WARWICK, R.I., Jan. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The first COVID-19 case was diagnosed in the United States on January 20, 2020. Since then, there have been many changes to the way we live our lives, do business, and travel.
As the pandemic enters its third year, InsureMyTrip looks back at how travelers and the US travel insurance industry may have adapted over the past two years.
- Travelers are more apt to buy travel insurance as the pandemic continues to impact travel worldwide, this includes younger travelers
- Providers have adapted policies to cover COVID-19 as any other unforeseen illness
- Travel insurance requirements issued by countries, tour companies, and cruise lines have become more prevalent
How Travelers Adapted to COVID-19 Pandemic
According to data from InsureMyTrip, the number of travel insurance policies sold spiked in January and February 2020. But then, the travel industry took a major hit as parts of the world went into full or partial lockdown for much of 2020.
Fast forward to 2021-2022, the number of travel insurance policies purchased begins to steadily increase, as more people get vaccinated, and countries reopen to tourists. Today, travel insurance demand continues to rise.
Prior to pandemic:
- Cancel For Any Reason and quarantine coverage not widely known
- Travel insurance was rarely required to visit a country
- Most travel insurance policyholders were over 35 years old
- Searches for “Pandemic travel insurance” and “Cancel For Any Reason” are most popular
- Younger travelers (18-24) are now more apt to buy travel insurance
How Travel Insurance Adapted to COVID-19 Pandemic
The travel insurance industry has adjusted policies over the past two years to provide more coverage options to travelers during the pandemic.
“We’ve seen companies really look at what would be covered, as well as what wouldn’t be, and update their definitions accordingly,” says Meghan Walch, Product Manager for InsureMyTrip.
Prior to pandemic:
- Travel insurance policies were designed to cover common issues that travelers faced, not global pandemics
- Policies did not have a clear definition of what constitutes as a covered quarantine
- Travel insurance companies continue to address the dynamic situation and update policy language to expand or clarify coverage
- Trip cancellation coverage can cover diagnosed COVID-19 illness before traveling, including all variants*
- May cover emergency medical care if you become ill with COVID-19 while traveling, including all variants
- Travel delay benefits may help with the cost of additional accommodations if quarantined at your destination **
How InsureMyTrip Adapted to COVID-19 Pandemic
As travel insurance companies adapt, InsureMyTrip continues to offer more ways for travelers to find the coverage that can help to reimburse money lost due to covered pandemic-related issues.
Prior to pandemic:
- No references to COVID-19
- Policy benefits did not reflect the need for extended quarantines
- No widespread, prolonged pandemic to have set precedence prior to COVID-19
- COVID-19 filter added to quote-results page on InsureMyTrip.com
- Cancel For Any Reason Eligibility tool
- Visa Requirement and Travel Restriction tool
Advice for Purchasing Coverage During the Pandemic
- Purchase early, before an issue/illness becomes known, to get the most coverage options available
- Read the policy carefully and ask questions
- Consider Cancel For Any Reason, if eligible
- Know what coverage may be required by your travel provider or the country you are visiting
“Travelers can find coverage for unforeseen COVID-19 related issues as travel insurance companies adapt their current coverage. It is important to read the details of a policy and ask questions if something isn’t clear,” says Walch.
*An illness must be unforeseen prior to purchase
**Self-quarantine and government/border closures to stop the spread of Covid-19, are not considered covered quarantine.
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