I’m Searching for a New Policy that has Coverage for COVID-19

There is coverage still available for the COVID-19 pandemic. Travelers may buy a new policy with medical benefits for Covid-19, as well as coverage in the event they are forced to cancel for medical reasons or economic reasons. Otherwise, the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade may be available for recently purchased trips.

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I Have Questions About My Policy's COVID-19 Coverage

There is limited coverage for the COVID-19 pandemic on existing policies that were purchased before the outbreak began. Only benefits for specific instances, such as contracting the virus, being physically quarantined, being required to work, or a school year extension, may apply.

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I Need Information on the CDC Rule to Submit a Negative Test

Effective Jan. 26, 2021, the CDC has implemented a requirement that all travelers - U.S. citizens included - must submit a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding an international flight into the U.S. Travelers with a policy may extend their coverage if they test positive and are stuck overseas.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the travel industry worldwide to an unprecedented level with travel restrictions and ongoing border closures. At the height of the pandemic, international travel came to a near standstill. Travel has started to rebound over the past months, but travelers are still facing an unfamiliar layer of challenges.

During these uncertain times, travel insurance for COVID-19 may protect travelers’ trip investments in the event the pandemic impacts their trip. Although coverage may be limited and is dependent on the situation, this can include coverage for cancellations related to COVID-19, as well as medical emergencies such as contracting the virus.

Squaremouth’s Traveler’s Guide to Travel Insurance for COVID-19 explains how a travel insurance policy can cover travelers during the pandemic.

Buying Guide for Travelers Looking for a New Policy for COVID-19


Cancellation Coverage for Health Issues due to COVID-19

Trip Cancellation has always been the primary reason travelers buy travel insurance. With the concern brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the percent of travelers buying for this reason has reached an all-time high.

Many travel insurance providers can still provide this coverage for the coronavirus for health related issues. The Coronavirus Cancellation benefit of travel insurance can provide reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable trip payments if a trip is canceled or interrupted due to a travel contracting the virus. This benefit is included within some policies under the Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption benefits. In order for this coverage to be available, the traveler must be healthy when they buy their policy.

With this coverage, if an insured traveler is forced to cancel their trip before they depart because they contracted the virus, they can be covered for 100% of their prepaid and non-refundable trip cost. If they are forced to cancel while traveling, they can be covered for their unused trip expenses.

The following providers may still provide this coverage:

  • April Travel Protection (Trip Cancellation Plan, Choice, Annual Plan, Pandemic Plus policies)
  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Cat 70 Travel Plan
  • Generali
  • HTH Travel Insurance (TripProtector Economy, TripProtector Classic, and TripProtector Preferred policies)
  • John Hancock (Bronze, Silver and Gold)
  • Nationwide
  • Seven Corners
  • Tin Leg
  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • TravelSafe
  • Trawick International
  • USI Affinity (Ruby and Diamond)

Start a search for policies that may cover the coronavirus


Other Reasons for Cancellation Coverage due to COVID

While the primary reason to cancel a trip due to COVID-19 is contracting the virus itself, there are other reasons that may be covered by a policy. These reasons include:

  • Financial Default: This benefit can reimburse your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses if your travel supplier suspends services due to financial circumstances. This is a time-sensitive benefit that may be included in your policy if you purchased within 10-21 days of booking your trip.
  • Cancel For Work Reasons: This benefit can reimburse your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses if you need to cancel because your pre-approved vacation time is revoked due to an obligation to work. This must be documented by your employer.
  • Employment Layoff: This benefit can reimburse your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses if you must cancel following an involuntary layoff or termination of employment. Typically, it is required that you have worked for the same employer 1-3 years, depending on the policy.

These benefits are only available within some travel insurance policies, and terms of coverage vary by provider. In the event one of the above situations impacts your travel plans, we recommend contacting your travel insurance provider directly.

Click Here to View Coronavirus Travel Insurance FAQs

The Cancel For Any Reason Upgrade

For all other situations related to COVID-19, the only cancellation option that may still be available is Cancel For Any Reason.

Cancel For Any Reason is a time-sensitive upgrade. Most policies with this benefit can only be purchased within 14-21 days of the first payment towards the trip. However, if you’re taking a cruise, select policies offer Cancel For Any Reason anytime before you’ve made your final cruise payment.

In order to be eligible for the Cancel For Any Reason benefit, you must also insure 100% of your prepaid and non-refundable trip costs, and must cancel your trip at least 2 days prior to your departure. This benefit reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost.

Cancel For Any Reason typically costs roughly 40% more than a standard cancellation-style policy. However it reimburses a majority of your trip expenses if you cancel your trip for a reason not otherwise covered by your policy, such as not wanting to travel due to risk of contacting COVID.

Squaremouth has added a feature to help travelers who are concerned about COVID-19 search for policies that can cover the outbreak. After entering their trip information on squaremouth.com, travelers will see an alert message with an option to search only for policies that can provide some coverage for the coronavirus, including relevant policies with Trip Cancellation, Cancel For Any Reason, or Emergency Medical benefits that are still available.

Start a search for policies that may cover the coronavirus


Medical Benefits for COVID-19 Travel Insurance

Most travel insurance providers on Squaremouth’s website are offering Coronavirus Medical coverage for the pandemic, including Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation. This coverage can only apply to travelers who contract COVID during their trip and require medical attention.

Emergency Medical coverage for coronavirus specifically covers the treatment of COVID-19 for travelers who unexpectedly contract the cirus while traveling. Squaremouth recommends a minimum of $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage to account for COVID-19 related medical care.

Medical Evacuation coverage can provide transportation to the nearest adequate hospital if a traveler contracts coronavirus during their trip. If the treating physician determines they should return home to receive further medical attention, this benefit can also cover those transportation expenses. Squaremouth recommends a minimum of $100,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage to account for potentially high evacuation expenses.

Medical coverage varies per travel insurance provider. Below are the providers that may still provide medical benefits for newly purchased policies:

  • April Travel Protection (Choice, Annual Plan, Pandemic Plus policies)
  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Cat 70 Travel Plan
  • Generali
  • Global Underwriters (Diplomat America, Diplomat Long Term incl US, Diplomat Long Term excl US policies)
  • HTH Travel Insurance
  • John Hancock (Bronze, Silver and Gold)
  • MedJet (Medical Evacuation coverage only)
  • Nationwide
  • Seven Corners
  • Tin Leg
  • Tokio Marine HCC
  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • TravelSafe
  • Trawick International
  • USA-ASSIST
  • USI Affinity (Ruby and Diamond)

In addition to the providers above, others are only covering medical expenses related to the coronavirus to insureds who bought a policy prior to the outbreak.

Start a search for policies that may cover the coronavirus

*Please note: This coverage varies by policy and provider. If you are looking for medical coverage for the coronavirus, we recommend contacting a provider directly to clarify their coverage.


Other Travel Insurance Benefits

Additional travel insurance benefits may be included within your policy and could provide coverage in the event the coronavirus impacts your trip. This may include Travel Delay and Missed Connection coverage for any delay of a common carrier, and coverage for Baggage Delay or Baggage & Personal Items Loss.

*Please note: This coverage varies by policy and provider. If you are looking for coverage for the coronavirus, we recommend contacting a provider directly to clarify their coverage.

Click Here to View Coronavirus Travel Insurance FAQs

Coverage Guide for Travelers Who Already Have a Policy

Squaremouth requests travel insurance position statements from all of our providers. To view your provider’s specific coverage for the coronavirus, please click here to view all coronavirus outbreak provider position statements.

While the coronavirus – officially named COVID-19 – is impacting travel on a global scale, this specific situation is not listed as a covered event under most travel insurance policies.

In order for a traveler to be eligible for travel insurance benefits, the event that impacts their trip must be specifically listed in their policy as a “covered” event. Viral outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics, typically are not listed. Moreso, canceling a trip for fear over health and safety is never listed under a standard trip cancellation policy.

