The Dirty Secret About Travel Insurance
Pandemic exposed travel insurance gaps
When the pandemic was announced more than a year ago, international borders closed, and travelers, travel agents, airlines and many others scrambled to help people return home quickly and safely. Vacations were cut short, business trips canceled and leisure travel plans abruptly scratched. Almost no one was prepared to handle the sudden, massive movement of people trying to escape what would become the first pandemic in a century.
Fear of the coronavirus gripped the world, and everyone desperately wanted to get away, get home to family, friends and safety. Government officials rushed to transport expats to their home countries. Commercial airlines, routinely scheduled to fly with full passenger loads, struggled to re-route and re-book customers who were impatient to return home safely.
At the same time, borders were shutting down with little notice and near-absolute rigor.
Travelers quickly learned a dirty secret: their travel insurance did not provide the protection they expected.
Travelers Required To Quarantine In Hotels At Their Own Expense
“When the pandemic struck, many travel insurance policies failed to cover COVID-19-related trip interruptions and cancellations,” according to a report in The New York Times.
Travel insurance coverage “limitations have been brought into stark relief during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving would-be travelers frustrated over denied claims for hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars,” reported the Chicago Tribune.
“Plane tickets, vacation homes and other excursions are going uncovered even though some say they couldn’t have reached their destinations because of ski resorts shuttering, beaches closing and governors urging everyone to stay home.”
Travelers who assumed their health and travel insurance would pay for the cost of travel cancellations, fees and upcharges tied to flight changes, expenses related to quarantines and costs for testing and healthcare abroad discovered they were wrong.