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Choosing Solo Travel Insurance:


Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: Table of Contents:

Part One:           Why Travel Insurance is Important for Solo Travelers

Part Two:           Types of Travel Insurance Policies Available

Part Three:         Legal Issues Abroad

Part Four:          Tips on How to Succeed in Being Reimbursed

Part Five:           Coronavirus Update

Part Six:             Travel Insurance Mistakes to Avoid


Part One:  Why Travel Insurance is Important for Solo Travelers:

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance:

Factors to Consider:

In contrast with the thrill of restarting travel after lockdown, comparing travel insurance policies is not nearly as exciting as searching for new exotic destinations. However, when going abroad, I never leave home without investing in travel insurance. In my travels, I have:

-navigated a low-grade civil war in Africa.

-arrived off the coast of West Africa in the Cape Verde Islands to find a local cholera epidemic.

-narrowly missed being dinner for leering crocodiles when a footbridge over the Zambesi River broke under my feet.

-been robbed by an enterprising band of muggers in broad daylight in a European train station.

-run afoul of India’s immigration rules after my visa was stamped incorrectly.

  1. What else can go wrong?

A dream trip can go south quickly even if the traveler is not at fault. A good example? Fabled travel provider, Thomas Cook, after 178 years as an industry mainstay, collapsed. That left travelers stranded around the world.

Other trip challenges:

Common carrier strikes, especially among airlines

Luggage, jewelry or costly electronics loss or theft

Accidents or illnesses

  1. Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: What factors should you consider in looking at travel insurance?

What is your age?

Do you have health concerns or pre-existing conditions?

Would your existing health insurance cover most contingencies abroad?

Where are you based? United States, Canada or Europe? In the United States, state laws govern insurance provisions. As a result, they can vary widely.

Is this an employer paid business trip?

How far in advance are you booking? (The longer the lead-time the greater likelihood of a work, personal or family emergency requiring cancellation.)

If your only pre-departure costs are hotel and airfare, check their cancellation and modification policies. Many hotels have almost no cancellation fee or only loss of one night’s deposit. Airlines may allow changes subject to charges that vary with each carrier.

Do you have family obligations that could require a last minute cancellation?

Are you working at a firm or company that has had a policy of “vacation cancellations”?

Look at definitions in each policy before buying one.

For example, here are some standard terms that show up:

  • Reimbursement limited to “usual and customary medical cost”. Be aware that the customary cost in mid-town Manhattan is very different from in a small town in the Amazon.
  • No coverage for a “pre-existing medical condition”.
  • Coverage abroad may only be for services provided in a specific facility like a “Hospital” not merely a clinic.

How long does the coverage last?

  • If you return home bitten by a wild dog, although rabies could occur right away, the incubation period can be as long as one year. In areas I have traveled, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended costly rabies shots along with other more conventional vaccines. Although I chose to skip that expense, I had visions of marauding monkeys looking at me for one free bite! Luckily, that did not happen. (In fact, the few monkeys I saw up-close and personal were so disinterested in me I could barely get a single photo!)
  • One unfortunate traveler told me of coming home from Africa and becoming sick at home. It took some a long time to get diagnosis that he had contracted malaria!  By then, he could only rely on his health insurance previously purchased at home. That is typically the case but worth looking at when you buy travel insurance.


Does your destination have extra medical or political risks?

Will you be engaging in any active sports or specialty tours?

One Christmas, I went solo up the Amazon River on a small boat joining 14 others. We were “ten hours by fast boat from the nearest hospital”. On another solo adventure “Glamping“ in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, we had a highly poisonous Black Mambo Snake leisurely make its way through camp. We were glad to see it go since only a “zapper” stood between us and some really lethal venom!

