Travel insurance clauses

By | Category: Travel rumblings

After coronavirus, holidaymakers and travellers may be very wary about travel insurance policies. They might also be wary of cancellation and refund policies but that is for a different story.

How useful are travel insurance policies in a pandemic?

Most insurance policies have not paid out for the virus insisting that it was exceptional to the policy. Those people who had Travel Disruption Extension clauses in existing policies will be covered.

Try though, buying a policy now that includes travel disruption and you will only find a policy at an exorbitant rate. Most have deliberately removed that clause from their policies.

If you have an annual policy coming up for renewal check the small print carefully to see what and what is not included because without a certain degree of coverage, it might not be worth buying the policy.

Future policies are likely to cover you for lost baggage, delays, missing flights, medical expenses and repatriation if you add those clauses but pandemics will probably be a feature unlikely to appear on a policy document for some time. After all, insurance companies are there to make profits not to bale travellers out of trouble in circumstances where there is an evens chance that another pandemic might break out!  

What insurance companies will have to do is to convince us that their policies are worth the cost and not just a list of wriggle-free clauses.

In future I think we might have to rely on governments or our airlines to repatriate us – just as they have been doing – rather than looking at our insurance companies to do it.

Almost at the start of the outbreak, the Vietnamese domestic airline – Vietjet – launched an insurance policy named “SKY COVID CARE.”  That allowed passengers to claim up to 200 million Vietnamese dong (around £6,286) if they were infected with the virus while traveling on one of its flights. The free-of-charge policy was clearly designed to provide passenger assurance that the company was sincere in its ability to deep-cleanse its planes.

The policy didn’t last long as flights were grounded. Now that the airline is up and running again, there is no mention of that policy on the website.

To entice us to travel again individual airlines, cruise and holiday companies might introduce some sort of insurance product linked only to them. It could be short term and limited to you have shown that you have a clean bill-of-health.

Some years ago, Thailand mulled over the idea of providing free insurance cover against holidays in its nation being cancelled due extraordinary events. Nothing happened but some nations with very few or no cases might be tempted to offer it to get you to travel there provided that you were declared to be medically free of the virus and that you consented to health checks on departure or arrival.

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