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zitsky

How best to deal with corona virus?

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I recently signed up for trip insurance with emergency medical evacuation, cancel for any reasons (75%), etc.  But is there particular kind of insurance that is better to have when dealing with something like corona virus?

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I certainly defer to the professionals to answer this question, but while you are waiting, here is what I have learned.

 

As far as I can tell, insurance companies have set a cut-off date of January 21, defining the day that the virus became a known hazard. If you purchased your policy after that date, you do not have coverage for anything related to the virus. Even MedJet, which provides medical evacuation, has ceased service in areas affected by travel advisories.


If you have not yet departed and your cruise still has not been cancelled, your only recourse is CFAR -provided you bought your policy before the cut off.

 

At this point, governments have taken over decisions about quarantine, treatment, and evacuation. I don’t know the role of private insurance in getting people home once they are released from treatment or quarantine.

 

 

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Cancel for any reason.  But as discussed in another thread, insurance companies could decide to not recognize corona virus as a reason even though it's called *any* reason.

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Hi @zitsky ,

 

To answer your original question, from what you described, you did make the best travel insurance purchase for a coronavirus concern. If you are purchasing a new plan after January 21, a plan with Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) will give you the most benefit. Although coverage will vary from provider and plan, this benefit is the safest way to insure a trip cancellation for coronavirus currently. Cancel for Any Reason allows you to make the decision to cancel a trip for any reason - including free of contracting coronavirus. The tricky thing about the optional, add-on of Cancel for Any Reason is that it's a time-sensitive benefit. This means you need to purchase the insurance between 14-30 days of when you put your first down payment onto your trip. So many travelers won't qualify for this benefit

 

Keep in mind that most travel insurance will still cover you for illness, including care for coronavirus, if you are sick while traveling. However, this too varies from provider currently. 

 

If you have any questions on a policy, even if it wasn't purchased from us, we can review your policy document to answer any questions for you before you travel or place a claim. 

 

-InsureMyTrip 

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On 2/17/2020 at 4:59 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

What is CFAR, please?

Hi! CFAR is a common short hand for the "Cancel for Any Reason" benefit on some comprehensive plan. You can learn more here

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I am due to sail from Rome on 5/15/20.  I have paid in full.

I have never bought travel insurance and now regret that I didn't buy for this trip.

I am unable to now get CFAR coverage, but, I'm thinking I should buy medical, evacuation and cancellation coverage even though it doesn't include CFAR.  I also think it would too late to waiver pre existing but I would be covered for anything new.

 

Do you suggest that I buy this now and what will it cover.

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Hi! Ronni from InsureMyTrip here!

It's not too late to buy travel insurance that covers other unforeseen concerns outside of coronavirus. Keep in mind, if you contract coronavirus while traveling, most plans - even if purchased today - may provide emergency medical coverage. 

If you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance plan today and tomorrow an unforeseen event affects your trip - you'll most likely be covered. 

 

In short, we recommend buying a travel insurance plan for all the other things that could happen when you are traveling!

 

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Just called InsureMyTrip they cannot do anything for me.  What a waste of time!
 

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3 minutes ago, LarryNY said:

Just called InsureMyTrip they cannot do anything for me.  What a waste of time!
 

 

Are you asking for help with existing policy or getting something new?  

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28 minutes ago, LarryNY said:

Just called InsureMyTrip they cannot do anything for me.  What a waste of time!
 

 

I'm sorry to hear we couldn't help you out. If the coverage you are searching for is for the coronavirus, as of January 21, 2020 it is listed a foreseen event by most providers, making trip cancellation coverage very difficult to obtain. 

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No problem like with most insurance companies you seem all to happy to take our money and then do everything in your power not to pay out.

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Sandbox and LarryNY

 

I’m trying to process the answers you two got from InsureMyTrip. I think IMT is saying the same thing to each of you. In particular, Sandbox gave enough details that I know it is too late for Cancel for Any Reason and Pre-existing Conditions Waiver. Cancellation would be valid only for the usual covered reasons such as a family emergency, an accident, or an illness as long as it is not related to some condition you may already have. Do you take any meds or have you seen a doctor in the last 60 days? Did he change an RX or order a test? You have a pre-existing condition.

 

As for the medical and evacuation provisions of a comprehensive policy, it seems that governments have taken over these functions for coronavirus. I don’t know that private insurance will play a part because it is a government function to control an epidemic/pandemic. Insurance companies are not going to cover a known hazard now. 

 

 In other words, if you weren’t concerned about insurance before, you probably don’t want to buy it now because it isn’t going to cover coronavirus cancellations. It will cover only new, unrelated illness or unforeseen circumstances.  The best you can hope for is that the cruise line cancels your cruise.

Edited by Babr

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30 minutes ago, LarryNY said:

Not in NY

 

Insurance is regulated by the individual states and not by the companies that sell insurance; you cannot buy what is not available in your state -- and InsureMyTrip cannot change that.

 

You are directing your anger to the wrong place. InsureMyTrip is an insurance broker -- the low man on the totem and not even an employee of the insurance companies. Their job is to broker a contract between the buyers (us) and the sellers (the insurance companies). Once a sale is made, they have no control over the actions of the insurance companies. If you want to be angry at someone, try your state insurance commissioner and the individual insurance companies. All InsureMYTrip is trying to do is to help you find the insurance policy that meets your needs -- but even they cannot sell you what is not available.

