Will travel insurance cover COVID cancellations? Here’s what we found out

During the pandemic, travel came to a standstill–but now, many are rescheduling those trips and looking to see if they can re-use canceled tickets or if their travel insurance covered the cancellations.

According to the Better Business Bureau, most of the thousands of complaints related to travel insurance that BBB received last year were because the policy DID NOT cover trips canceled because of the coronavirus or because of travel bans to certain areas. According to Barr, canceling a trip out of fear of traveling or because of travel advisories isn’t typically covered by these insurance policies–but there are exceptions.

“You’d have to read the fine print but it’s called ‘cancel for any reason coverage.’ People who had that for trips in 2020 could possibly get their funds back because it did cover things like a pandemic,” Barr explained.

If you’re thinking about traveling for the 4th of July holiday and are wanting to get travel insurance, the BBB says it’s important to keep in mind travel insurance is intended to help with unexpected events… not things like forecasted hurricanes. Once an event is a “known event” (meaning it’s been forecasted or anticipated) it may not be considered a covered reason for canceling the trip.

The BBB says it’s also important to remember that policies vary. Before purchasing a policy, or trying to file a claim, read the specifics.

“Before purchasing a policy, before taking off, you really want to read the specifications and make sure you know what the policy does and does not cover,” Barr said.

The BBB recommends you make sure to read the fine print. If you purchased that Cancel for Any Reason Coverage, confirm the specific policy wording for all details regarding this benefit before filing a claim.

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