The coronavirus outbreak won’t be covered by regular travel insurance, comparison site Squaremouth has warned.
A pandemic declaration won’t trigger travel cancelation coverage, according to Squaremouth. By the time a disease outbreak is officially declared a pandemic, the outbreak is typically well-known worldwide. Once an event becomes common knowledge, it is generally excluded by travel insurance policies, according to Squaremouth. This is because insurers consider a well-known event to have a foreseeable impact on travelers.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, Squaremouth has reported a 208% increase in travelers seeking cancelation coverage. However, all travel insurance providers now consider the outbreak an expected event, and as such it is excluded from cancelation coverage.
Squaremouth recommends that travelers who are looking to purchase a policy now should consider a “cancel for any reason” upgrade. This upgrade is time-sensitive, and must be purchased within 21 days of the first trip booking. The upgrade generally costs around 40% more than a standard trip-cancelation policy, Squaremouth said. However, it can reimburse travelers 75% of their trip cost if they cancel a trip for a reason not otherwise covered by the policy.