voyager Plan covers expenses if you’re forced to quarantine domestically or abroad due to a positive Covid test. “These plans may also provide reimbursement for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation expenses incurred if you are injured or sick while traveling on your trip,” says Bailey Foster, a spokesperson for Trawick International.
“Cancel for any reason” (CFAR) travel insurance
Consider a plan that lets you upgrade to “cancel for any reason” coverage. This upgrade usually adds 50% to your travel insurance cost, but it will allow you to cancel your trip for any reason and get some reimbursement (usually 75%) of lost trip costs. Your reason could be Covid-related, such as finding out that there’s a spike of Covid at your destination. Or your reasons could be unrelated—for example, you could make a CFAR claim because you don’t like the rainy outlook at your beach resort.
If you want CFAR coverage, make sure to buy a travel insurance plan and add CFAR as soon as you make your first trip deposit. There’s usually a purchase deadline for CFAR, such as two weeks.
“Interruption for any reason” travel insurance
If you’re concerned about being forced into a quarantine while on your trip due to a positive Covid test, standard trip interruption insurance can reimburse you for parts of your trip that you miss—if your plan has coverage for Covid. For example, you can file a claim under trip interruption benefits if you paid in advance for non-refundable hotel stays, tours or entertainment and can’t participate because you have the virus and have to quarantine.
But what if you don’t have Covid and are required to comply with a mandatory quarantine? That’s where “interruption for any reason” travel insurance would help. “Interruption for any reason” coverage is offered as an upgrade from a small number of travel insurance companies. If you have this upgrade, you can be reimbursed for portions of your trip that you miss if you have been to quarantine but don’t have Covid. It can also pay for transportation expenses to get you caught up to your planned itinerary.
“Interruption for any reason” isn’t a common benefit, but the following companies offer it on several plans: iTravelInsured, Nationwide, Seven Corners and Travel Insured International and WorldTrips.
Other plan benefits to look for
The best Covid travel insurance policies will also include coverage for: