What you need to know about travel insurance and the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance? 
  2. How can travel insurance help if I'm concerned about traveling because of COVID-19?
  3. I'm traveling abroad and the State Department has advised that Americans return home or stay in place. Am I covered?
  4. I had booked travel to a country that has now closed its borders. Am I covered? 
  5. Is quarantine covered under my policy?
  6. How can travel insurance help if I'm stranded at my destination?
  7. What if the airline canceled my flight because of COVID-19? 
  8. I’m no longer traveling because my conference was canceled. Am I covered? 
  9. Does World Nomads offer a Cancel For Any Reason option? 
  10. What can I do if I don’t have travel insurance? 
  11. How do I cancel my policy?
  12. I’m in an area where the COVID-19 outbreak has deteriorated. How do I get out? 
  13. I’m traveling and think I have caught COVID-19 ... What do I do? 
  14. How can travel insurance help people in parts of the world with heightened risk? 
  15. Can I cancel my trip if advised by a doctor not to travel
  16. If I have travel insurance and have COVID-19, could I be covered for trip cancellation? 
  17. I’m currently traveling and have a World Nomads policy. What’s covered? 
  18. I want to buy a travel insurance policy because of COVID-19. What’s covered? 
  19. If I book and pay for a trip now, am I covered for COVID-19 if I buy travel insurance? 
  20. I'm planning to reschedule my trip. Can I change the dates of my travel insurance policy?
  21. What if my travel provider cancels my trip. Am I covered?
  22. If my travel provider gives me a partial refund, does travel insurance cover the rest?
  23. What if my travel provider goes bankrupt. Am I covered?
  24. If I end my trip early, can I get a refund on my travel insurance policy?
  25. My travel plans changed because COVID-19 has impacted my work. Am I covered?
  26. Can I cancel my trip because of COVID-19?
  27. Can I extend my policy?
  28. I canceled my trip and no longer need my travel insurance policy. What are my options? 

You can also can also read general information on COVID-19

1. Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance?

Unlike many other companies, World Nomads does not have an endemic or pandemic exclusion for policies purchased by U.S. residents, which means that you may make claims arising from the COVID-19 for the benefits specified in your policy.

These benefits include emergency medical and trip interruption coverage for you personally or a travel companion who contracts the COVID-19 or goes under quarantine when traveling. They also include travel delay coverage should your scheduled transportation be set back for at least six hours for say, a border closing or travel ban that has been announced during your trip. Things you may get reimbursed for include doctors’ visits and hospital stays, and certain pre-paid travel arrangements that get disrupted as a result of the infection or the delay of your common carrier.

If you unexpectedly catch COVID-19 at home before you leave for your trip, you may also be eligible for trip cancellation coverage, which represents compensation for any pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses such as flights, hotels and excursions.

2.  How can travel insurance help if I'm concerned about traveling because of COVID-19?

For plans, such as World Nomads, that don’t have pandemic/epidemic or known event exclusions, travel insurance can help with emergency medical treatment for unexpected sickness, including the COVID-19. Unforeseen illnesses, including when you’re placed under quarantine, are also covered reasons for other parts of World Nomads’ policies. You may be eligible for Trip Interruption benefits if your travel arrangements have changed mid-trip because you’ve contracted the COVID-19. Or you may qualify for Trip Cancellation coverage if your doctor advises you not to travel after diagnosing you with COVID-19.

If you’re on your trip and a border closing or government or physician-mandated quarantine delays your transportation by at least six hours, you may also get reimbursed for expenses you’ve incurred because of the delay. These costs could include local transportation, meals, and accommodation and necessary phone calls. 

Fear of travel is never a covered reason for any type of coverage. In no instances can you get reimbursed for canceling your trip because you’re worried about how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact your travels. So, maybe you’ve already booked your trip months ahead and the uncertainty of the current situation is making you nervous. Coverage for trip cancellation would not apply in this case. 

In most cases, World Nomads plans also don’t provide coverage for events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak for which you aren’t directly affected by the sickness. Examples: a conference you were planning to attend was canceled; you need to cancel your trip because flights out of your destination were shut down; you changed your mind about having your honeymoon in Italy because of the lockdown; your tour operator has canceled the trip before your departure.

