The world was limping back to normal with most countries easing travel restrictions, but with the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid, things are again in disarray. While a few countries have barred entry of foreigners, others have brought in restrictions such as quarantine and multiple rounds of testing.
“The world is grappling with a global pandemic and is taking measured actions to bring life back on track. People are being very cautious with everything, including travelling. Since people are eager to take either professional or personal trips, travel insurance can be a great option to safeguard ourselves and have a fallback option ready in case of an emergency,” says Naval Goel, Founder and CEO, PolicyX.com, an insurance portal.
Some countries like Singapore have made it compulsory for visitors to have travel insurance that covers Covid. The minimum amount of cover required is also specified. For example, Singapore requires a minimum cover of $30,000 for Covid-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs. France and Germany require a minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros.
Getting Travel Insurance With Covid Cover
All travel insurance policies will cover you for Covid under accident and sickness medical reimbursement. Hospital expenses (both in-patient and out-patient) due to Covid will be covered. All Covid variants, including Omicron, are also covered. However, as we saw last year during the peak of the pandemic, travel insurance policies may not be available for certain destinations.
“People need to be mindful of making the right selection of travel insurance for national or international travelling, as the policy should serve a broader purpose than just loss of luggage,” says Goel.
Most travel insurance policies do not cover compulsory quarantine (which some countries have mandated), but if the quarantine is due to the policyholder testing positive for Covid, then it is covered. This feature depends on the policy you are taking, so make sure you check for the relevant details.
“Since quarantine is required for travellers who are travelling from other states or countries, a few companies are also paying for quarantine expenses,” says Goel.
Cover For Cancellations
The chances of flight cancellation are higher these days so people planning to buy a travel insurance should opt for Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) add-on. Also, avail accommodation and flight cancellation benefit wherever provided.
CFAR allows the insured to cancel travel plans for reasons other than those listed as “covered reasons” in a policy. “CFAR permits the insured to bypass that list, giving greater flexibility and freedom when making decisions about travel reservations. It comes only as an add-on rider offered with a comprehensive policy, and it is only available if the insured meets certain criteria,” says Goel. For example, you may want to cancel a trip you had planned because new quarantine measures have kicked in after you had done your bookings and you do not want to get stuck in a hotel. If you opt for a CFAR add-on, you will be covered in such a situation, even if the reason for cancellation is not listed in the policy.
One needs to pay an additional premium to include a CFAR add-on.
A basic trip cancellation cover reimburses you for all non-refundable expenses you have made for reasons listed in the policy. The reasons could be illness, injury or a family emergency.