Based on responses we’ve received, below is a breakdown of the possible coverage scenarios if you already have a policy:

  • Some policies may provide Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption coverage if you contract the coronavirus and are unable to travel.
  • Some policies may provide Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption coverage if you are physically quarantined due to the coronavirus, as long as you purchased prior to the date your provider considered the outbreak foreseen.
  • Select policies can cover you to cancel your trip if the CDC issues a travel warning telling travelers to avoid non-essential travel to a destination, as long as that destination is on your trip itinerary, and you purchased prior to the date your provider considered the outbreak foreseen.
  • You may be covered for medical expenses if you contract the virus while traveling. Some providers do not base this coverage on the foreseeable date, while some others require that you purchased before the event because foreseen. This is handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Some policies with the Travel Delay and Missed Connection benefits provide coverage for any delay of a common carrier, such as your airline. If your policy includes this coverage, you may be covered for food and accommodation expenses during the delay.

For travelers who have already purchased a policy and have specific questions about coverage, we recommend contacting your provider directly.

  • If your trip has been canceled due to the travel ban or you decide you don’t want to travel during the outbreak, this is not a covered event within travel insurance policies. However, most providers allow you to repurpose your policy for a trip at a later date.
  • If you determine your policy does not have the coverage you need, you may be able to cancel the policy for a full refund, as long as you are within the 10-14 day Money Back Guarantee period.*
    *Due to state regulations, this coverage may vary based on your state of residency

To contact your provider, click here access their contact information.

Coronavirus Travel Insurance FAQs

Which countries require travel insurance for Covid-19?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the travel industry from top to bottom, altering traveler concerns and leading to new regulations that are required by specific countries. Amid the pandemic, some countries require travel insurance for Covid-19 in order for travelers to gain entry.

The travel insurance that is required for Covid-19 typically includes coverage for medical expenses in the event a traveler contracts the virus, and may also include other specific requirements like coverage for a quarantine.

The following countries require travel insurance for Covid-19:
• Anguilla
• Aruba
• Brazil
• Cambodia
• Costa Rica
• Jamaica
• Lebanon
• St. Maarten
• Thailand
• The Bahamas
• Turks and Caicos
• Ukraine

Can I cancel if I’m concerned I’ll get stuck overseas due to CDC’s requirement to submit a negative test?

Unfortunately, standard travel insurance policies do not cover canceling a trip because you are concerned about getting stuck overseas and not being able to return home due to the CDC’s requirement that you submit a negative COVID-19 test.

The only time a travel insurance policy can cover you to cancel because you are concerned about traveling due to the coronavirus, or related travel regulations, is if you purchased the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade. This benefit partially reimburses you to cancel your trip for a reason that is not otherwise covered, such as not wanting to travel because you’re nervous you may get stuck in another country.

This is a time-sensitive upgrade. Most policies with Cancel For Any Reason can only be purchased within 14-21 days of the first payment towards the trip. However, if you are taking a cruise, select cruise only policies offer Cancel For Any Reason anytime before you’ve made your final trip payment.

In order to be eligible for the Cancel For Any Reason benefit, you must insure your entire trip cost. In order to cancel under this benefit, you must cancel your trip in its entirety at least 2 days before your scheduled departure date. This benefit can reimburse up to 75% of your trip cost, and typically increases a policy’s premium by about 40%.

Will my coverage extend if I’m stuck overseas due to a positive COVID-19 test?

Your coverage may extend if you are stuck overseas due to a positive COVID-19 test that prevents you from flying home. Typically, policies with this coverage can be extended up to 7 days after your scheduled return date, however the maximum number of days can vary.

The coverage that may apply in this situation varies depending on whether or not you are hospitalized.

If you are hospitalized following a positive test before you fly home, your policy’s Emergency Medical benefit may cover the cost of treatment, including hospital charges and physician services. This coverage may be extended after your departure date if you test positive while you are still traveling.

If you test positive, however do not show any symptoms and are not hospitalized, your policy’s Travel Delay coverage may be extended, depending on the policy. This benefit can cover the costs of meals and accommodations during the extension of your trip while you are quarantined. This coverage may be extended up to the maximum number of days listed by your policy or until you are cleared to return home, whichever takes place first.

Am I covered if I test positive and cannot return home to the US?

If you are unable to travel home due to the CDC regulation because you contracted the coronavirus while overseas, you may be covered under your policy’s Trip Delay benefit, depending on your policy.

This benefit can cover the costs of meals and accommodations during the extension of your trip while you are quarantined. This coverage may be extended up to the maximum number of days listed by the policy or until you are cleared to return home, whichever takes place first.

