Swine Flu Outbreak

Published by Chris Harvey April 27, 2009

Latest Updates – Please visit swine flu pandemic update.

General Statement

This Document is current as of 05/01/2009 10:30AM EST. As more information becomes available, Squaremouth will issue further updates.

Many carriers are adopting the following positions regarding Trip Cancellation and Interruption regardless of when the policy was purchased:

What is not covered
Most carriers will not provide coverage that allows the insured to cancel or interrupt a trip due to fear of contracting Swine Flu. Coverage can be available if the insured purchases the “cancel for any reason” upgrade available in some policies.

Pandemic Exclusion
Some products have a Pandemic clause which excludes all cover in the event swine flu is classed as a pandemic. It is important to be aware of this exclusion as the situation could change. Always refer to your Certificate of Insurance if you have any questions. You can monitor the CDC’s website for the latest information at www.cdc.gov/swineflu

Carriers that have pandemic clauses include:
HTH Worldwide and Global Alert.

Please review your certificate for more information.

What is covered
1) There is usually coverage if the insured is diagnosed with Swine Flu and needs to cancel or interrupt the trip due to the illness.

2) There is usually coverage if the insured incurs medical expenses on a trip due to contracting Swine Flu and purchased their insurance prior to becoming infected with the flu.

3) There is coverage available for cancellation if the insured purchases the optional “cancel for any reason” upgrade. Most policies require the insured to cancel no later than 48 hours before the departure date. This upgrade is only available if a policy is purchased up to 14 days from the date of deposit.

Individual Travel Insurance Carrier Position Statements

CSA Specific Statement:
CSA policies offer coverage if a covered individual, their traveling companions or their family members need to cancel or interrupt their trip due to a covered sickness, injury or death. Covered individuals may have coverage for illnesses arising from this event as described in their Certificate of Insurance or Insurance Policy.


Global Alert Specific Statement:
The plan covers trip cancellation and trip interruption (and travel delay in case of the travelers own Sickness) due to a specified person contracting Swine Flu, which has occurred during the coverage period. However, there is no coverage for the possibility of a Sickness which may or may not occur at some future time. Cancellation, interruption or delay of a trip due to concerns about swine flu is not covered, either as a Sickness or as a Covered Event. Note that the plan excludes loss due to epidemic or pandemic. Be aware of this exclusion as the situation could change. If the insured purchased Cancel For Any Reason Benefit, he/she will be covered if all of the requirements are met.


Global Rescue Specific Statement:
As with any injury or illness, Global Rescue recommends our members call our operations department immediately at +1-617-459-4200 if they become symptomatic of an illness like the Swine Flu while they traveling more than 160 miles away from their home. Global Rescue strongly recommends travelers maintain safe and healthy habits, especially in areas with known cases of the virus. These habits include, but are not limited to, regular washing of hands with soap and water and alcohol-based hand cleansers, avoiding large crowded areas, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and ordering foods that are thoroughly cooked.


Global Underwriters Specific Statement:
No official position statement


HTH Worldwide Specific Statement:
As of Friday, April 24th, 2009, the Swine Flu outbreak has received widespread media attention. HTH Worldwide Members may have coverage for illnesses arising from this event as described in their Certificate of Insurance or Insurance Policy. If you are currently traveling and experiencing flu-like symptoms, please call our assistance number. Refer to your ID card or policy documents for the assistance number related your policy. More from HTH.


International Medical Group Specific Statement:
Individuals purchasing plans have coverage for claims resulting from Swine Flu. However, an individual who decides to cancel a trip because he or she is afraid of contracting Swine Flu would not be an eligible expense. Even though this is a known event there is still coverage regardless of when the plan was purchased.


ITravel insured Specific Statement:
Individuals purchasing plans have coverage for claims resulting from Swine Flu. However, an individual who decides to cancel a trip because he or she is afraid of contracting Swine Flu would not be an eligible expense. Even though this is a known event there is still coverage regardless of when the plan was purchased.


Medex Specific Statement:
Individuals purchasing plans have coverage for claims resulting from Swine Flu. However, an individual who decides to cancel a trip because he or she is afraid of contracting Swine Flu would not be an eligible expense. Even though this is a known event there is still coverage regardless of when the plan was purchased.


MedjetAssist Specific Statement:
No official position statement


MH Ross Specific Statement:
There is coverage for an insured to cancel/interrupt their trip if they (or their family members/traveling companion) become ill with Swine Flu or if they are quarantined due to Swine Flu. In either case, the policy must have been purchased prior to contracting or being quarantined for the flu, and the appropriate medical documentation would need to be submitted to support the sickness and/or quarantine. There is no coverage under Trip Cancellation or Interruption to cancel or interrupt a trip due to fear of contracting Swine Flu. Medical expenses incurred if an insured requires medical treatment for Swine Flu while on a covered trip are covered


Multi National Underwriters Specific Statement:
No official position statement


On Call International Specific Statement:
On Call International’s 24/7 emergency response center is on stand-by to field questions from travelers regarding the recent Swine Influenza outbreak. Travelers in need of medical advice or local medical and pharmacy referrals should contact our experienced Assistance Coordinators at 800 407 7307 or collect, at 603 898 9159.


