ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. February 7, 2020 — The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, causing cancelled flights, rerouted cruises and additional traveler screenings worldwide. As the situation escalates, travelers may now be experiencing a widespread impact on international travel.
Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, breaks down travel insurance coverage and availability for future travelers.
Coverage May Be Available for Insured Travelers Impacted By Cancelled Flights
Many airlines have suspended all flights to mainland China, with some flights cancelled through the end of April. Most travel insurance policies do not provide coverage for flights cancelled due to an outbreak, however many do provide coverage for related travel delays.
Trips Interrupted By Cruise Line Screenings May Be Covered
Some cruise lines are refusing access to travelers who appear ill, or who have recently visited China, regardless of the ship’s location. An insured traveler who is denied boarding because of a symptom, such as a fever, may be covered to cancel their trip if they have documentation from a doctor.
Future Travelers May Have Options for Coverage
Travelers planning trips to China may still be able to purchase medical coverage if they are concerned about contracting the virus while traveling. The availability of medical coverage on new policies varies by provider, as some are now considering contracting the virus as an expected event, and therefore excluding it from coverage.
Future travelers looking for coverage to cancel a trip due to the virus may still have an option with the Cancel for Any Reason upgrade. This benefit must be purchased within 21 days of the first trip booking and will only reimburse up to 75% of the trip cost, however it covers travelers cancel their trips for any reason, including for any concerns about traveling due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
Squaremouth recently launched the China – Coronavirus Outbreak Travel Insurance Information Center to explain coverage for the virus outbreak. This page is updated regularly by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts, and includes answers to frequently asked questions and official statements from providers.