In the event you are hospitalized, you may also be covered by your policy’s Emergency Medical benefit. This benefit can cover the cost incurred for treatment related to the coronavirus, including hospital charges and physician services.

What if I’m afraid to travel as the coronavirus outbreak worsens?

Unfortunately, fear of traveling is never a covered reason to cancel a trip for a refund under standard travel insurance policies.

The only time a travel insurance policy can cover you to cancel because you’re afraid of traveling due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus is if you purchased the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade. This benefit partially reimburses you to cancel your trip for a reason that is not otherwise covered, such as fear of traveling.

This is a time-sensitive upgrade. Most policies with Cancel For Any Reason can only be purchased within 14-21 days of the first payment towards the trip. However, if you are taking a cruise, select cruise only policies offer Cancel For Any Reason anytime before you’ve made your final trip payment.

In order to be eligible for the Cancel For Any Reason benefit, you must insure your entire trip cost. In order to cancel under this benefit, you must cancel your trip in its entirety at least 2 days before your scheduled departure date. This benefit can reimburse up to 75% of your trip cost, and typically increases a policy’s premium by about 40%.

Can I cancel my trip because of a CDC Alert?

Under most standard Trip Cancellation policies, an alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not a covered reason to cancel a trip, however some providers may offer this coverage.

Typically, a travel alert or warning is not enough to trigger Trip Cancellation coverage. Most policies do not have this coverage, however it can be included by a select few policies. To determine if a policy has Trip Cancellation coverage for a CDC alert, check the list of covered events in the policy’s certificate.

If a CDC alert is not specifically listed as a covered event, it is not covered under standard Trip Cancellation. In that case, you would need the Cancel For Any Reason benefit to cancel due to a CDC alert.

Cancel For Any Reason allows you to cancel for a reason that is not otherwise covered by your policy. This is a time-sensitive upgrade. Most policies with Cancel For Any Reason can only be purchased within 14-21 days of the first trip payment.
However, if you’re taking a cruise, select policies offer Cancel For Any Reason before you’ve made your final cruise payment.

Cancel For Any Reason only reimburses up to 75% of your trip costs and requires you to cancel the trip at least 2-3 days before your departure date. This upgrade usually increases a policy’s premium by about 40%.

Am I covered if I contract the coronavirus while traveling?

You may be covered by travel insurance if you contract the coronavirus during your trip.

If you become infected with the coronavirus while traveling, you should contact your provider’s 24-hour Emergency Assistance department as soon as reasonably possible. Depending on your policy, Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation benefits may be available to you.

The Emergency Medical benefit covers medical expenses if a traveler becomes unexpectedly ill while on their trip. The Medical Evacuation covers transportation costs to the nearest adequate medical facility, as well as transportation home if the treating physician deems it necessary.

It is important to contact Emergency Assistance as soon as possible so your travel insurance provider can begin working with you on your situation, including explaining coverage and arranging medical care. On a case-by-case basis, your travel insurance provider may pre-certify medical payments for your hospital stay and treatment, as well as any necessary transportation.

Am I covered if I’m quarantined due to the coronavirus outbreak?

You may have coverage within your travel insurance policy if you are quarantined due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Many travel insurance policies offer coverage for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption due to you or your traveling companion being quarantined, as long as you purchased your policy before the coronavirus became a known event. Most providers consider Jan. 21 or 22 to be the date the coronavirus became a known event. However, you can be covered if you become quarantined if your provider hasn’t assigned a foreseen date to the outbreak.

If you are forced to cancel your trip outright due to a quarantine, coverage may be available under the Trip Cancellation benefit. If a quarantine affects your trip, Trip Interruption coverage may be available to cover the cost to catch up to your trip once the quarantine has been lifted.

Policies that offer this type of coverage will list “Quarantine” as a covered reason under Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption.

Am I covered if my airline declares bankruptcy due to the coronavirus travel ban?

You may be covered by the Financial Default benefit if your airline, or travel supplier, suspends operations for financial circumstances.

The Financial Default benefit is included within some travel insurance policies to reimburse your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses if your travel supplier suspends services due to financial circumstances, whether or not bankruptcy is filed. This is a time-sensitive benefit that may be included within your policy if you purchased within 10-21 days of making your initial trip deposit.

