Squaremouth in the News

New York Times, Feb 26 2020 – Coronavirus is Spreading. Should You Cancel Your Family Vacation?

New York Times, Feb 26 2020 – Coronavirus is Spreading. Should You Cancel Your Family Vacation?

Last Updated:

Consider buying travel insurance.

During the travel ban to China, major American airlines have been canceling flights and offering free rebooking or refunds. But what if you’re concerned about an area that has an outbreak but no travel ban? Or what if you’re feeling queasy about travel in general?

When Sendra booked her family’s vacation to Italy, she did so using frequent flier miles and points that ended up being refunded. She also asked the airline to waive any fees, which it agreed to do, and she was successful in receiving refunds for tours and apartment rentals in Italy.

Not everyone is so fortunate, especially if you paid for tickets that have a strict no cancellation policy.

Kasara Barto, public relations manager at Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison service, said the company received a “huge spike” in calls from travelers asking about insurance coverage during the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s important to read all the fine print and understand what trip insurance does and doesn’t cover to ensure that you’ll receive a reimbursement.

“Under a standard policy, fear of traveling is never a covered reason to cancel a trip,” Barto said.

There is, however, a “cancel for any reason” policy, she said, that allows travelers to cancel their plans for any reason at all — including worries about contracting coronavirus — up to three days before departure and receive a refund of up to 75 percent of the prepaid trip.

This type of insurance doesn’t come cheap. It’s usually 40 percent pricier than standard policies, and it typically must be purchased within three weeks of the first day you begin booking your travel plans, Barto said.

Some insurance policies are more family-friendly than others, so it’s smart to compare policies on TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth, InsureMyTrip or other similar websites to assess whether the cost of the insurance would be worthwhile.

And if you’re thinking about traveling outside the United States and your health insurance doesn’t cover you while you’re abroad, you may want to consider medical travel insurance that would substitute for your United States health insurance. Experts recommend purchasing not only emergency medical coverage but also emergency medical transportation coverage.

Read the full New York Times article online here: https://parenting.nytimes.com/health/coronavirus-family-travel-advisory