3.  I'm traveling abroad and the State Department has advised that Americans return home or stay in place. Am I covered? 

While we’re concerned for the safety and health of our travelers, coverage does not apply when travel warnings or travel bans are announced. Please refer to the Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Travel Delay sections of your policy for a list of the specific events that we cover. If you’re having trouble returning home from abroad, read “How can travel insurance help if I’m stranded at my destination?

4. I had booked travel to a country that has now closed its borders.  Am I covered?

Many countries have been refusing entry to tourists as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  While we understand this has impacted many people’s upcoming trips, unfortunately, our travel insurance does not cover border closings or travel bans when it comes to trip cancellation or trip interruption. However, if the border is closed, please contact your travel provider for assistance; they may be able to offer you alternate dates or waive change fees.  

5. Is quarantine covered under my policy?

That depends. If your strict isolation is imposed by a government authority or physician to prevent the spread of disease, then the plan will provide benefits under the Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption or Travel Delay sections of your policy. A “shelter in place” mandated by the government falls under the definition of a covered quarantine on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, you must be under strict quarantine for at least 24 hours  that means complete isolation (not leaving your home for the grocery store, going outside for exercise, traveling, etc.).  However, many healthy people are choosing a self-imposed quarantine, which does not qualify for coverage. Voluntary quarantine or an embargo preventing you from entering a country do not represent covered risks under your policy.

 6. How can travel insurance help if I'm stranded at my destination?

As many countries are closing borders and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, many travelers are re-arranging their plans to return home or preparing to spend extended time abroad.

If during your travels, a country on your itinerary closes its borders and scheduled flights are canceled as a result, you may have Travel Delay coverage for meals, lodging, local transportation, and essential phone calls up to the maximum benefit amount specified in your policy.

You may also reach out to the 24/7 Emergency Assistance team who are at your disposition to help you out in a crisis; the team may have information on how to leave the country you are visiting and keep you posted on any government measures to return Americans home.

7. What if the airline canceled my flight because of COVID-19? 

Whether you haven’t left yet or are already at your destination, this is an event our policies don’t have coverage for if you want to cancel or interrupt your trip. Contact your airline to see what your options are. If you don’t get re-booked on a flight within six hours of your original departure time, collect any receipts for any expenses you make as result of the delay: food, lodging, phone calls, as well as any non-refundable pre-paid accommodations that you’ve had to forfeit. You can make a claim under your travel delay benefits for any applicable expenses. For more on what World Nomads policies cover related to COVID-19 events, refer to “Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance?

 8. I’m no longer traveling because my conference was canceled. Am I covered? 

Events no longer running are not covered reasons for trip cancellation – whether it be business (conferences, trade shows, meetings, networking events, etc) or leisure events such as family reunions, weddings or music festivals. 

 9. Does World Nomads offer a Cancel For Any Reason option? 

No, World Nomads does not offer a Cancel for Any Reason upgrade. Having to cancel your trip last minute because of COVID-19 can be inconvenient and expensive. Instead of purchasing the costly upgrade offered by other insurance companies, you may want to check with your airline, hotel, or tour operator first to see what their policies are regarding travel during the COVID-19 outbreak. In these unusual times, they’re being more flexible—loosening up their cancellation policies or offering refunds, credits for future travel, or alternate dates so that customers can stay safe and travel at a time when they're feeling more comfortable.

If you're waiting to book, it’s easy to purchase a World Nomads travel insurance policy at the last minute. Although the trip cancellation benefits won’t apply to COVID-19-related events (unless you become sick or quarantined before your departure), you can get other important benefits, such as emergency medical, that can protect you should you get infected with COVID-19 when traveling. 

10. What can I do if I don’t have travel insurance?

If you haven’t left home yet, you may be able to discuss a change or cancellation of arrangements with your airline or other travel provider. In many cases, they are offering refunds, credits or reticketing and waiving change fees.

If you’re already traveling, the best thing you can do is follow basic protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as washing your hands regularly with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding exposure to people who are sick; covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; and trying not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do think you have symptoms, seek medical advice and avoid contact with others. For more information, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization sites for the latest updates.