Amid the Level 4 Travel Alert, can I still book future trips?

On March 19, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory, the highest possible level of travel advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
During this time, travelers are still able to book future trips for travel outside of the travel ban. However, it remains unclear how long the Level 4 Alert will last.

If you book a future trip, or already have a future trip booked, and it is canceled due to the travel ban, standard travel insurance coverage is not available. In the event of a travel ban or a travel supplier canceling a trip, only policies with the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade can partially reimburse travelers who need to cancel.

However, many travel suppliers are offering refunds or credits during this time. If your trip is canceled, your provider will typically allow you to modify your policy to cover a future trip. If the trip is just rescheduled, you can also update your policy to cover the new travel dates.

Am I covered to cancel my trip if I have job issues because of the coronavirus?

Yes, you may be covered to cancel your trip if the COVID pandemic impacts your job.

There are two travel insurance benefits that may provide coverage for travelers whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus: Cancel For Work Reasons and Employment Layoff. These benefits are included within some policies as part of their Trip Cancellation coverage.

The Cancel For Work Reasons benefit can reimburse your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses if you need to cancel because your pre-approved vacation time is revoked due to an obligation to work. This must be documented by your employer.

The Employment Layoff benefit can reimburse your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses if you must cancel following an involuntary layoff or termination of employment. Typically, you must have worked for the same employers for 1-3 years for this coverage to apply.

What if I miss my flight due to coronavirus screenings at the airport?

Travel insurance won’t cover you if you miss your flight due to extra screenings at the airport for the coronavirus.

Many airports are screening travelers for signs of COVID-19. However, travel insurance does not cover delays or missed flights caused by these screenings or security delays.

For a missed flight to be covered, it must be for a reason listed under your policy’s Travel Delay coverage. The most common covered reasons for Travel Delay are inclement weather or a mechanical breakdown of a common carrier. However, missing your flight because you’re stuck at security due to coronavirus screening is not covered.

Start a search for policies that may cover the coronavirus


As the coronavirus spreads, can I buy coverage for a country that is not yet affected?

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, infecting people in more than 100 countries. You may still be able to purchase a new policy with coverage for the coronavirus outbreak. However, coverage is limited, as most providers consider the outbreak foreseen, and travel insurance policies only cover unforeseen events.

The following providers have not assigned a foreseen date to the coronavirus outbreak. These providers can still provide Trip Cancellation coverage to travelers who contract the virus or become quarantined:

  • April Travel Protection (Trip Cancellation Plan, Choice, Annual Plan, Pandemic Plus policies)
  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Cat 70 Travel Plan
  • Generali
  • HTH Travel Insurance (TripProtector Economy, TripProtector Classic, and TripProtector Preferred policies)
  • John Hancock (Bronze, Silver and Gold)
  • Seven Corners
  • Tin Leg
  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • TravelSafe
  • Trawick International
  • USI Affinity (Ruby and Diamond)

Medical coverage also varies per travel insurance provider. Below are the providers that are still providing medical benefits for newly purchased policies:

  • April Travel Protection (Choice, Annual Plan, Pandemic Plus policies)
  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Cat 70 Travel Plan
  • Generali
  • Global Underwriters (Diplomat America, Diplomat Long Term incl US, Diplomat Long Term excl US policies)
  • HTH Travel Insurance
  • INF
  • John Hancock (Bronze, Silver and Gold)
  • MedJet (Medical Evacuation coverage only)
  • Nationwide
  • Seven Corners
  • Tin Leg
  • Tokio Marine HCC
  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • TravelSafe
  • Trawick International
  • USA-ASSIST
  • USI Affinity (Ruby and Diamond)

Due to the widespread and well-publicized nature of the pandemic, it is now considered a known event, meaning it is too late to buy a policy that can cover you to cancel if the outbreak spreads into your destination country.

While coverage for COVID-19 is limited, a new policy can still provide cancellation benefits for other unforeseen events. This can include an illness or injury, severe weather, or terrorist attack that prevents you from traveling.

Coronavirus Outbreak Travel Insurance Information Center


Squaremouth launched the Coronavirus Pandemic Travel Insurance Information Center to explain coverage for the virus outbreak. Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts regularly update this page with answers to FAQs and official statements from providers.