Best Travel Insurance for COVID Affected Regions

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Written By Mani Karthik

I share everything I learned in life on this blog. From personal finance to spirituality and everything in between. 

If you don’t have medical insurance yet, now is the time you should get one. With the COVID threat pretty much everywhere, getting yourself covered with medical insurance for COVID is definitely a good idea. Here are the best options if you’re traveling to COVID struck areas.

So, as I’m writing this (May 8th, 2020), there have been 74,000 deaths and 1.26 Million confirmed COVID cases so far in the U.S.A. And the numbers are growing.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 27.5 million people, or 8.5% of everyone in the US, didn’t have health insurance, in 2019.

This reveals a big threat. 27.5 Million people in the U.S.A are vulnerable.

I know what you might be thinking. Isn’t COVID treatment free for all?

Why bother about getting insurance for COVID?

Well, here is an interesting information that will get you thinking.

Those who are hospitalized with coronavirus can expect to pay anywhere from $42,486 to $74,310 if they are uninsured or if they receive care that’s deemed out-of-network by their insurance company, according to recent analysis by independent nonprofit FAIR Health.

Now, that is scary.

Another NY Times article reports the following. (Source)

Now insurers are starting to waive out-of-pocket costs if you need to go to the hospital, and that could reduce your bills. But it’s still unclear how much you’ll wind up paying, leaving public health experts worried that people who are sick may hesitate to get medical care because of concerns over bills.

So, essentially I’m happy that COVID related treatments are now free for all, but there seems to be no clarity on how this would all evolve.

Whether non-insured individuals who test COVID positive and get treatment will have to pay out of pocket. If yes, how much – etc.

And while we get clarity on these things gradually, I personally think that it is wise to get yourself covered and not regret later.

Now that the lockdown is getting eased out in most countries, it is probably a good idea to get travel insurance when traveling to such COVID affected places.

Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when traveling to COVID struck places.

Should you buy travel insurance when traveling to COVID affected regions?

Yes. International travel is going to be difficult during COVID times. Flights are being cancelled left and right. If you get a travel insurance that cover “cancellation for any reason”, you might be covered against flight cancellations.

Will normal travel insurance help to cover COVID related issues?

Most likely not. Regular travel insurance covers trip cancellations due to a particular set of conditions. COVID related issues may not be covered in it.
Instead, if you buy travel insurance that has “cancellation for any reason” covered, then your trip may be covered.

Best Travel Insurance for COVID

In order to get covered for COVID related issues, it’s best to buy travel insurance that has “cancel for any reason” policy.

But there are some general rules you should be aware of, that are characteristic in these “cancel for any reason” insurance plans.

  • Epidemic issues – If there is an epidemic (like COVID) in the areas you’re traveling.
  • Cancellation due to change of mind.
  • Document issues or non-availability.
  • Family reasons or anything else that prohibits you from traveling.

Two amazing travel insurance plans that are best for traveling during COVID like situations are:

Travel LX Insurance plan and Safe Travels First Class Insurance.

Travel LX Insurance Plan

This is an excellent plan from iTravelInsured that offers insurance and/or trip cancellation options for/against the following.

  • Quarantine.
  • Sickness/injury of a travel partner or family member.
  • Terrorist incidents.
  • Trip cancellation.
  • Emergency travel arrangements.
  • Embassy or consulate referrals.
  • Lost passport or travel documents assistance.
  • Emergency cash transfer.
  • A documented theft of passport/visas.
  • Etc.. (Read full list on plan brochure)

Safe Travels First Class Insurance

This is also a great travel insurance that offers “cancel for any reason” policy, and is ideal for COVID related issues.

It is meant for U.S Citizens and residents taking domestic or international trips and can be purchased for any trip up to 90 days.

It covers events such as missed connection flights, trip delays etc and is ideal if you’re worried about uncertainties when traveling to COVID hit areas.

Is COVID Medical Treatment cost covered by Travel Insurance?

If you traveled to a country/place (within the covered ones) and got sick because of a sudden outbreak of pandemic like COVID, then you might be eligible for emergency medical coverage, if you had bought the policy well in advance.

However, if you’re traveling to a country in which there already exists a travel warning, then no you may not be covered for medical expenses.

Will insurance cover if I fall sick with Corona Virus/COVID during my trip?

If you’ve bought a cancel for any reason trip like the ones mentioned above, you may be eligible for trip cancellations due to sudden outbreak of a pandemic like COVID. And emergency medical services may be covered by travel insurance if you had bought the insurance well in advance.

In any case, check the policy details and fine print in detail without making assumptions. The devil is in the details.

Traveling during COVID times are sure tough. Most of the times, there isn’t much you can do but it’s always a good idea to buy travel insurance before the trip so that you dodge unexpected, unpleasant surprises during your trip.

All the best!