The Coronavirus: Should you cancel your trip?
Flights, cruises, and conferences are being canceled around the world because of the Coronavirus. Some people are scared to travel because of their age, they have small children or they might have a weak immune system. Others are worried to travel because they don’t want to end up getting stuck or quarantined.
A lot of people are asking if they should cancel their travel plans. What is the right thing to do?
I’m not a doctor and not an expert on the Coronavirus, but I’ve been doing a lot of research. I have a cruise scheduled for the end of March and am worried about the possibility of quarantine as well as the possibility of the ports not letting us disembark.
I was also scheduled to visit Croatia for an event in early April and found out today that they have postponed.
Whether you choose to cancel your travel plans is a personal decision. I know the media is painting a grim picture of things but that’s what they get paid to do. They play into fear and tend to blow things out of proportion. I’m not saying the Coronavirus isn’t serious, but do question how our governments and media are choosing to educate us.
Instead of giving into fear, listen to the experts. They are telling you to be cautious and practice good hygiene: wash your hands regularly with soap, use hand sanitizer when you can’t, use disinfectant wipes on public surfaces (especially airplanes), and avoid sick people. If you are sick, stay home until you are well.
Related Post: How to Make Your Own Natural Hand Sanitizer
Book your trip and buy travel insurance. You can find policies on Insure My Trip that are “cancel for any reason” but, while most policies specifically exclude coronavirus, they will still cover you if your hotel or airline cancels, the government declares an emergency, or something else interrupts your trip.
Remember: you’re unlikely to get sick. And, if something does happen with your plans, then travel insurance will have you covered.
Travel Insurance For Short Term Travel
Travel is a big investment – you’re spending money on flights, lodging, food, and activities. But no matter how well-planned your trip is, you still might encounter delays or other unexpected challenges.
With health scares like the Coronavirus you may want to cancel a trip. Or you may be in a situation where a cruise or flight is canceled. It may be out of your control. But what about other items such as tours, hotels and other items you may have already purchased?
Travel insurance will protect your financial investment and provide coverage for unexpected events that might happen along the way. Even if you’re just planning a short trip, you’ll still want to invest in travel insurance.
Having an insurance policy will give you the peace of mind you need to really enjoy your vacation, knowing that you’re covered financially in the event of an emergency.
What does travel insurance cover?
Each travel insurance policy is different, however, there are some specific types of coverage that virtually every company offers. Travel insurance typically offers coverage for unexpected trip cancellations, so you can recoup the cost of your flights and other expenses.
It also covers trip interruptions and the costs that come with that, like rearranging flights and hotel rooms, as well as paying for extra meals.
Most providers also include coverage for emergency medical and dental expenses in the unlikely event of an accident during your trip. Many insurance plans also provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage. Some policies will cover children for no additional cost, but not all do, so check this ahead of time if you’re going to be traveling with family.
On top of this, many travel insurance companies offer additional coverage for ‘adventure travel’, which covers accidents that may happen as a result of participating in extreme sports like skydiving, skiing, rock climbing, and more.
These activities aren’t always covered under a traditional policy, so check to make sure your policy offers this coverage if you are going to be participating. Many travel insurance companies also offer emergency assistance services, meaning you can call them if you encounter any unexpected challenges during your travels and they will help you solve the problem.
Trip Protection vs. Travel Insurance
It’s important to know the difference between the terms ‘trip protection’ and ‘travel insurance’ when you are shopping. Trip protection covers the costs of nonrefundable expenses that occur as part of your trip, like flights, hotels, and activity costs. Travel insurance provides coverage for you and your belongings once the trip begins, offering coverage for emergency medical expenses or lost baggage.
Why Travel Insurance Is Important
You may be tempted to skip travel insurance, particularly if you’re going on a short trip, but you shouldn’t. Travel can be unpredictable, and if your plans change due to something out of your control, you could end up losing thousands of dollars in flights and hotel rooms you won’t use, or worse, having to pay additional fees on top of that to rebook.
Travel insurance protects you in the event of any unexpected events, so you can stay on budget and won’t have to rely on credit to pay for additional expenses. Keep in mind that your health insurance likely won’t cover you in other places, so if you get sick or injured, it could be very expensive (depending on where you’re traveling).
Travel insurance covers medical and dental expenses, and in many cases, your travel insurance company can help you find a doctor if you’re struggling to find one on your own.
What To Look For In A Travel Insurance Plan
When looking at travel insurance, you’ll want to make sure the coverage you choose is appropriate for your trip. Make sure the policy covers you for the entire length of your trip. You’ll also want to make sure your policy covers the overall cost of the trip.
For example, if you spent $2000 on flights and hotel rooms, but your policy only offers $1000 in cancellation coverage, it won’t pay for the cost of your entire trip. You’ll want to look for a higher value policy that will pay for the whole trip.
You’ll also want to make sure the destinations you’re visiting and the activities you’ll be participating in are covered. If you’re going to be visiting multiple destinations on your trip, confirm with the insurer that your policy is valid for all of the destinations.
If you’re going to be participating in any sporting activities or anything that could be considered dangerous, you should also make sure that those activities are covered.
Finally, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, check with your insurance company to see how they affect your medical coverage. Some policies will only cover you if you need to go to the doctor for a new ailment, but not if you experience complications from a condition you had before the trip.
What’s Not Covered In Travel Insurance
Every travel insurance policy is going to have some exceptions regarding what is and isn’t covered. For example, most policies have exceptions regarding pre-existing health conditions, and may not cover you if you need treatment for them while abroad.
They also typically won’t cover you for any reckless behavior, like traveling to a country against government warning, engaging in dangerous sports without prior approval, or leaving your luggage unattended.
World Nomads vs. Allianz vs. InsureMyTrip
These are three of the most popular travel insurance companies out there. All are very reliable, and the ultimate policy you choose will depend on your unique needs. WorldNomads is the best affordable option if you’re going to be participating in any adventure travel.
Allianz has a huge range of plans available, most of which are very affordable, so they give you flexibility to find the policy you need. InsureMyTrip is a marketplace that you can use to select the right trip for your needs. They offer a number of policies from different insurance companies, and you can use their platform to compare them and find the right option for you.
How to Compare Policies
When looking at policies, carefully consider the cost of your trip and where you’re going to determine what you need. Think not only about the cost of your flights and hotel rooms, but also the amount and value of any luggage you’re bringing, as well as the activities you’re going to be doing there.
All of this will affect how much coverage you need. You should also consider the cost of healthcare in the countries you are visiting – a doctor’s visit in southeast Asia will be very inexpensive, whereas one in Europe or the US will cost much more. Considering all of these factors can help you narrow down the right policy for your needs.