Coronavirus fears are rising, causing many travelers to reconsider their travel plans. But insurance companies and others are warning consumers to check their insurance polices before making a decision to cancel a trip. Otherwise, they could be out any nonrefundable deposits or final payments.
Squaremouth, an online travel insurance aggregator, said it has received “an influx of calls from current policyholders wanting to cancel trips to affected destinations, as well as travelers now wanting to purchase a travel insurance policy.”
In one recent incident, a Hawaii family lost $32,000 on a Norwegian Cruise Line trip to Asia booked through Costco, after they decided to cancel due to coronavirus concerns. Their cruise insurance, not purchased through Squaremouth, didn’t cover their decision.
Pua Morrison, from Maui, said eight family members paid about $4,000 each for the NCL cruise, which has a scheduled stop in Hong Kong. The trip was booked in February 2019, but even though NCL isn’t canceling the stop in Hong Kong, news reports of mounting cases and deaths led the family to cancel in late January. When they called Costco, the Morrisons were referred to NCL, who informed them that their decision to cancel wasn’t covered by the travel insurance policy they had purchased.
“Rather than put myself through all that headache, and most of all the risk of getting this virus, I just want to be able to cancel my cruise and get my refund. That’s all I ask,” Morrison told a Honolulu television station. “And I don’t think that’s a lot to ask with what’s going on. And it’s getting worse every day.”
“Fear of traveling due to coronavirus is not a covered reason to cancel a trip on a typical comprehensive travel insurance plan,” InsureMyTrip said in a recent media statement. “Unfortunately, there is limited cancellation coverage under most standard travel insurance policies,” Squaremouth agreed in a similar statement issued to respond to rising inquiries.
“Virus outbreaks do not fall under the standard cancellation reasons on most travel insurance policies. While travelers are advised not to visit affected destinations, they are not prevented from doing so. In simple terms, travel insurance cancellation benefits are designed to reimburse travelers who are prevented from traveling due to a specific list of reasons, like weather or an illness,” Squaremouth said.
Read the full Travel Market Report article online here: https://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Travel-Insurance-Only-Covers-Some-Coronavirus-Cancellations