What is travel insurance and do i need it after quarantine?

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Since March 2020, many of us have been “anchored”, so to speak, but now is the time to reap the benefits of wellness by exploring new places and experiences again. With Ungrounded, gain expert-backed insight throughout the month to help you feel confident, secure, and energized as you step outside your front door.

Whether you are eagerly waiting to cross one of your post-quarantine destinations or planning to visit a family you haven’t seen for a year and a half, the urge to travel is strong right now for a great many among us. In a survey of 3,000 people, American Express Travel’s Global Trends Report found that 78% of those surveyed want to travel in 2021 to relieve the stress of 2020. But in order to leave responsibly after quarantine , these people may consider buying a trip. Insurance. And, it seems that many are doing just that.

There are many forms of travel insurance, and the overarching goal of every policy is to cover travelers against risk and loss before and during vacations. Given that travel insurance company Seven Corners has already seen a 1,000% increase from 2020 in the number of customers who have applied for travel insurance, according to internal data, it stands to reason that more people are now more interested in covering themselves before taking trips. Paulina Szydlo, product manager at travel insurance startup Rene, says her business has also seen a growing number of users, which she says is likely because people understand the potential risks associated with it. travel during a time of uncertainty and wish to be covered. in case of emergency.

Depending on your particular situation, you will want to choose the best plan to meet your needs. Here are four types of travel insurance you can consider purchasing to cover you on your next trip after the lockdown.

4 types of travel insurance

1. Standard travel insurance

“Travel insurance is usually a premium product on the booking pages and is not as comprehensive when it comes to your health needs,” says Szydlo. Travel insurance typically protects an upcoming trip from interruptions, cancellations, flight delays, lost baggage and limited medical coverage, says Shawn Plummer, insurance and annuity expert. “Many travel insurance policies cover urgent medical care and repatriation due to COVID-19, but only some will cover you in the event of trip interruption or cancellation,” he adds. The cost is based on the state of residence, the total cost of the trip, the age of the traveler, the date of departure, the date of return and the initial deposit.

As with all other types of insurance, coverage depends on the type of policy you purchase and where you purchase it. When purchasing travel insurance, especially on your own rather than through an agent of an insurance company, Szydlo reiterates the importance of looking specifically for COVID-19 coverage. and medical evacuation and set up your deductible correctly so that you are well prepared in the event of an emergency.

2. Travel health insurance

Travel health insurance is a more comprehensive coverage plan to cover all expenses in the event of a medical emergency, illness or injury once the traveler leaves their home country, Plummer explains. “Basically, it’s a hybrid between traditional travel insurance and a health insurance plan designed specifically for international travel,” he says. “The cost varies a lot depending on the length of your trip and the destination, but you can expect to pay between $ 80 and $ 200. “

Do you need it? “If you want to avoid stress, high hospital bills, and know where to go in case of a medical emergency abroad, travel health insurance is for you,” says Szydlo, who says there is even special policies for people with pre-existing health conditions. conditions or for people who plan to practice adventure sports during their vacation. If you are interested in purchasing a policy, you can purchase through an agent, online marketplaces or directly through an insurance provider.

3. Cancellation policies for any reason (CFAR)

This policy is exactly what it sounds like: it allows you to cancel your trip for any reason. “CFAR’s policies cover payments and non-refundable deposits made before your trip is canceled, less any refunds due. Prepaid accommodation that is canceled, interrupted or delayed for a covered reason will be insured, ”explains Plummer. “If you anticipate circumstances that could lead to trip cancellation, for example if you have a job that requires you to change your plans at the last minute, it may be worth purchasing CFAR policies. “

Now some countries require travel insurance, so especially when you visit these countries, like Aruba, Bermuda, Costa Rica, and Thailand, Plummer notes that a CFAR policy can help you mitigate potential losses due to trip cancellations. . He adds that it is especially worth buying in these uncertain times when the rules about visiting other countries are still changing.

You can purchase CFAR policies as an upgrade to your standard travel insurance policy, through an insurance provider or through online insurance marketplaces. These plans are suitable for all types of travel (short or long, domestic or international) and tend to add 40% more to the cost of your standard policy.

4. Credit cards

Many credit cards have insurance options as an additional service for their customers. “They usually cover travel interruptions and some basic travel health insurance,” says Szydlo. “Some may cover rental car collision insurance, delayed trip reimbursement, emergency assistance, roadside assistance, emergency medical expenses, travel accident insurance, evacuation and emergency transport and assistance for lost or delayed baggage, ”adds Plummer.

Some of the more popular travel credit cards also offer (limited) travel insurance benefits like rental car insurance, lost baggage, rental car accidents, and more. Just be sure to read the fine print to know exactly what your cover looks like. For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve offers reimbursement of up to $ 10,000 per covered trip, while Capital One Venture Rewards offers 24-hour travel assistance services for things like emergency transportation and medical referrals.

Review your card policy offers online or call your credit card company to find out whether or not you are covered by your current card.

How has the need for travel insurance changed since the pre-pandemic times?

“At the start of the quarantine, many insurers would not cover incidents related to COVID-19 because it was an expected event,” Plummer said. “Now more and more insurers are offering COVID-19 coverage, as it is increasingly recognized that the new standard may not involve the total eradication of COVID-19. He adds that more and more insurance companies are now offering better COVID-19 coverage to help people feel more comfortable traveling as well as discounts to capitalize on pent-up travel demand after the lockdown. .

That said, Plummer recalls that “countries always change travel advisories and that destinations are added or removed from the green list as the situation evolves.” With that in mind, don’t forget to research the restrictions and requirements of your next destinations to learn how to follow location-specific guidelines to ensure your safety and the safety of others. “I think and hope the pandemic has educated people about the importance of always remembering good blanket for future trips,” Szydlo said.

For more information on travel insurance and guidelines during the pandemic, visit the official websites for your departure and destination locations.

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