There have been so many changes in the last several weeks that it is hard to keep up with them. Travel insurance companies and airlines are changing policies on a weekly, if not more often, basis. Many of these changes do not benefit the traveler. The tour operators and cruise lines are, for the most part, are offering credits for all travel that has been interrupted due to the Coronavirus. I have had several clients that I have had to push my travel suppliers to do what is right for the clients. Some I have been successful with but others I haven’t. I understand the reasoning behind not refunding everyone; it is a case of staying in business or not.
I have been getting this question a lot, and if it were last week when I was answering it, I would have a different answer. Before Covid19, if you were scheduled to fly and the airline canceled your flight due to a schedule change or if you had a nonstop flight and the airline changed the flight to a connection, those two instances would qualify you for a refund.
This is a question that has come up as calls come into my office. You can always purchase travel insurance to cover your vacation investment after you have made deposits. Still, some restrictions come into play when you decide after the fact to protect yourself. Many travel insurance policies have a preexisting conditions clause in them that are defined within the policy as to what constitutes a preexisting condition. When travel insurance is purchased with the initial deposit of a trip, many travel insurance policies include a waiver so you will be covered for losses due to a preexisting medical condition, but the most important restriction is the policy must be purchased within 14 days of the first trip payment to qualify for this waiver. So if you booked your trip a few months ago and now want to buy insurance, no preexisting conditions will be covered, and all of the other general exclusions will still be excluded.
Will the travel insurance I purchased cover my trip in case I have to cancel due to the Coronavirus and the CDC Travel Advisory?
Generally, the answer to this question is no. On most travel insurance policies, an epidemic is included under the general exclusions of the policy. Since the Coronavirus, Covid-19, was deemed an epidemic by the CDC, it is not a covered reason for cancellation.
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