Solo traveler tips wildlife adventure tour safety update 2016

While such trips into the “wild” are popular, travel insurance companies have a wide range of what they cover. To get more risks included, travelers may need to buy a rider or separate policy for “Extreme or Hazardous Sports” and Adventure Travel”.  Even if you are not climbing Mt. Everest, insurance coverage issues can slip in denying recovery from injuries resulting from certain risks. While relaxing on a cruise, will you try out getting to the top of the rock wall? Will avalanches convert your routine ski trip into a hazardous vacation?

There can be some real shocks as to what is high risk from an insurer’s viewpoint. If you go rollerblading, do you view yourself as living on the edge?  Should a family trip whitewater rafting be seen as an extreme sport?

Here are more examples of “risks” as variously viewed by insurers.

In the Air:

-Skydiving, paragliding, hang gliding, hot air ballooning.

On “Solid?” Ground:

-Rock climbing, caving, spelunking, mountain biking.


Water Sports:

-Surfing, windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, kitesurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking.

More Common Activities:

-Moped touring.

-Horseback riding.

-Snow skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

-Travel on non-scheduled transport.

Is travel insurance worth the added expense?

Look at what you have paid or are liable to pay. Is it less than the cost of the insurance? Can you reschedule flights and hotels at a small charge?

Part Two: Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: Types of Travel Insurance:

#TravelInsurance Mistakes to Avoid-Solo Travel Tips

There are three basic types of travel insurance policies.

Type I:

Traditional trip insurance policies: These travel insurance policies only cover illness, injury or damage, theft or loss of personal property while actually on travel.

Type II:

Standard policies with limited cancellation provisions: A second kind of policy is one that includes select types of cancellations, such as:

(a) Traveler’s Illness or that of certain family members, traveling companion or other stated persons.

(b) Weather.

(c) Strike.

(d) Severe damage/destruction of home.

(e) Unavailability of traveler or travel companion due to 3rd party circumstances, such as call to active military duty.

An upgrade may be available for “Additional Unforeseen Events” such as:

(a) Host’s illness.

(b) Airline bankruptcy/default.

(c) “a Terrorist Incident in a City listed on the Insured’s itinerary within 30 days of the Insured’s scheduled arrival”.

(d) Job layoffs or certain work requirements.

(e) Traffic accident or assault shortly before departure.

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: Practical Considerations:

  • Hotels. I would say you would not need a trip cancellation policy. The reason? Many, if not most hotels, have fairly liberal cancellation policies at least up until the last minute. When they charge for a cancellation, it is often for only one to two days’ charge. If you are rebooking with the same lodging for a different date, there may be no extra charge.
  • Flights. I do recommend getting trip insurance to cover a costly international flight if it is non-refundable. However, first compare the costs of foregoing insurance and getting a  more expensive ticket allowing changes/cancellation.
  • A little known but big charge:  I previously had to change a non-refundable flight abroad. The charge to make a change was only $300. That sounded workable to me. Then the big surprise came! To change departure and return days on the very same route, I also had to pay the increase in the new airfare not the prior online cheap price. In a month’s time, the special Internet deal and the standard economy price added another $600. As a result, my economy ticket round trip had doubled. It went from about $940 to approximately $1800.  In that case, the “cheap” ticket may not always be the best buy.

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: There are three basic types of travel insurance policies.

Type I:

Traditional trip insurance policies: These travel insurance policies only cover illness, injury or damage, theft or loss of personal property while actually on travel.

Type II:

Standard policies with limited cancellation provisions: A second kind of policy is one that includes select types of cancellations, such as:

(a) Traveler’s Illness or that of certain family members, traveling companion or other stated persons.

(b) Weather.

(c) Strike.

(d) Severe damage/destruction of home.

(e) Unavailability of traveler or travel companion due to 3rd party circumstances, such as call to active military duty.

An upgrade may be available for “Additional Unforeseen Events” such as:

(a) Host’s illness.

(b) Airline bankruptcy/default.

(c) “a Terrorist Incident in a City listed on the Insured’s itinerary within 30 days of the Insured’s scheduled arrival”.

(d) Job layoffs or certain work requirements.

