Half of Americans who canceled their travel plans during the pandemic lost money from both hotel and airline bookings. The average loss: $854 per person and only 1 in 5 Americans had invested in leisure insurance. Many insurance companies exclude epidemics and pandemics in their policies meaning that any claims that have arisen over the past several months are null in void and not covered; it happened in 2009 with the swine flu and 2014 with the Ebola virus so moving forward it is likely that generic insurance policies will NOT cover coronavirus in the future. At all.That’s why we ask – how do you buy travel insurance after the pandemic? Very carefully, say experts.
WHY DO WE NEED INSURANCE?
While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, travel insurance provides a vital safety net when we are abroad. In a nutshell, travel insurance is an all-purpose emergency coverage plan. It’s the single most important thing you should get for your trip; preparation is key and this takes priority.It’s predominantly protection but also peace of mind against those emergencies that can come out of nowhere and cost you dearly if you are not prepared. Since most health programs will not cover you overseas and credit cards often provide minimum protection, buying good travel insurance is a no-brainer.
WHAT INSURANCE POLICY?
If you’re going to travel, it’s not a question of if you need insurance, but what kind?Before the pandemic this question would have been like finding a needle in a haystack – endless options with a multitude of reasons as to why to invest in each particular one. However, we advise you take the advice of the experts – there are the two types of travel insurance you can and should buy after the pandemic:
“Cancel for any reason” travel insurance is going to be the breakout star of insurances during the coronaviru. Although it’s more expensive than standard “named perils” travel insurance, it is more flexible. Its main benefit is that if you change your mind about your trip, the policy guarantees a minimum of 75% of your money will be refunded. “Cancel for any reason” coverage is quite simply an add-on to a pre-existing travel insurance policy that reimburses a portion of your prepaid, forfeited and non-refundable trip payments and deposits. If you want the ultimate flexibility to canceling your trip, whether it’s because of the coronavirus or just a change of mind, this is the coverage for you. It is your ultimate get out of jail free ‘money’ card!
“Named perils” travel insurance. This is the more common kind of travel insurance. It’s less expensive (7% to 9% of your trip cost), but as the name implies, it only covers the perils named in the policy, but these can include some weird and wonderful things. A number of insurance companies will be including various elements in reflection of coronavirus, i.e. cancelled flights.
HOW TO CHOOSE?
Travelers should continue looking for policies that provide coverage from unexpected injuries, illness, or accidents. Also pay attention to the refund terms. All travel insurance comes with a “free look” period of between 10 and 14 days after you buy the policy. This means read! Ensure you are comfortable that your policy covers the area you are particularly worried about. At least one thing hasn’t changed about buying travel insurance. That is to always read the fine print. Pay even closer attention to how your insurance policy handles a “force majeure” or an Act of God. Would the policy cover such an event, or would it be up to you to pay for your expenses? Knowing the exact terms of your agreement is important and the fine print is so important!
THE BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPANIES OF 2020
Travelex: Best Overall
Allianz: Best Overall Runner Up
General Travel Insurance: Best Value
Geo Blue: Best for Medical Coverage
April International: Best Annual Travel Cover
World Nomads: Most comprehensive and also best for adventure trips
HTH: Best for Seniors
Safety wing: Best for digital nomads & health coverage
What do you guys think of travel insurances during this time? Let us know your favorites in the comments!