Beyond the usual contingencies, COVID-19 poses some unique risks. Travel insurance can help, but only if you buy the right policy:
— Catching COVID-19 at your destination. As far as I can tell, many conventional medical policies cover medical costs of getting sick at your destination. And at least one new policy, from Seven Corners, explicitly lists “COVID-19” as a covered reason. But some insurers can deny coverage because COVID-19 is not an unforeseen danger.
— Getting quarantined at your destination. Being told you have to hole up locally for 14 days can come as very bad news. Some TII policies include “quarantine” as a covered reason; others do not.
— Canceling a trip because of COVID-19. Many policies explicitly deny coverage for epidemics/pandemics, many do not cover force majeure (or acts of God) events, and some do not cover prepaid arrangements even if your airline/hotel/cruise line cancels before you do. The only policies that let you decide whether you want to continue or cancel a trip are “cancel for any reason” policies, and they (1) generally give recover no more than 50% or 75% of your prepayments and (2) cost a good bit more than conventional policies.
In some cases, even the fine print in an insurance contract is insufficiently clear, and the online comparison tables give you even less detail. You can’t be sure of covering the risks you face just by referring to those comparison tables. The only way to be sure you’re covering the risks that concern you is to buy your insurance through a specialized travel insurance agency and to specify, in a phone call or email with a qualified agent, exactly what risks you want to make sure are covered. Over the years, I’ve recommended Quotewright.com, Squaremouth.com, and InsureMyTrip.com but there are others.
Read the full Chicago Tribune article online here: https://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/sns-ed-perkins-post-covid-travel-insurance-20200824-qqsligi6xbaqpfdln4epynzhay-story.html