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Will travel insurance cover coronavirus claims?

Posted: 10:42 AM, Mar 04, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-04 11:42:22-05

Many of us purchase travel insurance hoping that it will protect us if something goes wrong before, during or after our trip.

But, unfortunately, some travelers are now learning that their travel insurance may not cover them for issues related to the coronavirus.

Here is why:

Some policies contain exclusions for things like epidemics or for things that could be foreseen.

If you purchased the coverage after Jan. 21, there may be less of a chance that you will have coverage for coronavirus cancellations due to the coronavirus now being a foreseen verses unforeseen circumstance.

If you purchased your policy prior to the coronavirus becoming a known risk, you may be covered subject to exclusions, and depending upon the terms and conditions of your policy. But, every policy has different language, exclusions and terms and conditions.

Some experts are recommending that consumers purchase “cancel for any reason” coverage. But, this may not necessarily work either if the policy excludes coverage for cancellations due to an epidemic. It is critical to review your policy, check for updates from your insurer, and ask questions.

If it appears that you will not have coverage, there might be a few things that you can do. Some insurers will allow you to cancel your coverage and receive a refund. However, before you do this, you may want to hold off and wait to see if your trip will need to be canceled. You might also want to check with your airline or hotel to see if they will waive cancellation or change fees. If you decide to re-book your travel for another time, many travel insurance policies will allow you to change the dates of coverage for the policy.

If your airline or travel company cancels your flight or trip, you may be owed a refund. If a travel company cancels your trip, they might also be able to help with getting refunds, re-booking, or assist with filing a claim with your travel insurer.

Now is the time to read over your travel insurance policies and ask questions about how this coverage will protect you for issues related to the Corona virus. If you experience problems in getting answers, filing a claim, or getting claims paid, contact our Call 4 Action office for assistance.

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