Does travel insurance cover coronavirus-related cancellation? It depends

If you're thinking of canceling your trip overseas over COVID-19 fears and you feel like you're safe with your travel insurance, experts say think again.

"Unfortunately, viral outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics are not typically listed as a covered event in a travel insurance policy," said Kasara Barto, a public relations manager at SquareMouth, a travel insurance comparison website. And neither is "fear of travel," she added.

The only way to get reimbursed at this point for coronavirus concerns is if you booked your flight within the past few weeks and paid for a cancel-for-any-reason policy.


"From the day you book a flight or your hotel, that intent to travel starts your countdown for two to three weeks and in that time window you can purchase this cancel-for-any-reason policy," Barto said. "True to its name, you can cancel for any reason up until two to three days before you're supposed to depart for your trip."

This leaves many potential flyers and vacationers either forced to board the plane or be out thousands of dollars.


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If you're planning to book that summer vacation overseas or you booked a flight and you can't get your money back, should you still avoid getting on the plane? Travel experts say there's no need to as long as you follow the CDC travel notices and stay away from high-risk countries.