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On 2/18/2020 at 11:31 AM, InsureMyTrip said:

 

 

If you have any questions on a policy, even if it wasn't purchased from us, we can review your policy document to answer any questions for you before you travel or place a claim. 

 

-InsureMyTrip 

This is NOT an entirely true statement.  I purchased my plan from InsureMyTrip before final payment this past December for an upcoming cruise in April and I sent them an email TODAY asking about specific incidents and coverages, all related to CoronaVirus and quarantines. 

 

This was the reply today I received from InsureMyTrip

 

"We cannot pre-determine specific claims here at InsureMyTrip.  Please contact the claims department so they can assist you with your questions:"
 
They also gave me the email contact information for the provider to send my questions to, as well as a phone number, so I am assuming they meant the provider's claims department.
 
 I just wanted to know if my spouse and I were covered for both illness and for non-illness in the event of a quarantine situation like on the Diamond Princess.  I also asked about coverage in the event I am not allowed back into the US due to travel restrictions (longer quarantine) that happen while I am on the trip, or even after the cruise.  It is a 17 day TA cruise USA to Germany, so a lot can change while on the trip.
 
I purchased a policy specific to cruises, I am not sure we can name the provider here.  To us, those policies are better suited to final payment time frames for purchasing the insurance, similar to the cruise lines policies, but typically with higher coverages, with, the exception being the cancel for any reason (CFAR).  We specifically asked InsureMyTrip about coverage for our time in Germany after the cruise, which we were informed is covered.  I have been told by cruise lines in the past that post cruise time and accommodations are not covered unless the post cruise arrangements were made directly through the cruise line.  These reasons are why we purchased from InsureMyTrip and not the cruise line.

 

We did not take out the CAFR supplement, we did not feel this to be important at the time we purchased the insurance, normal covered reasons to cancel were sufficient.  This all transpired in December, before the CoronaVirus was widespread, or even thought of as a major travel problem

 

Without the CAFR, if we don't decide to go on our own, we are out a lot of money, but that will be our fault, and we are not here to debate that.  However, if we decide to go, we need informed answers on possibilities based on the Diamond Princess situation, which certainly could happen again, especially with the situation getting worse in Europe.  For us, this is a situation that requires specific answers so that we can make informed decisions about the cruise both before and after, if we decide to go.  It can become quite an economic cost if we are not covered for an extended quarantine.

 

I sent the same info to the provider, the auto reply email I got back stated it can take up to 15 business days to process a claim.   Maybe I need to call the provider, but I sort of wanted some answers in writing, after all, the policies are very specifically written, only seems fair in return to get some written guidance via answers to my questions.  
 
I have used InsureMyTrip several times in the past, but was a little disappointed in their response.  It is even eluded to in their FAQ's on the CoronaVirus that you can call about specific questions, but maybe that was really meant to be "call the provider", although that was not specifically stated.
 
It will be interesting to see if I get answers to my questions from the provider.  
 
Not here to knock InsureMyTrip, we have been happy with them in the past, but I am just telling everyone what happened to me today.........and maybe everyone might need to get details from their providers, or at least try.

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Please come back and let us know what answers you get.  This is the first time I’ve encountered such a situation so I’d like to know.

 

I’m assuming but certainly can't say for sure that governments are responsible for protecting public health so in the event of an epidemic, they have the authority to treat or quarantine as necessary. It follows that they would be financially responsible as well. After all, they are not going to refuse treatment based on the ability to pay nor are they going to excuse someone to go home because they can’t afford an extended stay.  But- the question remains. What is the role of travel insurance?

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I will certainly post any response I get, but it may take a while based on the time frame I received via automated email response.  I just want to know if anything is covered based on policy language.  Next will be to determine if there is any governmental responsibility, but not sure how to make that happen, or if it will be consistent  Also not sure what the cruise line may take on financially, but again, that might change if things get worse going forward.

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On 2/26/2020 at 8:04 PM, Babr said:

Please come back and let us know what answers you get.  This is the first time I’ve encountered such a situation so I’d like to know.

Not that this really matters any longer, my cruise was cancelled by Princess anyway, but I just heard back today on my policy questions about quarantine, contracting coronavirus while on a trip, etc. from the underwriter, and I have included their response below, as promised. 

I am not sure how we, as travelers,  are ever supposed to determine our coverages with cryptic responses like these.  If I could read the policy and make these determinations, I would not need to ask the questions of the underwriter, but that basically was their response to my specific questions.  

 

Here is the response I received:

 

Thank you for your email.  Regrettably, we are unable to predetermine benefits.  Benefit determinations are based upon the documentation received and the policy provisions, limitations, and exclusions.

 

In general, if you are your Traveling Companion contract the Coronavirus, either prior to or during the covered trip, you would need to review your policy for all coverages with a covered peril relating to Sickness to determine your eligibility for benefits under each coverage.  Regarding coverage for Quarantine, whether ill with the Coronavirus or not, you would review your policy for all coverages with covered peril relating to Quarantine to determine your eligibility for benefits under each coverage.  Please note: an embargo preventing you from entering a country is not a Quarantine as defined by this policy.

 

Lastly, please review page 8 of your policy, section titled Extended Coverage which outlines the requirements for the extension of coverage.

 

If you should have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our office.

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