Omicron Variant Leads to Spike in Travel Insurance: Here’s What Is and Isn’t Covered

Omicron Variant Leads to Spike in Travel Insurance: Here’s What Is and Isn’t Covered

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. December 2, 2021 — Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.com, reports a 53% increase in travel insurance sales following the news of the Omicron variant.

According to Squaremouth, demand for travel insurance had already been steadily increasing as borders opened and traveler confidence improved. Sales peaked in the third quarter, surpassing that of 2019, the last “normal” travel year. Since the announcement of the newest Covid-19 variant of concern, Squaremouth says sales rose to an all-time high.

In comparison, the spike following news of the Delta variant was only 20%.

Today, traveler concerns are more layered and complex than ever before, Squaremouth says.

“A new and highly transmittable variant can certainly be a cause of health concerns among travelers,” says Squaremouth Chief Marketing Officer, Megan Moncrief, “But the implications go beyond that, to include border closures and quarantine restrictions that can be difficult to accommodate.”

Squaremouth warns against being too quick to buy a travel insurance policy for some of these concerns, as many may not be covered. While contracting Covid-19, including any variant, can be covered by most travel insurance policies on squaremouth.com, coverage for other related impacts to travel isn’t as common.

For example, border closures are an immediate threat to international travel plans. Israel, which was quick to close, was Squaremouth’s fourth highest destination prior to news of the variant.

A border closure is not outright covered by standard travel insurance policies, says Squaremouth. Only select policies will allow you to cancel if there is a government issued travel warning for a country you are visiting, as long as the policy is purchased before the warning is issued.

Other issues, like new quarantine restrictions at your destination, or upon your return, may have travelers rethinking their plans. These concerns also aren’t covered by standard travel insurance policies.

Travelers who share these concerns can opt for a larger safety net of coverage under the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade, which allows you to cancel for any of these reasons that would be otherwise excluded, for an added cost. The problem, says Squaremouth, is Cancel For Any Reason is only available for a short time after you first book a trip, meaning it likely isn’t available for any trips booked at least a month before news of the Omicron variant.

Squaremouth’s Travel Insurance and Covid-19 Hub is updated with information about available coverage. From here, travelers can also search for policies specifically with coverage for Covid-19.

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Notes to editors

Available Topic Expert: Megan Moncrief, Chief Marketing Officer, is available for comment and interview. mmoncrief@squaremouth.com (727) 378-0938

About Squaremouth: Squaremouth.com has insured over 2 million travelers. Using Squaremouth’s intuitive quoting and comparison engine, award-winning support team, and verified customer reviews, travelers can save time and money to find the best travel insurance policy for their trip.