This article will explore why you need travel insurance, especially during a pandemic, standard exclusions in policies, and some misconceptions regarding coverage.
Why do I Need Travel Insurance?
It is a significant risk to travel without insurance, significantly when an increased chance may disrupt your travel or fall sick from COVID-19.
Some airlines and travel companies may not permit booking without insurance or cancel and reschedule your trip, which could mean losing time and money, not to mention having to make rearrangements for transport and accommodation at your destination.
Traveling without a valid insurance policy means that you will not be covered if you need medical assistance while abroad, which could be due to COVID-19 or other illnesses and accidents.
If you are traveling to a country where healthcare costs are high, there is no universal health insurance, or you're treated at a private hospital, and you could end up with medical bills worth thousands of dollars.
Not having travel insurance also puts you at risk of significant loss if you lose your baggage or get your belongings stolen.
What Is Typically Covered By Travel Insurance?
Let us start with what travel insurance is for. It covers unexpected costs that arise from unforeseen events, such as illness, injury, or theft while you are on vacation. Such policies are also vital if you have to cancel your trip or you need to cut it short due to an emergency.
The specifics of the cover provided by your travel insurance will vary from provider to provider. May also restrict cover in respect of COVID-19. The novel coronavirus became a "known event" in March 2020, and insurance is unforeseen.
Buying travel insurance as soon as you have booked your holiday and flight is essential. This will help cover non-COVID-19 related cancellations and pre-trip illness.
(Most) Travel Insurance Policies Offer Cover For:
- Emergency medical expenses (treatment and repatriation)
- Delaying your trip or curtailment
- Baggage and personal belongings*
- Cancellation (due to falling seriously ill, including COVID-19, a death in the family, home emergencies such as floods, fires, or break-ins, as well as other emergencies)
- Personal liability (when you are sued for damaging property or causing harm or injury to other people)
*Some insurance policies do not include baggage and cancellation cover, and these might be additional extras.
Does Travel Insurance Have Medical Coverage, Especially Those Related to COVID-19?
- Contract COVID-19* before you travel and need to cancel,
- Are told to self-isolate by the government at the time of your departure,
- Are denied boarding due to exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms,
- Are asked to return home early by the local authorities due to COVID-19,
Your travel insurance will offer cover. If your travel provider goes into administration due to COVID-19, this is also included in some insurances.
You could even claim for additional expenses, including accommodation costs stemming from prolonged stay or other extras you need to pay out of pocket if you are placed into quarantine, depending on your policy and the insurance provider.
*You may be asked to present a medical report or confirmed test results to substantiate your claim if you have contracted COVID-19.
But typically, coronavirus-related events, including medical cover and travel disruption, will be excluded from most policies. In addition, unless otherwise stated, providers will not cover anything related to COVID-19 other than emergency medical expenses. This means will not cover cancellations due to last-minute changes in national rules or a quarantine requirement. Will not cover cancellations due to last-minute changes in federal regulations or a quarantine requirement upon arrival.
When in doubt, speak to your insurance provider directly and ask for clarification and guidance.
Is Trip Cancellation or Interruption Included in Travel Insurance?
You will not be covered for cancellation if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Foreign Office in your country warns against travel to that country.
Suppose you cannot travel due to government lockdown (local or national). In that case, travel restrictions or closing international borders due to COVID-19, your insurance will also highly likely not cover these expenses or cancellations.
In addition, you may see your cover restricted when it comes to pre-holiday or last-minute cancellations if it is due to you decide not to go on holiday over COVID-19 fears. (This is called disinclination to travel.)
Are Mobile Phones, Electronic Gadgets, or Laptops Covered As Part of Travel Insurance?
To make an insurance claim, if your belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged, you will need insurance. And when it comes to cover for personal belongings, it all depends on your travel insurance policy.
Depending on the specifics of the policy, it may include your phone, camera, wallet, jewelry, etc. The amount covered will vary.
When taking out cover for your gadgets, I will present you with 2 options:
- Add gadget cover to your existing travel insurance,
- Or buy a specific cover for your valuable belongings.
Won't My Domestic Insurance Plan Cover Me? What about My Home Contents Insurance?
If you already have a comprehensive home insurance or home contents policy, you may already have your personal belongings covered.
With regards to your national insurance, it all depends on the coverage offered by your policy. International travel is often not included.
Your private health insurance or your credit card's complimentary travel insurance often does not include travel emergencies.
Things to Know before You Take Out Insurance
Dangerous sports such as jet-skiing, mountain climbing, and camel riding are not usually covered. Always check for exclusions.
Cruises also need add-ons for full cover.
*** One thing you should not forget is that you need to take out travel insurance before leaving the country as it will be invalid if you arrange one after. Plus, if something goes wrong with your booking or your flight gets canceled, you will be without insurance that could have given you a full refund.
Make sure to declare pre-existing illnesses and medical conditions before you take out travel insurance, as you may have your claim rejected if you purposefully withhold information.
Where Can I Get Travel Insurance?
Besides significant insurance providers such as Axa and Aviva, many travel companies also offer their customers their travel insurance packages.
Most airlines also give you the option to buy travel insurance before payment. However, some airlines may require you to submit proof of existing insurance before booking your ticket.
You may already have valid travel insurance if you are a premium customer of your bank so, ask before you buy.
We, at Ikamet Sigorta, also offer travel insurance cover.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?
Although prices can range up to $90 or more when it comes to travel insurance, you can find affordable rates that start from as low as $10. Here are our rates to give you an idea.
- 1-7 days: $10
- 8-15 days: $15
- 1 month: $20
- 2 months: $30
- 3 months: $40
Ikamet Sigorta also offers long-term travel insurance, which is ideal and cheaper if you are a frequent traveler or will be making more than 2-3 trips per year.
- 6 months: $65
- 12 months: $90