Are you considering traveling during this vacation? If so, you will almost certainly have a lot of questions about the safety measures you can take when booking your trip. This is normal. The health crisis we have experienced has left a scenario in which concepts such as medical security, cancellations, compensation and refunds take on almost more importance than the attractions of the tourist destination itself.
To begin with, you should be aware that the insurance sector has been working during all these months to adapt travel insurance to these new needs, which were totally unheard of just a couple of seasons ago. There are two main objectives: to offer additional information to support customers in their decision to travel and to offer extra protection to ensure you feel very safe away from home.
From pandemic to serious illness
The vast majority of insurance companies already consider COVID-19 to be a serious disease. This means that if you get sick before traveling, your cancellation will be covered. And if you have symptoms during the trip or at the destination, you will have coverage for repatriations, medical care and expenses, hospitalization, transfer of family, trip extensions and PCR tests, if these are mandatory at the destination. Check out the conditions offered by the different insurers!
Generally, in the event of an early return due to illness, there could be compensation proportional to the unused days. The insurance will also apply if the treatment of the disease requires that you stay longer at the destination.
Unfortunately, fear is not covered
But remember that – for now – fear is not covered. If you arrive at your destination and want to return early for fear of contagion, it is very unlikely that you will be eligible for any compensation. Nor could you request a refund if the authorities decree a new lockdown on arrival at your destination and you are unable to leave the hotel.
If you are not very clear about the health situation in the destination and still want to book your trip, you can always include in your insurance policy what is known as a “free withdrawal clause”. Although this makes for a more expensive policy, it does allow the beneficiary to cancel the trip – even if this is due to fear of contagion – and gives them the right to get their money back. The only requirement is to cancel before the start date of the trip.
Ask your insurance broker and rule out uncertainties thanks to the advantages offered by travel insurance with specific COVID-19 coverage. These guarantees are not only available for big international trips: if you opt for local or national tourism – whether in your own car, by bicycle, train or bus – you can also protect yourself against any incidents. Remember the four main sections: medical care and expenses; repatriation, transfers or extensions of stay; cancellations; and reimbursement for PCR tests.
Before you travel, check the updated information on destinations and travel tips on the website of the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare .