We have a family trip planned to Norway in May, and with the spread of Coronavirus, as well as the concerns about other mishaps that could impact our trip, I had questions about our trip and whether or not we should get travel insurance. You maybe have the same questions: Do you have your next vacation planned, reserved, and mostly paid for, but don’t know if you should go because of Coronavirus? What will happen to all those deposits, flights and reservations paid for if you get sick and can’t make your trip? What happens if WHO (World Health Organization) prohibits travel to the country or city where you were planning to travel? What happens if other circumstances interrupt your travel plans, such as lost luggage, getting hurt while at your travel destination, or a work emergency forcing you to change my plans?
Is travel insurance worth it? And is it affordable? Will you be covered for all of these situations?
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. If you have any questions about the companies, products, or my affiliate status, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I choose affiliate partners based on my positive experiences and share them with my readers because I believe what the affiliate partner has to offer will benefit my readers.
Why Travel Insurance is Important
Like me, you’ve probably read the articles and heard the stories of people insisting travel insurance is worth the cost. And you’ve probably also read the articles and heard the stories of people who didn’t have travel insurance and ended up spending hundreds, or even thousands of dollars out of pocket on emergency or medical fees.
After doing the research and learning what is and what isn’t covered, I decided to make the leap and find out what it would cost to purchase travel insurance for our scheduled trip to Norway in May 2020. I found the coverage I wanted for my family of three for the entire trip for less than $300 through WorldNomads.com. We are now covered if our trip has to be cancelled because one of us gets ill, or if there’s a death in the family, or a work emergency prevents us from going, or if we get quarantined due to Coronavirus or any other illness. We are also covered if we get hurt while at our destination, if we need to go to the hospital, or use emergency transportation. If our luggage is lost, or even if it’s delayed for 12 hours or more while away from home, we are covered. In my opinion, travel insurance at a cost of less than $275 for all three of us is well worth the price.
The Close Call That Made Me Decide To Buy Travel Insurance
We’ve had several incidents while abroad where travel insurance would have saved us thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses. Specifically, while traveling in the Bahamas, my husband developed a stomach ailment that landed him in the local emergency clinic. After several hours of treatment, and the condition not improving, we were told he needed to be flown by private plane to another island with a larger hospital. The arrangements would take about 45 minutes to complete, and if his condition didn’t change in that time, we would be looking at thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses for a medical evacuation to another island and the bills for a hospital stay while out of our native country. Maybe it was the fear of the bills and our lack of applicable insurance that would cover such an event that helped my husband turn the corner and start improving. I was trying not to let my very sick husband see how distressed I was over the thought of how devastating this was going to be to us financially. Fortunately for us, my husband finally started responding to the treatment at the emergency clinic and we were able to avoid the emergency evacuation. In the end, we happily handed over our credit card for a bill that was hundreds of dollars instead of thousands of dollars.
We thought this incident was a fluke situation, but something similar happened to us while in England. This time, knowing better what the issue was but also aware that my husband would need medical attention soon, we were able to find an acupuncturist to assist with keeping the pain under control until our scheduled return flight to the United States. We breathed a sigh of relief when we were back home and he could get the care he needed under our personal medical insurance. But once again, we very nearly had to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to get unplanned medical treatment abroad. And had we purchased travel insurance, we could have received the needed treatment when the incidents happened, or we would have been covered to make the necessary arrangements to fly home earlier for the treatment he needed instead of spending so many miserable days in the England seeing very little outside of our hotel room.
So with another trip abroad planned, and with the scare of Coronavirus spreading to places worldwide, it only made sense to research travel insurance and commit to the reasonably small investment necessary for peace of mind.
Which Travel Insurance is the Best
After doing the research on which travel insurance is best, reviewing the types of coverage offered by a variety of companies, and getting many different quotes on travel insurance, I determined that World Nomads seems to offer the best options and coverage at the best cost to the traveler. The insurance they offer includes coverage that will apply specifically to Coronavirus illness and quarantine impacting insured travelers.
What World Nomads Coverage Offers
There were several reasons I preferred World Nomads over the other providers I researched. First, they do not have an endemic or pandemic exclusion, so cancellations due to being ill with Coronavirus will be covered under their policies. (For more information, see Coronavirus COVID 19 Facts on the World Nomads website.) The overall coverage benefit amounts for illness, accidents, and losses was better than the competitors, especially for the cost through World Nomads. It’s easy to compare their Standard Plan to their Explorer Plan to choose which is the most suited for the vacation you are planning. The quote process was extremely quick and easy, and after I purchased, the plan documents I received matched the information provided on the website – no surprises or hidden clauses.