Seven Corners Specific Statement:
Covered individuals diagnosed with Swine Flu by a treating physician are covered for trip cancellation, interruption and medical (standard coverage terms and exclusions apply). However, cancellation due to fear of getting Swine Flu is not covered unless the insured has Cancel For Any Reason optional coverage.


Travel Guard Specific Statement:
The insured is covered if he/she contracts Swine Flu and needs to cancel or interrupt the trip due to the illness. The insured would also be covered if he/she incurs medical expenses on a trip due to contracting Swine Flu and purchased their insurance prior to becoming infected with the flu. Travel Guard would only cover trip cancellation due to fear of contracting Swine Flu (including a planned trip to Mexico) if the insured purchased the Cancel For Any Reason optional coverage. Click here for the full statement.


Travel Insurance Services Specific Statement:
No official position statement


Travel Insured International Specific Statement:
Trip cancellation / interruption is covered for specific events listed in the Description of Coverage for our plans. Swine flu is not one of those events and it is not a reason supported by Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption coverage, unless the insured purchased the optional Cancel For Any Reason benefit. Emergency sickness medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation for all necessary medical events, including those resulting from an insured traveler’s contraction of Swine Flu, would be covered. If an insured is subjected to an imposed quarantine as the result of Swine Flu, trip delay benefits will apply as normally specified in each plan’s Description of Coverage.


Travelers Liberty Specific Statement:
Covered individuals diagnosed with Swine Flu by a treating physician are covered for trip cancellation, interruption and medical (standard coverage terms and exclusions apply). However, cancellation due to fear of getting Swine Flu is not covered unless the insured has Cancel For Any Reason optional coverage.


Travelex Specific Statement:
First, travelers currently in Mexico who have fallen ill would be covered under the trip interruption, medical expense and evacuation benefits of your plan up to the limits of the policy and subject to its general terms and conditions. If you are aware of any insured passenger in Mexico with flu-like symptoms or any who has been admitted to the hospital, please make sure to contact On Call International, the 24 Hour Medical Emergency Assistance provider for your plan. Insured customers that are considering cancellation or have canceled arrangements due to the travel restrictions, warnings or general fear of traveling, whether to Mexico or elsewhere, are not eligible for cash reimbursement under the provisions of the plan. Insureds who purchased the Cancel for Any Reason upgrade will be eligible for Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage under the provision of the plan. Specific to the Travel Select and Travel Max plans: Should the destination airport close and insured customers are unable to reach their destination, the cancellation benefit for losing 50% or more of their covered trip may apply, assuming all terms and conditions of the benefit are met. Quarantine: Note that there is quarantine coverage under the policy for Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Trip Delay coverage in the event a physician quarantines the traveler/insured (for any illness) which prevents traveling. Quarantine means that the person is restricted to their home or a medical facility – not restricted from one country or destination.


TravelSafe Specific Statement:
The plan covers trip cancellation and trip interruption (and travel delay in case of the travelers own Sickness) due to a specified person contracting Swine Flu, which has occurred during the coverage period. However, there is no coverage for the possibility of a Sickness which may or may not occur at some future time. Cancellation, interruption or delay of a trip due to concerns about swine flu is not covered, either as a Sickness or as a Covered Event. If the insured purchased Cancel For Any Reason Benefit, he/she will be covered if all of the requirements are met.


USA Assist Specific Statement:
Those actually affected: First, customers currently in Mexico who have fallen ill would be covered under the trip interruption, medical expense and evacuation benefits of your plan up to the limits of the policy and subject to its general terms and conditions. If you are aware of any insured passenger in Mexico with flu-like symptoms or any who has been admitted to the hospital, please make sure to contact Seven Corners Assist, (24 Hour Medical Emergency Assistance provider).

Those contemplating cancellation: Insured customers that are considering cancellation or have canceled arrangements due to the travel restrictions, warnings or general fear of traveling, whether to Mexico or elsewhere, are not eligible for cash reimbursement under the provisions of the plan. Only policy wording will apply. Please read your Certificate.

Quarantine: Note that there is quarantine coverage under the policy for Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Trip Delay coverage in the event your doctor quarantines you (for any illness) which prevents you from traveling. Just to clarify – quarantine means that the person is restricted to his,her home or a medical facility – not restricted from one country or destination.