While the pandemic has slowed travel, some say it has boosted travel insurance sales. “The most frequently asked question is ‘What happens if I get COVID while travelling and have to be quarantined?’” “Covid has created a much broader awareness of travel insurance,” said Jeremy Murchland, president of Seven Corners.
If so, does it cover the new Omicron variant?
Yes, in general. Travel insurance policies now treat COVID-19 and Omicron as medical emergencies.
According to Carol Mueller, vice president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, most trip insurance plans with medical benefits now treat COVID like any other illness that could prevent you from travelling. If you get sick before your trip, you’ll need a doctor’s note confirming your illness and inability to travel to receive benefits. The benefits are the same whether you get Omicron, another COVID variant, or any other illness. ”
Buyers should look for policies that exclude pandemics, COVID-19 and its variants. You must have had trip insurance prior to becoming ill.
“We always say you can’t buy auto insurance after an accident,” said Meghan Walch, product manager at InsureMyTrip. It’s for unforeseeable issues. You must buy it before the event.
Should I consider a “Cancel for Any Reason” policy with Omicron?
These provisions allow you to claim a portion of your nonrefundable costs if you cancel a trip for any reason, including border closures or fear of contracting COVID. The catch is that this type of insurance is more expensive and only reimburses 50% to 75% of the nonrefundable trip costs.
Most travel insurance policies do not cover cancellations due to COVID. Bell and Bly Travel owner Sarah Groen said they say it ten times a week. For trip insurance, she advises clients to think about their worst fears, such as illness or quarantine. Her words: “We’re like therapists.”
Quarantine and medical costs?
Make sure your policy covers them. Check with your regular health insurer about medical coverage; many do not cover you abroad, so consider it if you are travelling internationally.
Extra hotel stays and airfare can be covered by travel insurance, according to Megan Moncrief, chief marketing officer of Squaremouth, a trip insurance sales site. She added that most policies only cover up to seven days past the original return date, leaving quarantine at around seven days.