11. How do I cancel my policy?

As the circumstances around the COVID-19 outbreak continue to evolve, you may have to cancel your trip. Though World Nomads doesn’t offer trip cancellation coverage in many COVID-19-related cases (See “Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance?”), you may request a refund on your unused travel insurance policy. If you’re still within the “free look” period of your policy, you can cancel your plan via your member account, if you’ve set one up.

If you purchased as a guest and don’t have a member account, you can create one here. You’ll just need to input your email address and the policy number from your last purchase.

If you are past the “free look” period, it’s still possible to cancel. But to qualify for a refund, you must not have started your trip or made any claims, and your trip costs must have been refunded in their entirety by your travel suppliers without any cancellation penalties. 

Send us an email at [email protected] confirming those qualifications. If you’ve received a refund from the travel supplier/s, please attach the confirmation document in your email.

12. I’m in an area where the COVID-19 outbreak has deteriorated. How do I get out?

Follow the local advice and also check the CDC website for more recommendations.
Contact your airline as well – they may be making special arrangements to return travelers to their home destination. Depending on the carrier's country of origin, they may be canceling flights, in which case you need to know as soon as possible so you can make alternate arrangements.

Travelers returning from countries with widespread or ongoing transmission may be directed to certain airports. Travelers without symptoms may be asked to stay at home and monitor their health for a period of 14 days. Travelers with symptoms will be directed to additional screening and medical care.  

13. I’m traveling and think I have caught COVID-19 ... What do I do?

First and foremost, seek medical treatment. If you’re not sure where to go, contact our Emergency Assistance team, who can direct you to appropriate care. They’re available 24/7 and can give you the advice you need about how to get from wherever you are to a decent hospital.

Remember to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) advice regarding health and hygiene practices. Reduce your contact with other people as much as possible, wear a mask to prevent spreading the infection and wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.

14. How can travel insurance help people in parts of the world with heightened risk?

World Nomads’ Emergency Assistance team, available 24/7, can help you in any type of crisis even if you’re traveling in a part of the world with heightened risk. If you’re feeling unwell, you can contact them for assistance on getting the appropriate medical care. They can also help with advances to pay emergency medical expenses and transfer records to your treating physician at home.

Also, your World Nomads policy remains in effect as per the terms in your policy wording. COVID-19-related provisions include emergency medical and trip interruption coverage for the policyholder who has contracted the virus. Other types of coverage unrelated to COVID-19 also provide valuable benefits.

15. Can I cancel my trip if advised by a doctor not to travel?

Yes, you can cancel your trip for a medical reason (including the COVID-19)  and get covered  if your doctor has advised you not to travel before your scheduled departure date. Read over your policy carefully to see if there are any other conditions that you need to meet.

16. If I have travel insurance and have COVID-19, could I be covered for trip cancellation?

Yes, sickness – including the COVID-19 – is a covered reason for cancellation, provided that you’ve purchased the policy before you exhibited symptoms and a physician recommends that you alter your travel plans for your health. You may also qualify for coverage if you or a travel companion are placed under quarantine within ten days of your departure date.

17. I’m currently traveling and have a World Nomads policy. What’s covered?

World Nomads’ offers a range of benefits but the ones that pertain to the COVID-19 are as follows:

Trip Cancellation: If you’re already traveling, you may not need this benefit but it is solely for the case when you, a travel companion or family member contract the COVID-19 prior to your departure and is declared medically unfit to travel by a physician. 

Emergency Medical and Evacuation: You may get reimbursed for medical treatment, such as doctor’s visits and hospital stays, and for transportation to a nearby hospital if a doctor sees it as necessary. You may also be transported home to recover or continue your treatment, also upon doctor’s advice. Be sure to call the 24/7 Emergency Assistance team for the proper approvals.

Trip Delay: There are many reasons why your common carrier may get delayed, and World Nomads provides coverage when the delay is at least six hours. Possible COVID-19-related case scenarios could include border closures, travel bans or government-mandated quarantines that could cause disruptions to your original scheduled flight or other method of commercial transportation. You can make a claim for pre-paid non-refundable accommodations that ended up going unused and expenses that you’ve incurred as a result of the delay, including meals, lodging, important phone calls, and local transportation.   

