Travel Insurance and Holiday Travel: What You Should Know
(ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND) December 21, 2020 – If you decide to travel this holiday season, the US Travel Insurance Association recommends you review and heed advice available to you, such as this holiday travel advice from the CDC; always maintain safe practices like wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and washing your hands; know the current state and local requirements; and understand how travel insurance works and how it can be a critical resource for you.
Policies vary widely to accommodate travelers’ different needs, so make sure you understand what the various policies you are considering do—and do not—cover.
Travel insurance protects travelers from unforeseen events. These events—such as bad weather, illness, an airplane mechanical issue, quarantine, loss of a job, or being required to work—may be covered reasons for having to cancel or cut short a trip. Policies provide coverage when an unforeseen, named event covered in the policy language prevents or interrupts travel. Make sure you understand what your policy covers—and if you don’t know, ask the insurance company directly.
Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Coverage may allow you to cancel your trip for any reason, or for no reason at all. For the most part, unless these travel changes were due to a specific event defined in their plans, a standard travel insurance policy would not provide coverage—but a CFAR plan would. CFAR policies are typically more expensive than standard policies, and cover up to 75% of non-reimbursable expenses. If you are considering this coverage, again, make sure you fully understand what is covered and the timeframe required to purchase.
Travel protection does more than just cover trip cancellation for named reasons. Depending on the plan, it may provide benefits if your trip is interrupted mid-journey, offer compensation for lost baggage, cover the cost of medical treatment when you’re traveling domestically or internationally, deliver general travel assistance services, potentially medical evacuations, if necessary, and more.
If you become ill with COVID-19 while on a covered trip, you could be covered for eligible medical expenses, such as doctor and hospital visits and medical evacuations, among other critical services. If insured persons contract COVID-19 prior to traveling, they could also be covered as they would be for other sicknesses that result in a loss from having to cancel a trip. Again, if unclear, ask your travel insurance provider or their representative.
About UStiA UStiA is a nonprofit association of insurance carriers and allied businesses involved in the development, administration, and marketing of travel insurance and assistance services. UStiA promotes fairness, integrity, and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry, with a mission to educate the public on travel insurance while maintaining high industry standards. For more information on UStiA and travel insurance, visit www.ustia.org.