Infectious diseases are a common concern for travelers today, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic. While travel insurance can provide peace of mind for unexpected events like flight delays or lost luggage, it’s also important to consider the coverage offered for potential medical expenses and cancellations related to infectious diseases.
What Is An Infectious Disease?
Infectious diseases can range from mild to severe. The common cold, the flu, and Covid-19 are all examples of well-known infectious diseases. Infectious diseases can also be specific to destinations. For example, diseases such as malaria, zika, and yellow fever can be a risk to travelers heading to certain parts of the world.
Does Travel Insurance Cover Infectious Diseases?
Most travel insurance policies may offer coverage for medical expenses incurred while traveling, including those related to infectious diseases. However, travel insurance is designed to cover unforeseen events, so it’s important to carefully review the policy details to determine what is covered and what is not.
For example, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, many providers treated Covid-19 like any other illness or injury, meaning coverage could apply if the traveler was healthy at the time they purchased the policy.
However, in other cases, an infectious disease outbreak could be viewed as a foreseen once it has been publicly declared. In this scenario, coverage would not be available to those that purchased a policy after the outbreak became a known event.
Finding A Travel Insurance Policy That Covers Infectious Diseases
After the travel disruptions that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s understandable that many people are looking for travel insurance policies that specifically cover infectious diseases. Here are some steps you can take to find a travel insurance policy that meets your needs:
Travelers should always compare travel insurance policies to find the best coverage for their trip. While many providers may offer similar policies, the price, coverage limits, and exclusions can vary widely from one plan to the next.
When comparing travel insurance policies, it’s important to carefully research the policy and understand the coverage limitations before purchasing. If you have questions about a specific policy, or want to know if it covers infectious diseases, our customer service team will be more than happy to help.
Check Policy Limits
Make sure to check the policy limits for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation, as these can vary widely between policies. You want to make sure that the limits are high enough to cover any potential expenses related to an infectious disease.
For most international trips, Squaremouth recommends that travelers find a policy that includes at least $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and $100,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage. However, those traveling to destinations with a higher risk of infection could benefit from increased coverage limits.
Consider Trip Cancellation Coverage
In addition to medical coverage, you may want to consider Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage in case you need to cancel your trip because of an infectious disease. This can provide peace of mind if you need to cancel your trip or cut it short because you unexpectedly became sick.
Travelers who want even more trip flexibility should consider a policy that includes the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade. This coverage allows travelers to cancel their trip for most reasons that are not otherwise covered by Trip Cancellation, including general concerns related to infectious diseases.
Understand the Exclusions
Finally, make sure to carefully read the policy exclusions to understand what is not covered. For example, some policies may exclude coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, including certain infectious diseases, or for travel to certain high-risk areas. Other policies may exclude coverage for pandemics altogether. Knowing the terms of a policy will help you understand what’s covered in certain situations.
Other Travel Tips Regarding Infectious Disease
Traveling, especially during times of infectious diseases, requires extra caution and preparation. Here are some travel tips to help you stay healthy and safe:
- Research Your Destination: Spend time researching the types of diseases that are prevalent in the destination you’ll be visiting. Some countries may require proof of vaccination before entry, so it’s important to plan ahead.
- Stay Informed: Before you travel, stay updated on the latest information about infectious diseases, including outbreaks, travel advisories, and vaccination requirements.
- Follow Vaccine and Medication Recommendations: Even if a destination doesn’t require vaccinations to gain entry, it’s still important to follow the advice of healthcare professionals and travel experts.
- Practice Good Hygiene: Washing your hands regularly, staying hydrated, and maintaining good distance from sick individuals can limit the risk of contracting an infectious disease.
- Be Cautious with Food and Water: Be mindful of the food and water you consume while traveling. Stick to bottled water, avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods, and opt for hot, freshly prepared meals.
- Stay Updated During Your Trip: Keep yourself informed about any local outbreaks or health advisories at your travel destination. Follow the guidelines and recommendations provided by local health authorities.
Fact Sheets and Press Releases
US Travel Reaches All-Time High Amid Rise in Covid VariantsRead More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. September 21, 2021 — A spike in US travel has coincided with rapidly spreading coronavirus variants.
Europe is Top Destination for US Travelers Amid Entry Rule ChangeRead More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. August 31, 2021 — In September, travel to Europe will reach its highest point in over a year, accounting for 40% of all trips that month, according to travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.com. This comes as the EU recommends restricting entry to US travelers amid the spreading Delta variant.
Nearly Half of Top US Tourist Destinations are Listed as Highest Covid-19 RiskRead More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. August 18, 2021 — The CDC recently added seven countries to their highest travel risk level for Covid-19. According to travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.com, four of these countries - Israel, France, Iceland and Aruba - are among the most popular destinations for US tourists.
Required Travel Insurance Becoming More Popular, says SquaremouthRead More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. July 28, 2021 — Countries and cruise lines are turning to travel insurance as a resource to regain tourism.
Europe Returns to No. 1 Destination for US Travelers for First Time Since Covid-19Read More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. July 13, 2021 — For the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, more US travelers are heading to Europe than any other destination.
Squaremouth Warns of “Perfect Storm” for Travelers as Pandemic Causes Caribbean Travel Spike During Busy Hurricane SeasonRead More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. June 23, 2021 — American travelers are flocking to the Caribbean like never before due to ongoing border closures. Caribbean countries comprise 8 of the top 10 summer travel destinations, according to travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.com.
Why Vaccinated Travelers Should Still Buy Travel InsuranceRead More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. June 15, 2021 — Most travelers who had trips impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic weren’t forced to cancel their trips due to contracting the virus, according to travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.
Younger Demographics Show Highest Ever Interest in Travel Insurance
- See all 10 articles
How Summer Travel is Shaping Up Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic
How the Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout is Changing Traveler BehaviorRead More
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. March 23, 2021 — It’s been just over 3 months since the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, and there has already been a notable shift in traveler behavior. Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, breaks down how the Covid-19 vaccine is changing the way travelers are approaching their trips in 2021.
- Can I cancel if I'm concerned I’ll get stuck overseas due to CDC’s requirement to submit a negative test?
- Will my coverage extend if I’m stuck overseas due to a positive COVID-19 test?
- Am I covered if I test positive and cannot return home to the US?
- Am I covered if my airline declares bankruptcy due to the coronavirus travel ban?
- What if I'm afraid to travel due to Covid-19?
- Can my credit card's travel insurance cover me to cancel due to Covid-19?
- Am I covered to cancel my trip if I get sick while traveling?
- Am I covered to cancel my trip if I get sick before my trip?
- See all 11 FAQs
- What types of current events are covered by travel insurance?
- Can I cancel my trip because of a CDC Alert?
- Can I cancel my trip to the 2016 Olympics due to the Zika virus?
Infectious Disease Event Center External Resources
Travel insurance coverage for infectious diseases is typically limited to travelers who actually contract the disease or illness, however there are preventive measures you can take if you know about the outbreak ahead of time. These resources explain disease outbreaks in more detail: