The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. Causes include canceled flights, rerouted cruises, and additional traveler screenings worldwide. As the situation escalates, travelers may now be experiencing a widespread impact on international travel.
Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, breaks down insurance coverage and availability for future travelers.
Insured Travelers Impacted By Cancelled Flights May Get Coverage
Many airlines have suspended all flights to mainland China, with some flights canceled through the end of April. Most insurance policies do not provide coverage for flights canceled due to an outbreak. However, many do provide coverage for related travel delays.
Trips Interrupted By Cruise Line Screenings May Be Covered
Some cruise lines are refusing access to travelers who appear ill, or who have recently visited China. An insured traveler may be covered to cancel their trip if denied boarding because of a symptom. They must have the proper documentation from a doctor.
Future Travelers May Have Options for Coverage
Travelers planning trips to China may be able to purchase medical coverage if they are concerned about contracting the virus. The availability of medical coverage on new policies varies by provider, as some are now considering contracting the virus as an expected event, and therefore excluding it from coverage.
Future travelers looking for coverage to cancel a trip due to the virus may still have an option with the Cancel for Any Reason upgrade. Within 21 days of the first trip booking, this benefit must be purchased. It will only reimburse up to 75% of the trip cost, however, it covers travelers to cancel their trips for any reason, including for any concerns about traveling due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
Squaremouth recently launched the China – Coronavirus Outbreak Travel Insurance Information Center to explain coverage for the virus outbreak. This page gets regular updates from Squaremouth’s insurance experts. It also includes answers to frequently asked questions and official statements from providers.