(e) Traffic accident or assault shortly before departure.

Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance

Type III:

Cancel for Any Reason Policy (“CFAR”)

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance is really key now. With border closings and flight cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel is just looking to restart actively in late 2021. Since it has been hard to plan when and where to travel, CFAR policies have become increasingly possible. They even cover fear of travel whether because of the Coronavirus, civil unrest or terrorism.

The “Cancel for Any Reason” option offers extended coverage for specific, unforeseen reasons. Trips can be canceled at least 48 or 72 hours prior to the departure date, depending on your plan.

This policy is especially helpful for “one-percenters”, i.e., not billionaires, but those subject to unusual reasons for cancellation, including:

  • You are a business owner making much less profit this year but with no insurable risk. (For example, the store did not burn down.)
  • Your pet needs extensive dental work equal to the cost of your trip.
  • You were virtually assured a partnership in your firm with higher pay but that promotion went to the owner’s son-in-law.
  • Your passport was stolen and cannot be updated in time for departure.
  • Your visa is stuck in processing with no hope of receipt in time for the scheduled trip.

Here are some examples of a CFAR’s provisions. However, products offered by different companies vary widely:

  1. CFAR policies may be sold as an upgrade. As a result, there is a timeliness requirement. That is, it may need to be purchased at the same time, and along with, underlying more basic coverage. (There are also standalone policies, but they will also likely have an advance time certain as to when they must be purchased.)
  2. The policies range as to the level of coverage.  They may only provide 50-75% coverage not 100%. In addition, it will likely be limited to “non-refundable” costs. Therefore, the traveler would need to provide documentation such as receipts as to what he/she paid minus refunded items. Those would then be submitted to the claims department of the insurance company.  This does take some time, patience and good recordkeeping.
  3. A last important feature: Check what each CFAR policy allows as to the time when cancellation is permitted. It may only be cancelled up until 48 hours before the trip. (However, one insurance policy we reviewed had a separate upgrade that is for specific “Additional Unforeseen Events”. That included “a Terrorist Incident in a City listed on the Insured’s itinerary within 30 days of the Insured’s scheduled arrival”. In purchasing such a policy upgrade, a traveler would need to look carefully at how a “Terrorist Incident” is defined. In addition, how does that work in conjunction with restrictions limiting cancellations only up until 48 hours prior to departure?)

The best way to figure out what cancellations are covered is to look at: 1. Express provisions 2. Exclusions and 3. Definitions as to both of those. Where it gets tricky is any exclusions that might be for reasons not under the traveler’s control.

In any case, in a dispute, the insurance company will argue that the strict language of the policy governs.

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: Newer travel insurance options offered today:

 -Financial Default Insurance: This new option covers a vendor’s default as happened with Thomas Cook. There are set times within the policy and other limits. In addition, insurers adjust recovery amount where substitute providers have replaced the failed original airline, tour or cruise operator.

-Identity Theft: The digital revolution has enriched our lives. However, easy online access has created new types of crime at home and abroad. “Pickpockets” and more ambitious thieves see tourists as an opportunity for two reasons. First, travelers tend to carry more cash and credit cards. Secondly, jet lag and allure of new sights mean that tourists may not be aware they have been, or are about to be, robbed. One of the key risks is loss of a smart phone with personal and financial data. Be sure to password protect your devices before you leave home.

In past years, creative thieves found a new way to benefit from lost cell phones. In a few cases in Mexico, lost phones resulted in “cyber kidnapping”. The traveler’s family received word that their loved one had been kidnapped. They would be “released” if the family sent payment. This could be done before the tourist even knew the phone was lost, and that he had been “kidnapped”!

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: Other practical tips to think about:

-For your mobile devices, use “Find My Phone” options.

-Take a wallet or purse with RFID-features. Even aluminum foil can help!

-Watch out for unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots. Consider a VPN for travel.

-Carry a print out or electronic copy of the first page of your passport and/or visas.

