What travel insurance actually covers you for the pandemic?
As COVID-19 is a hot topic that travellers keep a close eye on, we researched what travel insurance companies cover for the pandemic. Read more to find out who they are and what are their terms for coverage for coronavirus.
Most insurance policies do not cover for pandemics
That's right, there are very few cases of travel insurers that actually cover for exceptional situations, such as pandemics.
Only for current travellers
While some travel insurance companies cover for coronavirus, they may only do so for policies taken before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Most insurers may not cover specific areas of the world where the pandemic claimed a high toll of lives. This actually sounds reasonable, as you wouldn't want to go exactly where the risks are highest, such as a trip to China.
Most insurers will not cover you if you want to cancel your trip and there is no The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice against travel to that specific destination. However, if you are going to a place where FCDO advised against all travel, some insurers will allow you to curtail your trip.
In case your trip is canceled by a third-party, such as an airline or tour operator, you will most probably need to deal with those by yourself. However, the insurance company should normally extend your policy in case of trip cancelation.
Note: If you purchased a policy that has a cancel for any reason clause, then you should be able to use it to cancel your trip.
Travel insurance companies may allow you to extend your policy at no extra charge if you are unable to travel due to airline or other travel cancellations.
One of the few companies that offer coverage for the novel coronavirus is Staysure. It is good to know that unfortunately, Staysure only covers customers from the UK, France, Spain, and Portugal.
Customers who already bought a travel insurance policy are covered for medical treatment and repatriation. In addition, if they purchased a Travel Disruption plan before the 13th of March 2020, it is still valid. However, if they travel to a place that FCDO advised against, the cover becomes invalid.
New Staysure customers will also receive cover in case of coronavirus, under the same conditions as for existing customers. The only difference is that the Travel Disruption extra is no longer available for purchase for now.
COVID-19 Cover Update
Staysure covers COVID-19 claims at no extra cost, as long as travellers have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or if they prove they are medically exempt from vaccination.
Another travel insurer that is available to European residents is True Traveller.
Those who bought their insurance before the 16th of March 2020 or after the 11th of July 2020, are covered for coronavirus medical expenses and repatriation. This is only valid for traveling to countries where the FCDO did not advise against. Moreover, current customers can also claim the Travel Disruption Cover.
True Traveller has updated their policy to also cover travellers who purchased a new policy after the 11th of July 2020.
COVID-19 Cover Update
True Traveller covers for Coronavirus for all policies taken out after 11th of July 2020, as long as the traveller respects the FCDO warnings. Therefore, if FCDO advises on "all but essential travel on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks” for a specific country, it means you will not be insured for COVID-19 on that territory. However, True Traveller will not offer insurance for cruise travels, as FDCO has advised against travel on all cruises. Just like Staysure, in order to be able to claim Coronavirus expenses, you must be fully vaccinated.
Heymondo seems to offer more flexibility for travel insurance during the pandemic and it is available to residents of most countries.
Active customers will receive cover for medical expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the policy also covers quarantine and COVID-19 test expenses. Moreover, for those who must cancel their trip, Heymondo will refund the full travel insurance costs.
Good news! Heymondo offers travel insurance that covers against coronavirus to new customers. The same policies for existing customers will apply for new customers as well.
To sum up, Heymondo is our top choice in terms of travel insurance cover for the pandemic. Therefore, if you plan to travel this summer or during this never-ending pandemic, you should definitely consider them in your options.