Miss Rona has a lot of our travel plans shook!

The corona virus has turned the world and insurance policies upside down since January 2020! While travel insurance policies typically don’t cover fear of travel or help with the anxiety about re-starting travel plans, the right plan can and will cover a plethora of potential scenarios. Travel insurance is no longer optional; it is an added expense that is needed to be able to travel. After hundreds of thousands of travelers have lost deposits, non-refundable tickets and activities because of the coronavirus outbreak, it’s more or less mandatory and HEAVILY advised even more so than before.We discuss the WHY, the WHO, the HOW to help you understand not only the importance of covering your bases abroad but the best way to go about it.

For example almost half of Americans who canceled their travel plans during the pandemic lost money from both hotel bookings and airline bookings. The average loss: $854 per person and only 1 in 5 Americans had invested in leisure insurance. Many insurance companies exclude epidemics and pandemics in their policies meaning that any claims that have arisen over the past several months are null in void and not covered; it happened in 2009 with the swine flu and 2014 with the Ebola virus so moving forward it is likely that generic insurance policies will NOT cover coronavirus in the future. At all.That’s why we ask – how do you buy travel insurance after the pandemic? Very carefully, say experts.

WHY DO WE NEED INSURANCE?

While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, travel insurance provides a vital safety net when we are abroad. In a nutshell, travel insurance is an all-purpose emergency coverage plan. It’s the single most important thing you should get for your trip; preparation is key and this takes priority.It’s predominantly protection but also peace of mind against those emergencies that can come out of nowhere and cost you dearly if you are not prepared. Since most health programs will not cover you overseas and credit cards often provide minimum protection, buying good travel insurance is a no-brainer.

WHAT INSURANCE POLICY?

If you’re going to travel, it’s not a question of if you need insurance, but what kind?Before the pandemic this question would have been like finding a needle in a haystack – endless options with a multitude of reasons as to why to invest in each particular one. However, we advise you take the advice of the experts – there are the two types of travel insurance you can and should buy after the pandemic:

“Cancel for any reason” travel insurance is going to be the breakout star of insurances during the coronaviru.   Although it’s more expensive than standard “named perils” travel insurance, it is more flexible. Its main benefit is that if you change your mind about your trip, the policy guarantees a minimum of 75% of your money will be refunded. “Cancel for any reason” coverage is quite simply an add-on to a pre-existing travel insurance policy that reimburses a portion of your prepaid, forfeited and non-refundable trip payments and deposits. If you want the ultimate flexibility to canceling your trip, whether it’s because of the coronavirus or just a change of mind, this is the coverage for you. It is your ultimate get out of jail free ‘money’ card!

“Named perils” travel insurance. This is the more common kind of travel insurance. It’s less expensive (7% to 9% of your trip cost), but as the name implies, it only covers the perils named in the policy, but these can include some weird and wonderful things. A number of insurance companies will be including various elements in reflection of coronavirus, i.e. cancelled flights.

HOW TO CHOOSE?

Travelers should continue looking for policies that provide coverage from unexpected injuries, illness, or accidents and most importantly pay attention to the refund terms. All travel insurance comes with a “free look” period of between 10 and 14 days after you buy the policy so get reading and ensure you are comfortable that your policy covers the area you are particularly worried about. If your trip has been postponed to a later date — sometimes even up to over a year later — you should be able to request from your travel insurance company a policy postponement migration to reflect the new travel dates.At least one thing hasn’t changed about buying travel insurance and that is to always read the fine print, pay even closer attention to how your insurance policy handles a “force majeure” or an Act of God. Would the policy cover such an event, or would it be up to you to pay for your expenses? Knowing the exact terms of your agreement is important and the fine print has never needed to be read so thoroughly before!

THE BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPANIES OF 2020

Travelex: Best Overall

Allianz: Best Overall Runner Up

General Travel Insurance: Best Value

Geo Blue: Best for Medical Coverage

April International: Best Annual Travel Cover

World Nomads: Most comprehensive and also best for adventure trips

HTH: Best for Seniors

Safety wing: Best for digital nomads & health coverage

What do you guys think of travel insurances during this time? Let us know your favorites in the comments!

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