-Rental Car Collisions: Watch Out! A mistake can be costly!

If you plan to rent a car, before you leave home, find out (i) Do you need an international driver’s license and (ii) What are the local rules? In some places, a car wreck can get you arrested!

Look into whether public transportation is easy and cheap. I drove a rental car through the countryside on a solo trip through County Cork, Ireland. Without a local GPS, I spent hours driving and getting lost. While en route from Dublin, I did find the Blarney Castle. However, beyond that, I will have to have a “redo” to see the fabled Ring of Kerry!  When I met other local tourists, they all had a great time using both public buses and day tours.

When you rent a car, you may or may NOT have coverage through any of these: (i) Your auto club, (ii) Your personal car insurance and/or (iii) The rental car company.

You may find your travel insurance includes coverage. However, ask these questions before you drive the rental car away: (i) How do your existing policies work with the rental car? (ii) Does it cover only damage to the rental car not damage to another car or physical injury? (iii) What roadside help do they offer?

-“Meet Your Cruise”: The last thing you want to hear on your trip is that: “That ship has sailed!” That can happen if there is a flight cancellation or delay. While it is less likely, I once faced that issue. In 2009, when I arrived in China during the Swine Flu epidemic, incoming passengers were subject to quarantine. If I had been quarantine, my river cruise would likely have left without me. Worse yet, I had no idea how I could catch up with it!

-“Cancel for a Work Reason”:

A job loss might or might not be covered. Certain policies do offer coverage to “Cancel for a Work Reason”.  If firms get busy and cancel vacation leave, you can lose your entire investment. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can face the same problem if a key customer has a last minute emergency or if the business has an unexpected loss.

Typical Travel Insurance Policy Exclusions:

When you are looking for an adventure travel (or other) insurance policy, you have to look carefully at definitions and exclusions.

Read each travel insurance policy’s language as to risks not covered or requiring a special rider or additional coverage, including:

  • Epidemics
  • War
  • Use of other than scheduled airlines (thereby excluding helicopter/small plane sightseeing)
  • Bankruptcy or failure of vendors, including the tour operator
  • Pre-existing conditions. Select policies may waive pre-existing conditions but only subject to certain restrictions.
  • Age-specific limitations on medical coverage


Part III. Legal Issues Abroad:

Passport-Solo Travel Tips

The Internet is filled with stories of Westerners in foreign prisons. One of my acquaintances as a US Foreign Service Officer was tasked with visiting Americans in jail in the Middle East.  Frequently, arrests are for drugs. Otherwise, innocent travelers can run afoul of foreign drug laws involving medicines legal at home but not at their destination. In one such country, there are 200+ substances, including foreign prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs that can result in 4 years’ mandatory imprisonment.  An easy solution? Before leaving home, go online and check the information publicized by your destination’s embassy or government. Generally, if there are restrictions, instructions are clear as to the procedures required to be in compliance. Even certain European countries have such requirements. In my most recent trip, an EU Embassy recommended, at a minimum, an official printout from a pharmacy. That would help to show that the drugs imported were prescribed and for personal usage. For an interesting overview, see “Legal Issues When Traveling Abroad”.

Civil/Political Unrest:

There are two dangers that arise where there is political unrest:

  1. The possibility of becoming a target of violence. 2. The potential of being caught up in a political demonstration or mass gathering. You can then end up being arrested if mistakenly viewed as a participant not just a bystander. This can easily happen where travelers do not speak the local language. As a result, it may be impossible to know the difference between a legal gathering and one that is prohibited.


Unfortunately, political unrest and terrorist activity have become a global problem. By its very nature, it is unpredictable making the risk unknown.  The summer before the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, I had a very tranquil two-week holiday there. At that time, it was so peaceful that it was said: If two bicycles were stolen on the same day that was considered a major crime spree! What that demonstrates is that at home and abroad, there is no real way to predict random attacks on “soft” targets.  It still is key to research ahead of time and get a sense of problems that are widespread in your proposed destination.

