On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency due to the outbreak of a new Coronavirus in the Hubei region of China. This virus, now referred to as COVID-19, has spread to other countries and caused many to question whether their travel plans are in jeopardy.
Do you have an upcoming mission trip? Are you worried that the Coronavirus outbreak could affect your plans?
It is first important to understand how travel insurance can provide coverage during the outbreak.
Under the Faith Ventures plan, if you purchased your insurance after January 21, 2020, you do not have coverage for cancellations, interruptions, or trip delays due to the Coronavirus. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover unforeseen events, and this event became a known event on January 21st. However, even if you purchased your policy after January 21 and contract Coronavirus during your trip, you may be eligible for medical expense and emergency medical evacuation coverage for expenses incurred during your trip.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Coronavirus and travel insurance coverage. Don’t forget to read your policy documents for complete coverage details.
Can I cancel my trip because of concerns over Coronavirus?
Answer: No, fear of contracting an illness is not a covered reason for trip cancellation.
Expenses resulting from canceled or postponed travel plans due to fear of the virus are not covered under any Faith Ventures policies. This is industry-standard as cancellation due to fear of epidemics and pandemics is typically excluded from travel insurance policies.
What if I contract Coronavirus on my trip?
Answer: Make sure your policy covers emergency medical care and emergency medical evacuation.
Most people don’t know that general health insurance plans typically do not provide coverage outside your home country. Make sure that you look for a travel insurance plan that gives you enough coverage for medical expenses should they arise on your trip.
If you begin to develop symptoms of Coronavirus while traveling, your travel insurance policy may help cover the healthcare costs to treat the virus. If you need transportation to a hospital that can adequately care for your condition, make sure to get a policy that includes 24/7 assistance for medical evacuations.
What if there is a quarantine declared while I am on my trip?
Answer: It depends when you purchased your travel insurance plan.
Picture this scenario: you’re on your way to your mission trip in Peru, but a quarantine gets issued during your layover, and you end up missing your connecting flight. How would your travel insurance policy help in this situation?
If you purchased your travel insurance prior to January 21, 2020, you may have coverage for this situation. As long as the quarantine was issued after you had already departed for your trip, you may have coverage for the missed connection on your outward journey. This means that you could potentially be reimbursed for the additional transportation cost to get you to your destination or for the prepaid expenses that you didn’t get to use due to the missed connection.
If you need to purchase additional lodging, cab rides, or meals to survive a delay of 12+ hours, this may be covered under the Trip Delay benefit.
However, if you purchased your insurance after January 21, 2020, you do not have coverage since the Coronavirus was no longer considered unforeseen at the time of your purchase.
What if I get sick while traveling and want to come home early?
Answer: If you have a Trip Cancellation and Interruption plan, you might have coverage for an early flight home.
No one likes not feeling well and being away from home, much less being sick while in a foreign country. If you want to come home early due to a sickness that you got on your trip, you would have to have a Trip Cancellation and Interruption plan that was in place before you began traveling. The Trip Interruption coverage may pay the additional transportation cost to return home early if a doctor recommends that you leave your trip.
However, it is important to understand that it must be recommended by a doctor to return home and you must be deemed medically fit for the return trip. If you contract the Coronavirus, it is very likely that you will be quarantined and will not be able to return home until you have made a full recovery.
What if I get Coronavirus and have to cancel my trip?
Answer: You may have coverage if you purchased a trip cancellation policy prior to your first symptoms.
A Trip Cancellation and Interruption policy may help with that if you purchase the plan before you get sick. The Faith Ventures Trip Cancellation and Interruption policy can be added on as an upgrade to a Basic, Plus, or Premium plan and costs as little as 5% of your total trip cost.
Note: A Trip Cancellation and Interruption policy does not cover cancellation for any reason. The policy documents will give you a list of reasons in which the cancellation would be covered. Don’t forget to read your description of coverage when you purchase the plan.
What if I am currently under quarantine, and I am not able to go on my trip?
Answer: You may be eligible for coverage if you purchased a trip cancellation plan prior to January 21, 2020.
If you purchased a Faith Ventures Trip Cancellation and Interruption plan before January 21, 2020, and you need to cancel or interrupt your travel plans because you have been quarantined at the time of travel, you may have coverage for the cancellation.
What are examples of some things NOT covered?
- Expenses resulting from canceled or postponed travel plans due to fear of the virus are not covered under any Faith Ventures policies. This is industry-standard as cancellation due to fear of epidemics and pandemics is typically excluded from travel insurance policies.
- If you begin having symptoms of Coronavirus and decide to purchase a travel insurance plan after you have been infected, the condition would be considered pre-existing and would not be covered by a Faith Ventures policy. To ensure this doesn’t happen, purchase a plan immediately after you put a deposit down on your trip.
- If you purchased a Faith Ventures Trip Cancellation and Interruption plan after January 21, 2020, and would like to cancel your trip due to a quarantine, the cancellation would likely not be covered since the quarantine is no longer considered “unforeseen.”
For further questions about what is and what is not covered by travel insurance, we recommend reading your plan’s coverage documents and calling your travel insurance company.
The Faith Ventures Customer Care toll-free number is (855) 231-5237 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Coverage cannot be guaranteed by this blog post. Refer to your description of coverage for plan specifics.