Monday, 2 March 2020

Coronavirus and your Travel Plans

Since the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID - 19), there has been considerable travel interruption.  Many are wondering what their rights are if they decide to cancel their flight.

If your travel insurance policy includes “cancel for any reason” then you should expect to be refunded if you cancel your travel because of the virus. Those who purchase standard travel insurance policies are covered for “unexpected event”. Insurers have stated that if an event turns out to be common knowledge it is then excluded from coverage. In this case, around the 21st of January, the coronavirus was no longer considered to be an unexpected event as it has since spread worldwide. Therefore, any travel insurance policies purchased after this date would not cover the outbreak. All is not lost however, as a few airlines are currently waiving their fees if you cancel or change your flight because of fear of infection.

Travel insurers are expecting an increase in the purchase of travel insurance policies that cover “cancel for any reason”. If you decide to purchase this insurance for your travel you would be able to get back 75% of your travel cost if you cancel.

Generally, you have around 14 to 21 days after you have deposited a fee for your trip to purchase this travel insurance policy. Take note that you will have to insure the full cost of your trip and would need to cancel 48 hours before your planned departure.

If you are traveling overseas you might want to think about getting medical coverage which may include the options of being treated at a local health center, emergency medical treatment and evacuation should you become ill. Make sure to read your policy keenly so you are clear about what you are covered for.

Finally, you need to have a plan in place should you become ill while traveling. Arrange a daily schedule to check in with a friend or family member. Also, be sure to make contact if something goes wrong.


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