Select policies may cover legal issues abroad.  This commonly happens if there is an automobile accident.  However, if a traveler was driving under the influence or otherwise at fault, their claim might be reduced or denied.

Coverage for “repatriation” or “non-medical evacuation” may require that a specific authority has declared the emergency and/or need to evacuate.


Part IV: Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: Tips on How to Succeed in Being Reimbursed:


Solo Travel Safety-Theft 5 Tips

Once you have selected the right travel insurance policy, making a claim depends upon the following:

  1. Being able to show that your loss or claim fits within one of the covered, insurable losses.
  2. Providing adequate documentation of the loss. In case of a robbery, that likely includes a police report. This can be tricky if you are robbed abroad or in transit from one country to another. If you are unable to get a police report, try checking with your embassy or consulate. See if they can take a report that the insurance company will accept.
  1. If you do not hoard of all past receipts, you may have trouble here.
  2. One alternative is making a list of the items you packed on your trip along with the approximate purchase dates.
  3. You can also photograph your belongings with labeling to prove ownership.
  4. Still too much of a hassle? Leave your jewelry and haute couture safely at home.


Part V:  Update: Does Travel Insurance Cover the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Travel Safety-Mask and Hand Sanitizer

Frequently Asked Questions: Responds:

In Choosing Solo Travel Insurance, take a good look at the pandemic’s impact. On January 21, 2020, the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a named event, which affects the travel insurance coverage available for new policies purchased.

For those purchasing travel insurance AFTER 1/21/2020 (exceptions may apply if traveling to a country with a Travel Health Notice issued by the CDC) benefits included in comprehensive coverage may apply in the following unforeseen scenarios:

  • Emergency Medical Coverage: a sick traveler must see a doctor and/or go to the hospital during a trip.
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage: in rare cases, a sick traveler requires an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate hospital or back home for recuperation.
  • Trip Interruption: an extremely sick traveler cannot continue with a trip and must return home.
  • Cancel For Any Reason: Currently, if you are looking for trip cancellation coverage because you are concerned about the coronavirus, you will now need to purchase a plan that includes Cancel for Any Reason since the travel warnings are now foreseen. This benefit is time-sensitive and has other eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify.

InsureMyTrip has introduced a new recommendation tool that to make it easier for travelers interested in policies that may offer coverage for COVID-19 related issues. This new tool guides travelers towards plans best suited to guard against COVID-19-related travel concerns as part of the quote process.

Some plans may exclude epidemics/pandemics and may not provide coverage for related issues. Please be sure to read the plan details carefully before purchasing.

Remember that travel insurance helps to cover unexpected events. Similar to a weather event, once an event becomes a “known” event, it may not be a covered reason for cancellation if a traveler purchases insurance after that date. Trip Interruption and Cancel for Any Reason are not available to non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents.

For travelers who purchased a policy BEFORE 1/21/20 and need to make a claim or have questions about how your existing policy will cover you, please reach out to your insurance provider. Travelers can read further on how to file a travel insurance claim here.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover for COVID-19?

For those purchasing travel insurance for future travel, benefits included in comprehensive coverage may apply in the following unforeseen scenarios:

  • Emergency Medical Coverage
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage
  • Trip Interruption
  • Cancel For Any Reason (optional, time-sensitive benefit, location)

Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, many traditional travel insurance companies have expanded or adapted their existing coverage for travelers. In addition to the coverages above, examples of these may include:

  • Reimbursement for covered medical treatment during a trip due to a COVID-19 illness
  • Get sick with COVID-19 and must cancel a trip by physician’s order
  • Physician orders a quarantine before trip
  • Lost a job during the coronavirus pandemic by no-fault of your own

For travelers concerned with cancellation, Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) offers the most trip cancellation flexibility and is the only option available to cover fear of travel. CFAR is an optional, time-sensitive benefit with eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify. Full terms of coverage will be listed in state-specific policy. If eligibility requirements are met, reimbursement is up to 50%-70%of the insured pre-paid non-refundable trip cost.

