Travel Insurance in the time of COVID-19. What it covers and what it doesn’t
With the prospect of catching COVID-19 to look out for, travelling has become a lot more stressful than before. Buying travel insurance online has been known to help in easing the burden that come with travel, such as missing your flight or losing your luggage.
However, with an ongoing pandemic, the ultimate stressor has to do with whether or not COVID-19 is covered by the travel insurance being considered.
Today, most Travel Insurance policies cover you against COVID-19 - not only as a safety net against the risk of having to pay for unexpected medical emergencies but also for other travel-related emergencies like losing your luggage or passport. To know what exactly is covered by a travel insurance with a COVID coverage and what is exempt, read on.
What is covered by a COVID-19 travel insurance policy?
- Medical expenses: In case the insured party experiences some medical emergency, in the form of a disease or an injury during their trip, the travel insurance policy will cover their medical expenses. The travel policy will include both inpatient and outpatient treatment, the cost of transportation, lab tests prescribed by the doctor, the repatriation of mortal remains and doctor prescribed lab tests. However, the exact details of what is covered, will vary as per the policy
- Dental treatment: Medical costs associated with dental care can weigh heavily on one’s pocket. However, most Travel Insurance policies make sure you do not have to worry about these expenses, as insurers tend to cover the costs of dental care when you are travelling. Nevertheless, in case your sole purpose of travelling is to receive dental treatment, then you will need to check with your insurer if this is covered, as it may not be the case
- Loss of passport: What should you do in case you end up losing your passport when you travel? Travel insurance has you covered. The cost incurred in obtaining a duplicate or a fresh passport will usually be incurred by your insurer, in case you lose the original while travelling
- Loss of baggage: Almost all COVID-19 travel insurance policies will offer compensation for the loss of any checked-in baggage on a trip. You should check with your insurer for coverage regarding any delay in transportation of luggage that has been checked-in by you
- Personal accidents: Experiencing a personal accident is something one should account for, especially when travelling to a new location. Travel Insurance policies consider accidents to be a part of their coverage and offers compensation for the same. In the event of the insured losing their life as a result of an accident, the insurance company is bound to pay the nominee a Sum Insured by the policy
- Financial emergency assistance: Falling prey to situations such as robbery, theft, dacoity of money and more such precarious situations is common for tourists. In case this happens, a travel insurance is likely to cover the cost for this
- Trip cancellation: In the event that you have to cancel your trip due to any unforeseen illness, a technical fault with the airline, unfavourable weather condition or more, your Travel Insurance will incur the sum insured to you, thanks to the domestic flight cancellation insurance
Home burglary: While you are travelling, if your house back home falls prey to robbery, some Travel Insurance policies will provide you with a sum of the amount insured, as compensation for your loss.
What is exempt from a COVID-19 Travel Insurance policy?
1. Pre-existing medical conditions
It is unlikely that your insurer will cover any pre-existing medical conditions you might have. There tends to be a look-back period ranging from anywhere between 60 days to 180 days prior to the policy commencement, where one is to declare any pre-existing medical conditions to the insurer. A condition that you were diagnosed with or treated for during the look-back period tends not to be covered by Travel Insurance
2. Self-inflicted injuries
If you are hurt due to injuries that are self-inflicted and non-accidental, your Travel Insurance is unlikely to compensate you for this
3. Loss of items due to being under the influence
Another scenario that is unlikely to be compensated for by your Travel Insurance is when you lose items, such as your wallet or passport as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These losses are attributed to personal negligence and are considered non-accidental and therefore void by your insurer
4. Travel for the purpose of medical treatment
There exists international Travel Insurance with COVID-19 coverage. However, if you are seeking treatment in the form of vaccination for COVID-19 or any other medical illness, and if this is the purpose of your travel, the said treatment will not be covered by your insurer.
Buying either a domestic or international travel insurance can offer the necessary financial cushion for anybody taking a trip, especially now. There are both domestic and international Travel Insurance policies with COVID-19 coverage available today. Before buying a policy, make sure you are aware of what is covered and what is not.
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