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COVID-19 and travel/medical insurance

COVID-19 and travel/medical insurance

Old Mar 7, 20, 11:08 am
  #1  
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COVID-19 and travel/medical insurance

I need to book SFO > CDG & return for May. Economy fare.
In the lights of the coronavirus, I want to be able to cancel and get a full refund if I get sick.

I googled "travel insurance" and stumbled upon travelinsurance.com which looks to be a comparison tool for travel insurance.
It appears that I could get $3500 travel costs insured for ~$135 with Axa.

The policy of the insurance states: "TRIP CANCELLATION The Company will reimburse You, up to the Maximum Benefit shown on the Confirmation of Coverage, if You are prevented from taking Your Trip for any of the following reasons that are Unforeseen and takes place after the Effective Date: Your Sickness, Accidental Injury or death, that results in medically imposed restrictions as certified by a Physician at the time of Loss preventing Your participation in the Trip. A Physician must advise to cancel the Trip on or before the Scheduled Departure Date;"

So I understand I will get a refund with a doctors note.
Anyone done this before and got money back for a flight you cancelled because you got sick?

--- UPDATE
Just realized that my credit card (Chase Sapphire) covers this already.
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Last edited by NewbieRunner; Mar 8, 20 at 5:43 am Reason: added insurance policy; restored original title
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Old Mar 7, 20, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by jeanpierredugland View Post
I need to book SFO > CDG & return for May. Economy fare.
In the lights of the coronavirus, I want to be able to cancel and get a full refund if I get sick.

I googled "travel insurance" and stumbled upon travelinsurance.com which looks to be a comparison tool for travel insurance.
It appears that I could get $3500 travel costs insured for ~$135 with Axa.

The policy of the insurance states: "TRIP CANCELLATION The Company will reimburse You, up to the Maximum Benefit shown on the Confirmation of Coverage, if You are prevented from taking Your Trip for any of the following reasons that are Unforeseen and takes place after the Effective Date: Your Sickness, Accidental Injury or death, that results in medically imposed restrictions as certified by a Physician at the time of Loss preventing Your participation in the Trip. A Physician must advise to cancel the Trip on or before the Scheduled Departure Date;"

So I understand I will get a refund with a doctors note.
Anyone done this before and got money back for a flight you cancelled because you got sick?

--- UPDATE
Just realized that my credit card (Chase Sapphire) covers this already.
You might want to check the details to make sure there isn't an exclusion some place for pandemics or the like. If you truly want to be covered for most eventualities you might want to consider any reason cancellation coverage unless you are high confident you are going to be able to a get a Dr.'s note.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 3:52 am
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COVID-19 and travel insurance

What is situation with COVID19 and travel insurance? Does travel insurance cover non-refundable flights/hotels/rental? How about if you end up quarantined at the destination and forced to pay the hotel/lodging bill? Or worse - if you end up in hospital due to this virus either at the destination or when coming back?

As an example - you purchased travel insurance tomorrow (or in past) for travel to a country which is not COVID19 hotspot but becomes such list a day/week before your travel there. If you decide to go, will this invalidate your travel insurance and coverage? If you decided not to go but have non-refundable air/hotel/rental car bookings, will travel insurance reimburse these expenses?

Another case - you planned to travel but where you are coming from ends up to be be hostsport and the destination country either does not allow you to enter or requires you to be in quarantine. Will travel insurance cover such cases and resulting cancelations?
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Old Mar 8, 20, 4:05 am
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I would think this it is provider and policy specific. A blanket statement is unlikely to be useful to anyone with a specific issue.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 4:20 am
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What I have seen so far is to waive coverage for areas which are known hotspots. But more widespread it becomes, denial of coverage might become more frequent.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 4:25 am
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Does travel insurance cover non-refundable flights/hotels/rental?
Yes - but given the current situation (multiple waivers), you may have to prove that your arrangement is truly nonrefundable before you can claim it.

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
How about if you end up quarantined at the destination and forced to pay the hotel/lodging bill?
Most likely on you.

Travel insurance covers hospital stay, but not quarantine. To make travel insurance responsible, I would have to say you must convince the insurer that the quarantine is incidental (i.e. not subject to any pre-existing order). And you will need an official order from the Government to show it is really the case.

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Or worse - if you end up in hospital due to this virus either at the destination or when coming back?
At the destination, most likely the local government will pick up the cost due to a public health concern. And then travel insurer. You are SOL when you have returned (the travel insurance provides coverage during the trip, not after).

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
If you decide to go, will this invalidate your travel insurance and coverage?
No if your policy is issued before anything happen.

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
If you decided not to go but have non-refundable air/hotel/rental car bookings, will travel insurance reimburse these expenses?
Yes - assuming the travel insurance would not want to pick up a larger bill.

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Another case - you planned to travel but where you are coming from ends up to be be hostsport and the destination country either does not allow you to enter or requires you to be in quarantine. Will travel insurance cover such cases and resulting cancelations?
Mostly no. The local government is picking up the tap. You may be able to claim partial costs.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 4:42 am
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garykung thanks for replies. Your replies/experiences are based on travel insurance purchased on which market?

Because here in Singapore there is one distinction - almost all travel insurances, except the cheapest ones, cover medical treatment in Singapore if you have to cancel your trip and come back for medical reasons. And As I've heard, in cases like this it is the travel insurance with pays the incurred medical expenses first, before work provided/personal medical expense steps in.

Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Travel insurance covers hospital stay, but not quarantine. To make travel insurance responsible, I would have to say you must convince the insurer that the quarantine is incidental (i.e. not subject to any pre-existing order). And you will need an official order from the Government to show it is really the case.
How about the case what happened with Israel when they applied quarantine retroactively on arrivals from European countries? You arrived 4 days ago, everything was fine, was planning to leave in couple of days, now have to spend 11 days in hotel.
Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Mostly no. The local government is picking up the tap. You may be able to claim partial costs.
Like the above example with Israel. If someone from Holland bought tickets to go to Israel 4 month ago and now is not allowed to enter, travel insurance won't cover this case?

Last edited by invisible; Mar 8, 20 at 4:48 am
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Old Mar 8, 20, 4:46 am
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This is why there is no value in generalisations, or personal anecdotes. Read up on your policy. A data point...my Amex Centurion insurance coverage is very different from my company policy in the approach to this (Amex being more flexible).
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Old Mar 8, 20, 9:18 am
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Any person contemplating travel, whether to a currently affected area or not, ought to carefully read their travel insurance policy. By this I refer to the policy document, e.g. lengthy dense document.

There are no generalizations and what "usually" happens may or may not happen here. In particular, check what happens if you are not hospitalized but rather are quarantined at a non-medical non-government facility, e.g., a hotel room of your choosing. Who pays for the room, food deliveries, and any associated medical clearances? What happens with your employer? If this is not a work-related trip, is quarantine simply added to your vacation?

Because this can become expensive and because the situation changes hourly, spending the time before generalizing may prevent some very unpleasant surprises.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Your replies/experiences are based on travel insurance purchased on which market?
All markets.

Keep in mind - the key of travel insurance is incidental. So basically, everything pre-existing will not be covered, such as when you insist on going to a high risk area.

Quarantine is a government action. Practically, it has no difference with imprisonment. So when a quarantine is imposed without prior knowledge, the travel insurance may need to pick up the tap if the government does not pay. But if there is an expectation that a person is going to be quarantined if going there, and the person goes there anyway, then it will be out of the scope of the travel insurance.

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
How about the case what happened with Israel when they applied quarantine retroactively on arrivals from European countries? You arrived 4 days ago, everything was fine, was planning to leave in couple of days, now have to spend 11 days in hotel.
Most likely not covered.

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Like the above example with Israel. If someone from Holland bought tickets to go to Israel 4 month ago and now is not allowed to enter, travel insurance won't cover this case?
It will be covered - as trip cancellation.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 3:07 pm
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No, it will not, at least not British ones.

I phoned over 10 of them.

They will only cover if the FCO say you can't go. Ie if your country bans you from going, you can get your money back.

If the OTHER country bans your entry but your country says you're fine to go, then no money back.

It's shocking and is why I am having a total panic attack in case all of my travel this year fails as I've saved so much money to travel loads this year.and made so many sacrifices for it and it might all have been for nothing.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 3:09 pm
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PS if you know of ANY travel insurance that would allow such a scenario for cancellation tell me now as they can take all my pennies so I can cover my trips this year.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 6:12 pm
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There was an announcement of cancel for any reason travel insurance couple of days ago in New York. Not sure if it is already available for sale. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN20T2ZD
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:37 am
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Originally Posted by Dan1113 View Post
No, it will not, at least not British ones.

I phoned over 10 of them.

They will only cover if the FCO say you can't go. Ie if your country bans you from going, you can get your money back.

If the OTHER country bans your entry but your country says you're fine to go, then no money back.

It's shocking and is why I am having a total panic attack in case all of my travel this year fails as I've saved so much money to travel loads this year.and made so many sacrifices for it and it might all have been for nothing.
Why would you not travel? Where are you planning on going? You typically can't buy insurance after the event you want to cancel for has already occurred.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 9:36 am
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I'm going to Thailand in just under 4 weeks. They've not banned us - yet. So I'm trying to prepare for that eventuality.
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