Will travel insurance help me if I travel now?

With coronavirus continuing, you might be feeling both sick of staying in one place but also uncertain about traveling. Is it safe to travel, and what happens if there is a new outbreak in the place I am visiting right before I leave? Can I cancel my trip?

Travel insurance has never seemed more important. But will it really cover a trip canceled because of coronavirus or one you decide to cancel yourself? Well, there are different kinds of travel insurance, and some would cover for just about anything, but some not so much, as this guide will point out.

While travel insurance typically only represents just a fraction of the cost of your trip, travelers don’t always accept or consider it. Whether your next trip is international or domestic, you’ll find some information below on different types of coverage, add-ons, and alternatives to help you weigh your next travel insurance debate and find the best option for you. 

Basic Cancellation coverage

As its name implies, basic cancellation coverage will cover you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses under a fixed set of circumstances outlined in your policy. You can make a claim if you have to cancel a trip due to a health emergency or illness, for example. Depending on the policy you choose, you may also be able to make a claim if you’re called for jury duty or you’re laid off from work. If a natural disaster strikes in your destination city, and one of your travel providers cancelled your trip, under cancellation coverage you’ll likely be able to recoup your non-refundable expenses too. 

Trip Delay Insurance

Usually, trip delay insurance is included withcancellation coverage. (However, it’s never a bad habit to read into the fine print and fully understand what is and isn’t covered!)  With trip delay insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for any expenses you incur as a result of your trip being delayed. Policies set a minimum number of hours for covered delays, and short departure delays are usually not covered. Meals, hotel charges, and taxi fees are typically among the expenses covered.

Trip Interruption Coverage

Trip interruption coverage will protect you in the event you have to return home due to an emergency once you’ve already started your trip. It will pay for the cost of getting you home and getting you back to your destination once you’re able to travel again. 

Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR)

This may be the best option for those who feel too limited by the reasons covered in the basic cancellation. It offers the fullest coverage – as the name implies – but may only really make sense if your calendar is subject to change at any moment’s notice. 

This is the one you’re going to want if you are on edge about traveling and if you are thinking you might cancel if an unexpected outbreak breaks out. It might be more expensive, but it gives you the most options.

Lost, Stolen, Damaged, and Delayed Luggage

One of the most common, relatable, and annoying travel-related misfortunes. One note here is to pay special attention to the coverage limits and increase yours as necessary.  For example, if you travel with your laptop, professional camera, phone, iPad or tablet, etc. (you get the gist here), the cost of your possessions adds up quickly.  Make sure that they’re all fully protected by increasing policy limits when necessary. 

Alternatives

Note that there are alternatives to travel insurance, but as always, it’s important to understand what it entails and read the fine print.  The alternatives include consulting your airline for any flight issues, checking in with your current health insurance to see what they cover, and even calling your credit card company with whom you’ve booked your travel with to see what sort of insurance options they allow for your travel. 

Nonetheless, when you’re planning your next big trip, don’t let the possibility of the unknown stress your travel plans. Deeply consider your travel insurance options so that you can travel worry and hassle-free. 

This article was written using information from Consumers Advocate’s travel insurance guide.   To view the full research, visit their site here: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/travel-insurance