According to a recent article published in Forbes, nearly half of people in the United States who canceled their travel plans due to the COVID-19 epidemic lost money. The author of this article notes how travel insurance is no longer a suggestion — it’s essential now that the pandemic has affected nearly every part of the world.
Forbes notes how travel experts recommend ensuring issues related to the pandemic are covered when shopping for travel insurance in a post-pandemic world. Not everyone can postpone their travels until 2021, but it’s a good idea to take the pandemic into account when purchasing travel insurance. Check out these four steps to keep travel insurance costs low, despite COVID-19.
Step 1: Compare travel insurance plans.
By comparing Travel insurance with iSelect you can get the best travel insurance for your needs. Getting a good deal on a travel insurance plan is always a good idea. This way, you’ll be covered in case of a flight delay caused by bad weather and many other issues caused by a worst-case scenario situation.
According to Allianz Travel, travel insurance plans are unlike other types of insurance in that to qualify you only really need to tell them your age and the cost of your trip. Individually, you will want to consider your destination and the best travel insurance quote into account when picking the best travel insurance company.
For example, if you’re merely traveling within the U.S. then a basic plan may be all you need. Whereas if you’re frequently traveling all over the U.S. and frequently traveling outside your country of residence, then you may want to consider more comprehensive policies.
Step 2: Consider medical coverage.
Let’s be honest — in light of COVID-19 — no one’s health is guaranteed right now. Actually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 shows symptoms an average of five to six days after exposure, but it can take as long as fourteen days to experience symptoms (and transmission of the virus can happen before symptoms occur). Therefore, if you were exposed to the coronavirus, you could not be aware of it until it’s too late.
So, it is crucial right now to make sure that you are covered (either by your health insurance or your travel insurance) in case you get sick before or during your next trip. According to RickSteves.com, before purchasing medical coverage through your travel insurance, it is a good idea to contact your own health insurance company to see if you’re covered in the area you will be traveling to.
They do note, however, that it may still be a good idea to compare medical coverage through travel insurance as this may cover you where your own insurance does not. For example, maybe your health insurance company charges an out of pocket expense for each service whereas the emergency travel insurance may not.
The bottom line? It is especially essential right now to ensure that your medical expenses will be covered if you (or a family member) need to go to the hospital to receive medical treatment on your trip.
Bonus tip: be sure to take any pre-existing medical conditions into account when deciding on a travel insurance policy to ensure you’ll have coverage if something should happen and you require medical care to treat it (not every insurance policy covers such conditions). Having a medical condition is difficult enough, give yourself peace of mind that you’ll be covered if it interrupts your trip.
Step 3: Consider trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Not only could getting the dreaded coronavirus cause you to need to cancel your trip but what if COVID-19 causes flights and events to be canceled? According to the previously mentioned Forbes article, this has already happened to numerous people in the U.S. In case there’s a second wave of COVID-19, it’s best to be covered with the best travel insurance possible.
For ultimate peace of mind, it is critical to have a travel insurance policy that covers trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage. Also, it is vital to ensure that COVID-19 related cancellation coverage is included in the insurance plan. With trip cancellation coverage, you can potentially receive a refund or arrange to reschedule for trip delays.
The trip interruption gives you the potential to receive refunds for things on your trip that you were unable to do because of interruptions (like if you get COVID-19 or become injured). Trip interruption coverage won’t refund you for the flight you already took or the room you already stayed in but should cover you for everything you were unable to do.
According to RickSteves.com, before signing up for trip cancellation coverage, you should first check with your credit card company as they sometimes have coverage on things like canceled flights or events when you’ve used that card to pay for them.
Bonus tip: if you’re one of the many frequent travelers, you should consider annual policies as they could be cheaper than buying per trip.
Step 4: Consider the add-ons.
Things such as lost luggage, rental car prices, hotel prices, ticket prices, and theft protection are all other things to consider. When it comes to travel insurance, it’s always a good idea to read the fine print so that you know what to do if, for example, your belongings are lost or stolen. Another example would be if you’re going to a “high risk” location, you may want to have coverage for natural disasters in case of an emergency evacuation (evacuation can be incredibly expensive if you’re not covered).