If purchasing a plan specifically for COVID-19 related concerns, we remind travelers to review their policy carefully to understand their coverage. InsureMyTrip’s new COVID-19 recommendation tool is now part of the quote process and can be selected to help guide travelers toward the plans best suited for these coronavirus-related travel concerns. Our licensed representatives are also available 365 days a year to read the fine print for travelers and explain the exclusions.

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: What Travel Insurance Can Help Cover the Costs in the Event I Must Cancel a Trip?

If you are concerned about government travel restrictions, Cancel for Any Reason coverage is the best option for potentially getting a portion of your expenses back. Also, check with travel suppliers if they offer any refund or travel vouchers.

For more information on the latest travel policies, which include new mask mandates and quarantine requirements, please refer to the Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.

If I Get Sick with COVID-19 During a Trip, Does Emergency Medical Coverage Cover Me?

It may. Some travel insurance plans do offer emergency medical benefits in the event a traveler gets ill during a trip and must visit a doctor or hospital.

InsureMyTrip’s new recommendation tool simplifies the search for travel insurance plans that may offer coverage for COVID-19 related issues. This new tool guides travelers towards plans best suited to guard against COVID-19-related travel concerns as part of the quote process.

Medical plans and coverage to consider include:

  • Travel Medical Insurance is offered either as part of comprehensive travel insurance plans or can be purchased as a stand-alone plan. These plans only offer coverage while traveling outside of your home country. Before purchasing emergency medical coverage, we strongly recommend that you first contact your regular health insurance provider to inquire about global benefits and how your benefits apply when you are outside of your home country.
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage provides transport assistance in the event that you become seriously ill or injured while traveling. Generally, these plans provide emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate care facility if the assistance company and the physician feel you would be better suited at a different facility.
  • Trip Interruption Coverage is included in travel insurance comprehensive plans. It is a benefit that offers travelers reimbursement of their pre-paid, non-refundable expenses should they unexpectedly need to cut their travels short. However, there are exclusions for this, so be sure to review your policy carefully.

Travelers with specific questions about coverage should contact our Customer Care team at 800-487-4722 for assistance in finding the right coverage for their unique travel plans.

In the Event a Traveler Does Not Obtain a COVID Test in Time, are Additional Expenses Covered While They Await Negative Test Results?

In this case, there would be no coverage for lost days or flights and the policy would not automatically extend.

Travelers seeking coverage for future trips can use the “COVID-19 recommendation tool” to see plans best suited to cover COVID-19-related travel concerns.

Does Travel Insurance Cover the CDC’s New Testing Requirements for Air Passengers Entering the United States?

No, travel insurance will not cover the cost of a general COVID-19 test that may be required for travel.

However, some medical plans may cover testing in the event a policyholder becomes ill during a trip and a physician orders a test.

For travelers looking for more information on this order, please refer to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The order was issued on January 12, 2021 and requires all air passengers arriving to the U.S. from a foreign country to be tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs. Proof of a negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 will be required before boarding the flight. This order went into effect on January 26, 2021.

My Trip was Canceled by My Travel Supplier. Can My Travel Insurance be Refunded?

Unfortunately, travel insurance is non-refundable after the review period listed on the policy (usually 10-14 days from the purchase of the plan). In typical situations, however, many insurance providers will offer to transfer your policy to a future trip. You can use this Policy Change Request Form to request a transfer of your policy.

As the COVID-19 situation is continuing to evolve, some travel insurance companies are considering refunds for customers who can prove that their trip was canceled by their travel supplier. If your trip was canceled by your travel supplier, you can use this Cancellation/Refund Request Form to request a refund of your premium. Our Customer Care team will then reach out to your provider to see if they will allow it.

Choosing Solo Travel Insurance: What If My Travel Supplier Goes Out of Business?

