Last Updated: 08/31/2020 03:15PM ET

The coronavirus outbreak – officially named COVID-19 – was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Since then, COVID-19 has spread worldwide, severely impacting travel, causing travel restrictions and border closures. The U.S. State Department has issued travel advisories for many countries. Travelers can view the current list of U.S. State Department Travel Advisories

The Coronavirus Pandemic Travel Insurance Information Center explains travel insurance coverage for the outbreak. This resource is regularly updated by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts with official provider position statements, answers to frequently asked questions, and more. Information is subject to change at any time.

Many travel insurance providers consider the coronavirus pandemic to be a known event, as they consider the pandemic to have a foreseeable impact on travel. As such, travel insurance coverage for COVID-19 and its impacts are limited. 

However, some providers do not consider contracting coronavirus to be a foreseen event and are still offering coverage related to COVID-19. Despite widespread coronavirus cases, travelers can still purchase a policy that includes cancellation coverage for travelers who contract coronavirus or are physically quarantined. Medical benefits related to coronavirus are also available on new policies purchased, in the event that travelers medical contract COVID-19 and require emergency medical care while on their trip. Travelers can search for policies that include coverage for contracting coronavirus

As the coronavirus pandemic impacted a large number of businesses, travelers may no longer be able to travel as planned. Select travel insurance policies include coverage for travelers whose time off has been revoked, who are required to work, or who have been laid off. Travelers can search for policies that include coverage for Employment Layoff or Cancel for Work Reasons.

With travel virtually grounded worldwide, many travel suppliers are experiencing financial troubles. Travel insurance can protect travelers in the event their travel supplier goes insolvent, but coverage must be purchased before the company is impacted. Travelers can search for policies that include financial default coverage

Major airlines and cruise lines have announced financial issues that have already caused insolvency, or are expected to, including:

  • Genting Hong Kong / Crystal Cruises / Dream Cruises / Star Cruises
  • Hertz
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Thai Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

For travelers with concerns not covered by a standard policy, including fear of traveling because of the coronavirus, the Cancel for Any Reason upgrade is the best option for cancellation coverage. This extensive coverage allows travelers to cancel their trip for any reason 2-3 days prior to departure and be reimbursed 75% of their insured trip cost. Travelers can search for policies that include Cancel for Any Reason.

U.S. State Department issued travel advisories for many countries. Travelers can view current travel advisories here.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The outbreak has spread worldwide.

Many airports in the United States are screening passengers for signs of the virus and may deny boarding to those showing symptoms.

Squaremouth created a Traveler's Guide to Travel Insurance for Coronavirus, explaining what coverage is recommended for travelers who are buying a policy now, and what coverage may apply to current policyholders.

If you are currently traveling in an area that may be affected by the coronavirus, contact your provider's 24-Hour Emergency Assistance for help.

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