We've gotten a lot of questions and updates on this virus scare, and we have a lot of info to share with you. First, if you're panicked about your future travel plans, take a deep breath. While this virus strain may be slightly stronger statistically than the regular flu, it is still very rare that you will even get it, much less have any serious complications from it, whether you're traveling or not. You're more likely to win the lottery than die from it. That said, we won't be recommending travel to China any time soon, and we are of course seriously monitoring conditions in Italy extremely closely.
Take anything you see or hear about the corona virus with a grain of salt. Travelers should refer to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for continuous updates and developments related to the Corona virus outbreak, which was first reported on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan.
Many of you have asked about travel insurance so here is some information.
Countries in the affected regions, and areas with reported incidents, continue to be eligible destinations. Should travelers become ill with the Corona virus while traveling, coverage may be available for Emergency Medical, Medical Evacuation, or Trip Interruption.
Travel Insured previously advised that there would be no coverage under our plans due to the corona virus, except for CFAR and IFAR. It remains true that the State Department’s decision to issue a travel advisory of level 4 for China, or any other country, does not trigger coverage, nor does a fear to travel due to the virus. However, it has come to our attention that the corona virus may be causing individuals to be quarantined and flights to be delayed. With this in mind there may be coverage including Trip Cancellation if a common carrier delay causes an insured to miss more than 50% of his or her trip. The coverages that could be implicated beyond CFAR and IFAR include the following:
Travel Delay - An insured traveler must be delayed for the time sensitive period while en route to, from, or during a trip due to a covered reason.
Missed Connection - If a delay causes you to miss a cruise or tour departure due to a covered reason, you may have coverage under Missed Connection. The delay must meet the time sensitive criteria listed in your plan. The delay of a common carrier can be included as one of the covered reasons for Missed Connection. Thus, if a common carrier delay causes an insured to miss more than 50% of his or her trip, Trip Cancellation or Interruption coverage could apply.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption - An insured traveler must cancel or interrupt their trip due to a covered reason. One covered reason for Trip Cancellation or Interruption that could apply is quarantine. Another covered reason is if your arrival on the trip is delayed and causes you to lose 50% or more of your scheduled trip duration, due to the reasons covered under the Missed Connection benefit. If your travel supplier cancels your trip, the Trip Cancellation benefit may pay for the reissue fee charged by the airline for the tickets. You must have insured the entire cost of your trip including the airfare cost.
Cancel for Any Reason - Some travelers may prefer to cancel their trip out of concern for the Corona virus. For insured travelers who purchased Cancel for Any Reason coverage, we remind you that cancellations must be made 48 or more hours prior to scheduled departure and payment is limited to 75% of the non-refundable trip cost up to the stated plan maximum limit.
SO take a deep breath. This is just a bad flu that is spreading quickly. Wash your hands often, cough into your elbow, and keep living your life.