People who love to travel and the travel industry are looking forward to a brighter 2021. One thing that might help is new travel insurance policies covering Covid-19.
While not all travel insurance policies excluded pandemics, most did when Covid-19 interrupted travel last year. But the travel insurance industry has adjusted and introduced new policies covering the disease.
“We’ve seen progress in that many plans will now treat Covid like any other unexpected sickness or illness,” Stan Sandberg, a co-founder of the comparison website travelinsurance.com, told the New York Times.
How A Covid-Inclusive Travel Policy Works
Covid-inclusive travel insurance generally covers travelers from the day after purchase until they return home. If you become sick and cannot travel, because of Covid or another covered illness, trip cancellation or trip interruption benefits would kick in.
If an illness occurred before departure, the policy would cover any prepaid travel expenses. If you or a travel partner contracted Covid-19 during your trip, the insurance would likely reimburse prepaid arrangements and cover additional airfare to return home — once travel is deemed safe.
Should you be required to quarantine and cannot travel, delay coverage for lodging, meals, and local transportation could pay up to $1,000, according to reports.
Benefits vary by policy, and not every Covid-19-related expense is covered by these new policies. Some costs may be covered by private insurance.
Travelers are not the only ones worried about health.
Many Caribbean destinations, including Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas, now require travel medical insurance, the New York Times reports. Other locations, including French Polynesia and the Maldives, require visitors to have policies that cover Covid-19.
Like all insurance, the details are crucial. Travelers should read the policies carefully to understand what’s covered and what the caveats are.
Read more about what you need to know about coronavirus travel insurance at nytimes.com.