What World Nomads Coverage Does Not Offer
World Nomads does not have a “cancel for any reason” option, which is not unusual. I found two travel insurance companies that did offer a “cancel for any reason” option, but there were for cruise travel only. World Nomads also does not cover travelers over 70 years of age; however, they do provide a link to Trip Assurance for similar coverage and a quote (just start the quote process at World Nomads, enter your age, and if it is over 70, they will redirect you to Trip Assurance).
World Nomads Coverage Information Specific to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
What is Covered by World Nomads Travel Insurance Regarding Coronavirus
World Nomads is keeping up to date on their website on how the impact of Coronavirus effects travelers and travel insurance policies issued. As mentioned before, World Nomads does not have an exclusion for endemics or pandemics, so if you or a traveling companion get ill with Coronavirus before your trip or while traveling, your travel insurance through them will cover you. The costs that will be covered because of you or a companion getting sick with Coronavirus include Trip Cancellation, Emergency Medical and Evacuation, and Trip Interruption for plans changed or rescheduled due to Coronavirus. They will also cover you if a doctor advises that you do not travel. Of course, it is important to read your plan carefully to see exactly what is covered, but the Standard Plan includes all of these elements mentioned.
Brief Explanation of Trip Cancellation, Emergency Medical and Evacuation, and Trip Interruption:
- Trip Cancellation coverage reimburses you if an illness, death, work emergency, strike or other covered event occurs that requires you to cancel your travel plans completely.
- Emergency Medical and Evacuation coverage reimburses you for any expenses incurred because of being transported to a hospital while traveling, receiving medical attention through doctors visits or hospital stays, and even being transported back home if needed.
- Trip Interruption coverage reimburses you if you have to join your trip later than scheduled, or leave the trip to return home sooner than expected because of illness, death, work emergency, strike or other covered event.
For details on the extensive list of events that are reimbursable for the above coverages, please be sure to refer to the insurance policy documentation. All of the travel insurance sites I reviewed allowed for complete policy information to be viewed prior to purchasing a policy. World Nomads extends all of the above coverages to travelers who become ill with Coronavirus.
World Nomads travel insurance policies are not adversely impacted by WHO travel advisories. If WHO warns travelers to avoid a destination, but you choose to go anyway, in most cases your travel policy will still be valid and coverage will be provided. As stated above, be sure to read the policy for exact details.
What Is Not Covered by World Nomads Travel Insurance Regarding Coronavirus
World Nomads travel insurance will not cover your trip costs if you choose to cancel your trip out of fear of Coronavirus. If you decide you do not want to travel, but you and your travel companions have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus or quarantined, you will not be covered. This is a voluntary cancellation of the trip and is not covered.
World Nomads travel insurance does not cover interruption to travel service caused by Coronavirus, such as cancellations of flights or train service. The policy only covers travel expenses when a traveler gets sick.
Review Your Travel Insurance Policy
No matter which policy you buy or who you buy it from, be sure to review all the provisions of your policy. It doesn’t take more than about ten minutes to familiarize yourself with what is and what is not covered by the policy. Understanding the details of your policy will give you the peace of mind to know what is covered and what is needed should have to make a claim.
Is Travel Insurance Worth the Cost?
Unexpected medical expenses not covered by regular insurance or huge fees for emergency medical evacuation can be enough to bankrupt many families. For years, I played the odds of nothing happening to us while we traveled, but after a few close calls of our own, and witnessing close friends end up with bills of thousands of dollars because of a medical emergency abroad, I decided it was a foolish gamble. Now, it is an important, necessary, and very small part of our travel budget every time we travel.
Even without the threat of Coronavirus, travel insurance is an important part of your travel planning. Most of the trips I take with my husband and son within the United States cost over $1500 by the time we pay for flights, hotel, and rental car. And when we travel internationally, those costs climb to between $3000 and $6000 per trip depending on the duration and destination. After spending that much money on reservations, flights and deposits, it’s a worthwhile investment to protect it all for less then a hundred dollars per person in our case.
Happy and safe travels!