The impact of the coronavirus goes beyond medical as concern grows over the long-term financial impact on the travel industry. Travelers may consider seeking financial default coverage as a precautionary measure in the event their travel supplier becomes financially insolvent. This specific coverage is already included in many comprehensive travel insurance plans and is designed to help travelers in the event their travel supplier has stopped business operations due to financial reasons. Usually, airlines, cruise lines, and tour companies are the kind of suppliers whose financial default would be covered under your travel insurance plan. Financial default coverage reimburses in-full only if you are unable to make alternate arrangements to continue with your travel plans. If you were able to book another flight, for example, your benefits would then be adjusted according to the specific terms of your policy. This benefit is time-sensitive and the time period varies by plan and provider. Review your policy carefully or call our Customer Care team with questions about this type of coverage.

How is International Travel Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak?

There are confirmed cases of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) widespread across the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus outbreak constitutes a pandemic. Because of this, many countries implemented travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closed borders, and prohibited non-citizens from entry with little notice in advance. For current information, please refer to this COVID-19 travel outlook map from On Call, which aggregates credible intelligence in key areas that impact the decision of when to resume travel.

In the United States, the Department of State has issued various travel advisories. Travelers are encouraged to review these advisories, and the corresponding COVID-19 Traveler Information page, before considering international travel. Due to the fluidity of the situation, these advisories and guidelines may change at any time. U.S. residents looking to travel domestically are advised to read about the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions per state before departing.

Some countries require visitors to have travel insurance. For an updates list of countries with this mandatory requirement, please see our guide outlining which countries require travel insurance for entry.

On March 8, 2020, U.S. State Department issued a Travel Alert stating that “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.” Following this, the CDC issued a No Sail order, recommending that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide. All ocean-going cruise line members of the Cruise Line International Association voluntarily suspended U.S. cruise operations until at least October 30, 2020. On October 30, the CDC lifted the order and issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, which allowed the cruise industry to restart phased operations as of November 1, 2020.

As of January 26, 2021, the CDC issued an order that all air passengers arriving to the United States from a foreign country must get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs. Proof of a negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 will be required before boarding the flight.

Part VI: Mistakes to Avoid in Choosing Solo Travel Insurance:

Mistakes to Avoid in Travel

Read the definitions/exclusions carefully.

Tip One:

Watch out for “known risks”. For example, what if you had a flight on British Air Sept. 2019 and read about the planned strike.  You rushed out and bought travel insurance. You could not recover for the loss because you were aware of the risk when you bought the policy.

Tip Two:

Not all companion coverages are equal. Your claim can depend upon not just the relationship you have but also how his/her unavailability came about and when. (Aside from insurance claims, getting refunds from other prepaid fees can be hard. For example, Air B&B may have you jump through many hoops.  In one case, where emergency surgery caused a wedding to be cancelled, Air B&B went back and forth seeking documentation.  One issue: The injured/ill guest was not listed on the reservation. Our tip: Put the name of all guests on the reservation. If you do not, be prepared to provide plane tickets/itineraries or other proof of travel plans.)

Payment is subject to the claims process upon return home.

Tip Three:

Be aware that insurers pay claims in arrears once you return. In a true emergency, be sure to have a credit card with enough extra available credit to get an advance while still on your trip.

Plane ticket costs can be tricky to recover in full.

Tip Four:

Read carefully when you buy a non-refundable plane ticket. Before you make a claim, see if you can reschedule your travel albeit with a penalty added. You will likely still have a loss but a more limited one than the full price of the plane ticket.

Consider multiple trip insurance for frequent travel and “CFAR” policies in uncertain times.

Tip Five:

If you are planning to travel many times in one year, compare prices and coverage for multiple trips in one year. In addition, if you are looking to travel in challenging times, as noted above, consider a “CFAR” policy.

*Solo Trekker 4 U, LLC, as a participant in the InsureMyTrip Affiliate Program, receives small referral fees if travel policies are purchased.


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