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Choosing Travel Insurance for Holidays in a Covid-19 World

Travel insurance has always been something that every holidaymaker and traveller should view as an essential purchase before going away. But now, in a world that is living with the COVID-19 pandemic, no one should travel without it.

Rachel Lee
· 6 min read

Travel insurance has always been something that every holidaymaker and traveller should view as an essential purchase before going away. But now, in a world that is living with the COVID-19 pandemic, no one should travel without it.

Here, in this article, we look at why exactly you need travel insurance, particularly in a COVID-19 world and what travel insurance needs to cover you for as a result. In doing so, you can be assured when you purchase it you have the right cover at the right price.

Why You Need Travel Insurance

Travel insurance protects you against unexpected costs that can occur when travelling due to unforeseen circumstances. Depending on the policy or level you purchase, travel insurance can cover you against:

  • Cancellations.
  • Delays.
  • Illness.
  • Theft.
  • Any other situations that result in you incurring costs for reasons beyond your control.

Now, during COVID-19 times, all travellers need insurance to cover you for the chance that your holiday may be delayed or cancelled for many COVID-19 related reasons. For example, you may become too sick to travel, or you may simply just display COVID-19 symptoms that prevent you from travelling, before or during your planned trip. Or, the country to which you are travelling may have to shut their borders to contain the virus. You will need insurance as a consequence to ensure that you do not lose the money you spent on a trip you cannot take. Importantly, insurance also needs to protect you against the chance that you may be abroad already when borders shut due to a sudden spike in infections.

What Travel Insurance Needs To Cover You For

Even before COVID-19, travel insurance needed to cover you for a wide range of emergencies that may transpire when you are abroad. As a result, travel insurance needs to cover you for the following:

Medical Expenses

Without a doubt, one of the most important reasons for having travel insurance is to cover medical expenses you incur when abroad. Medical expenses can quickly mount up, so your policy must cover you in case you need to access healthcare when you are away.

Now that we are all at risk of catching COVID-19, you need to ensure that your policy specifically will cover you for medical expenses incurred due to COVID-19 reasons. A policy must cover you for additional costs incurred if you have to delay your flight back home due to exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.

It’s important not to underestimate the amount your policy covers you for in terms of medical expenses. Not only can they amount to an eye-watering sum, they may also need to take into account getting you back to the UK when you are still unwell.

Personal Injury And Death

While personal injury costs may also include medical expenses like above, your policy also needs to cover you for accidents or any damage that you may have caused. Again, this is not an area that should be underestimated as costs here can also spiral out of control.

Death is also something that needs to be factored into travel insurance policies. Repatriating a body and costs incurred as a result of death can be high.

Cancellations or Missed Departures

Cover for cancellations or missed departures should form an integral part of any travel insurance policy. Bearing in mind the likelihood of cancellations occurring due to COVID-19 outbreaks around the world, it is even more important to ensure that your level of cover will reimburse you for any costs incurred as a result of delay or cancellation.

While any delays or cancellations that occur when you are at home may not mean you incur many new costs, your cover still needs to ensure that you are refunded any prepayments you have paid before going away. In terms of delays and cancellations when you are abroad, again, costs can spiral. Travel insurance can give you peace of mind that you won’t be landed with an unexpected bill if your return is delayed due to a Coronavirus outbreak.

Delayed or Lost Baggage

Delayed and lost baggage when on holiday is a big headache. Make sure that you do not have to worry about costs you incur abroad if your luggage goes missing or is damaged. While marginally less inconvenient, you still need to ensure that your cover will reimburse you if your luggage is similarly lost or damaged on your return trip home.

Damaged or Lost Items

You can have items in your luggage or on your person covered by your travel insurance policy. Passports and money are the obvious items here that are essential to insure. If they get stolen or are damaged you need to ensure you will be reimbursed. Passports, in particular, can be an expensive item to replace in time for your return journey home.

How To Decide What Travel Insurance Policy Is Right For You

Before buying travel insurance, you need to consider the following to ensure that a policy is the best choice for you:

Travel Destination

Some countries or locations will require an extra level of cover, usually due to medical expenses being so much higher. The USA, for instance, is a prime example of this. Ensure that your policy specifically covers you for where you are travelling.

Your Age

For those over 65, travel insurance is often more expensive and can be specialised for this age bracket. This is particularly the case at the moment given how COVID-19 affects the health of over 70s far more than younger generations.

Travel Frequency

It is possible to buy holiday insurance for a single trip or for a whole year that allows many different holidays. A multi-trip policy is often cheaper in the long run if you are planning to go away frequently. Additionally, if you are travelling for longer than a certain length of time (usually around 30 days), you need to ensure your policy will still cover you.

Holiday Activities

For the more actively minded, if you anticipate taking part in any risky sports you may need to purchase additional cover. Skiing is the most common one, alongside scuba diving and many others. If you incur medical expenses due to injury caused by an activity that your policy doesn’t cover you for, your insurance provider will not reimburse your costs.

How You Are Travelling

Some policies need you to purchase particular types of cover depending on how you are travelling. Cruises, package holidays or independent travel are all types of holiday that can affect the travel insurance policy you will need. Package holidays, for instance, will often cover you for certain expenses that you may incur due to delays, for example. As a result, you will not need this included in the insurance you buy. Conversely, cruises are not always automatically covered by insurance policies.

Rachel Lee

Rachel Lee

Having worked at Morgan Stanley and BNYMellon for over 10 years in pensions and investments, Rachel naturally started to move towards investment writing more and more in her day job. Rachel now works as a full-time business and financial writer - drawing from her hands-on experience in the field.