What to look for in your COVID-era travel protection

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What to look for in your COVID-era travel protection

After a year in which the only travel possible was via Zoom backgrounds, you might be dreaming of a real vacation (hey - same here). And with rising vaccine rates and decreasing COVID-19 cases in some parts of the world, that’s seeming more and more like a possibility. Even Europe, which has had its borders closed to US citizens since last year, seems poised to open for the summer holidays. Which begs the question: is there anything better than a big scoop of gelato in the warm summer sun?

But as travel so often leads to the unexpected — whether it's the serendipitous (a meet-cute at the foot of the Eiffel Tower) or the disastrous (sometimes street meats are not the answer) — it’s good to be prepared. But before 2020 came to a grinding halt, only a small percentage of people bought travel insurance (as of 2018, that number was around 38%). 

For the approximately 60% of us who didn’t buy trip insurance in the Before Times, COVID-19 may prove a game changer. So besides getting vaccinated and packing a mask, are there other precautions that you can take? Specifically, are there travel protection policies you can purchase to protect yourself in case COVID-19 disrupts your plans?

The short answer is: pretty much. Some companies have are adapted to the times and now offer protection against COVID-19. 

The longer answer is more complicated. Almost all travel protection plans exclude losses due to “epidemic or pandemic,” but most providers have agreed to make an exception and offer coverage for COVID-19 losses.

Okay, but what about quarantine? 

While most countries have relaxed their rules concerning COVID-19, and are no longer requiring
quarantine, it’s a good idea to check well before your departure date. Our partner battleface offers a
handy Travel Tool that provides up to date information on entry requirements for your destination,
including any COVID-19 restrictions.

But if you do happen to get sick while traveling, there are some coverages that can help offset the expense:

  • Travel delay coverage can be used to cover additional costs such as lodging and meals, if
    you contract COVID-19 during your trip and a doctor requires you to quarantine in your hotel room.
  • Trip interruption coverage can reimburse you for nonrefundable, prepaid expenses. So don’t worry about prepaying for those museum tickets — you might be able to get some of the price refunded.
  • Medical policies to cover hospitalization, evacuation, etc. But as always, double and triple check to make sure that COVID-19 is covered as part of your plan. battleface treats COVID-19 like any
    other illness, but make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered. Check the battleface
    website for more information about their COVID-19 coverage.
What if you get sick before you leave on your trip, or what if you get too scared to travel?

If you, a family member or traveling companion gets sick with COVID-19 before your departure, causing
you to cancel your trip, most travel protection providers will treat that sickness like any other medical
condition. Make sure you understand what the provider’s policy is regarding losses due to COVID-19 –
you can check battleface’s here .

With how hectic everything feels right now, you might want to consider adding Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) to your travel insurance. CFAR does just what its name says: you can cancel for any reason, whether that’s COVID fears or just because you decided you’d rather spend the weekend reading in bed. The great part is this coverage applies to all trips, not just international destinations. A few other things to note:

  • You cannot purchase CFAR on its own. It’s an optional upgrade you can add to your travel policy.
  • CFAR usually will pay a percentage of the total trip cost insured, such as 75%.
  • Plans often have varying purchase requirements. For example, you usually
    must purchase within a certain timeframe of initial trip deposit, plus insure the full trip cost. There’s also usually a deadline for cancellation (such as within 48 hours of departure date) — so
    as always, read the details of your plan carefully.

It’s a whole new world out there, and at Marble, we want to do our part to help you get back out there, safely. And if you’re not sure where to start, we recommend looking at battleface, which lets you customize your travel protection depending on your trip.

After you select a policy that works for you, just add it to your Marble wallet. No matter how far you travel, we’ve got your back.

battleface Travel Insurance plans are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company (an IL Corporation, NAIC# 24376), with administrative office at One Pluckemin Way, Suite 102, Bedminister, NJ 07921. Plans are offered and administered by battleface Insurance Services LLC, 45 East Lincoln Street, Columbus, OH 43215, National Producer Number 18731960 (FL License number L107363/CA License number 0M75381). Travel Retailers offering this plan may not be licensed insurance producers and cannot answer technical questions about the terms, benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance or evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. Your Travel Retailer may be compensated for the purchase of a Plan and may provide general information about the Plans offered, including a description of the coverage and price.  The purchase of this Plan is not required in order to purchase other travel products or services offered by your Travel Retailer. This is a brief description of the coverage provided under policy series RIG-1000. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions, and termination provisions. Please refer to the Policy for complete details. If there are conflicts between the information on this site and the Policy, the Policy will govern in all cases. Not all products or coverages may be available in all jurisdictions. 

Non-insurance services are provided by Robin Assist (in CA battleface Insurance Services LLC DBA Robin Assist).