The changing face of travel insurance post-pandemic: what you should know
Sept 13th, 2020
It’s hardly news that the world is facing an unprecedented time in its history right now. The pandemic has exposed exactly how fast disease can now spread from continent to continent, as well as the difficulties inherent in managing economies and lives in a globalised world with issues like local quarantines and closed borders in play. Unsurprisingly, this ‘travel and communication’ aspect of the Coronavirus response means industries like pandemic travel insurance, and insurance in general, will be facing an industry revolution of their own. What can you expect from post-COVID travel insurance? Hencilla Canworth, and Performing Arts Travel Insurance, takes a closer look.
While vital, travel insurance doesn’t cover everything
We’ve looked before at the many critical ways that travel insurance keeps you safe while on the road, especially as a vulnerable entertainer who may not always be able to access other, more mainstream means of support. Yet, as is standard across the industry, you will still find exclusions lurking in your terms and conditions. For many travellers, it was something of a shock to find that a Global Pandemic wasn’t covered. Nor is ‘fear of travel’ as an excuse to back out of previously accepted commitments. It’s important to remember that these were standard travel insurance policies, not specific pandemic insurance offerings.
In particular, people who seek to avoid quarantines at their destination by refusing to travel will often find they cannot claim back their lost flight costs while exercising this right. It’s important to understand, no matter how justified you feel your circumstances are for your specific needs and comfort levels, that you are simply ‘changing your mind’ about travel in such a circumstance, and insurance generally does not cover you for active choices made like this.
What other pandemic-related things is travel insurance unlikely to cover?
With this in mind, what else should you be aware that it is highly unlikely a travel insurance policy will cover under a pandemic situation?
'Fear of travel': As we mentioned above, if you are healthy and ok to travel, but choose not to (for eg, for fear of contracting COVID at the airport), your insurance won’t cover it.
A second COVID breakout: Right now, we know that there’s a very strong possibility that there will be secondary outbreaks globally. If you choose to travel to a high -risk area, you likely won’t find coverage.
Certain medical circumstances: Most pre-existing medical conditions need a waiver to be covered. Do be aware many psychiatric conditions don’t get covered at all.
So, why should I still get travel insurance?
Despite these ‘problems’ in what the public perceives policies as covering versus what they do, it’s probably more important than ever to ensure you have adequate travel coverage in the bag. ‘Safe and protected mobility’ is critical to travel in the post-COVID climate, especially at a time where medical facilities are heavily focusing on Coronavirus related intake and some other healthcare services are not running at full strength.
Likewise, don’t assume that the travel and pandemic insurance industry is merely sitting stagnantly by and watching the global situation. Insurance is a vital and ever-evolving industry, and great strides are already being taken to tailor new policies and policy offerings that meet client’s travel expectations in the post-pandemic world. This could be by covering public emergency health screenings, creating full new policies, or simply amending the policies already on offer.
The insurance industry knows how critical it is that their policies meet the needs of the customers, so be sure to keep an eye on developments in the industry to find the insurance package that covers you as you need. The most critical thing is to make sure you understand exactly what is (and isn’t) covered under your policy. Travel insurance companies are upfront about coverage, but customers often make the mistake of assuming all policies are the same, or that certain facets will be covered, without ever obtaining clarification.
Typical core offerings of a travel policy
While policies do differ from company to company, the following are a standard ‘backbone’ of travel insurance offerings:
Employment layoff leading to cancellation
Financial default of airlines
Missed Connections and travel delays
Trip cancellations for illness, injury, death and so on
Medical (subject to specific terms and conditions)
With the industry evolving in response to the pandemic, you can see lists of what is not covered change rapidly as we go forward. We fully expect ‘coronavirus insurance’ to come to the fore over the next few months. Pandemics and viruses did not, prior to this year, feature heavily on the minds of many travellers. With that outlook now changed, we fully expect the industry to evolve to match. It’s still pretty early to comprehensively guess what other changes are coming, but we’re sure they will be innovative and match customer’s needs as they do.
Hencilla Canworth prides itself on keeping our insurance products up-to-date and practical for our clients, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch today with any queries or concerns you may have, or to organize yourself one of our bespoke Performing Arts Travel Insurance packages today.