Trip Interruption: You may have to change the course of your trip because you got infected with the COVID-19. This benefit may cover pre-paid, non-refundable travel arrangements such as hotels and excursions, and one-way airfare to return home.

Be sure to read your policy in entirety to get an understanding of any additional conditions and exclusions. The relevant sections of your policy should mention “quarantine” or “sickness.”

18. I want to buy a travel insurance policy because of COVID-19. What’s covered?

In COVID-19-related matters, World Nomads’ plans cover you primarily in four areas:

1) Prior to traveling, if you, your traveling companion or a non-traveling family member contract COVID-19 or get quarantined, the plan benefits cover trip cancellation, provided that the events occurred after your coverage begins.

2) If you or your travel companion contract COVID-19 while traveling, you may be covered for emergency medical expenses and medical evacuation when deemed necessary for your treatment.

3) Under the trip interruption clause, World Nomads plans may also provide coverage for any travel arrangements you’ve had to change or reschedule because of you or your travel companion getting infected by COVID-19.

4) During your travels, you may be able to make a claim for travel delay coverage if your common carrier has been delayed six hours or more. Possible reasons for the delay include when a border has just closed or a government or physician-mandated quarantine imposed.

19. If I book and pay for a trip now, am I covered for COVID-19 if I buy travel insurance?

World Nomads’ plans for U.S. residents do not have a cut-off date after which coverage related to the COVID-19 is no longer available. However, coverage under our plans is limited to when you (or a travel companion and in some cases, a family member) get personally sick or quarantined because of the COVID-19. There’s also coverage for in-country expenses when your common carrier gets delayed by at least six hours for example, because of a border closure or quarantine imposed by a doctor or the government. Coverage does not include trip cancellation or trip interruption because of travel bans or when travel services such as flights or tours are canceled because of COVID-19.

20. I'm planning to reschedule my trip. Can I change the dates of my travel insurance policy?

Yes, it’s possible, but it’s a manual process and will require the assistance of someone in our service team. Send us an email at [email protected]. We’ll review your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

21. What if my travel provider cancels my trip. Am I covered?

It’s unfortunate when that happens but it’s not something covered by travel insurance. Work with your travel provider to see if they can offer you different trip dates, a refund, or a credit. If you haven’t used your travel insurance policy, you can request a refund. You also have the option to change the dates of your policy should you reschedule your trip.

22. If my travel provider gives me a partial refund, can travel insurance cover the rest?

These are tough times for travel, but unfortunately, our plans don’t cover partial refunds. For more information on what travel insurance does cover pre-departure, go to our Help Center article on trip cancellation.

23. What if my travel provider goes bankrupt. Am I covered?

There are some provisions under our plans that protect you when your travel provider –  a tour operator, hotel, or airline for example –  goes bankrupt or stops operating for financial reasons. As a condition for coverage, the bankruptcy must have happened more than 14 days after you purchased your policy. For airline bankruptcies or default, coverage is limited to the change fee if alternative flights to your destination are available through other carriers.

24. If I end my trip early, can I get a refund on my policy?

Unfortunately, no. If you unexpectedly end your trip early, you won’t be able to get a refund for the remaining days of your policy.

25. My travel plans changed because COVID-19 has impacted my work. Am I covered?

That depends on what your situation is.

If you're required to work: If your employer has canceled your vacation days or you need to return early from your travels because your presence is required at work, you can make a claim for trip cancellation or trip interruption expenses. You’ll need a notarized statement from your employer. Another requirement for coverage: your company must have a minimum of 25 full-time employees.

If you become unemployed: Losing your job is not a condition covered under the plan.

26. Can I cancel my trip because of COVID-19?

When it comes to COVID-19-related matters, World Nomads provides trip cancellation benefits when you, a travel companion or close family member contract the virus or get ordered to go under strict quarantine by a physician or the government before you leave for your trip. World Nomads’ trip cancellation coverage protects you for a number of other risks, which you can read about in our Help Center article
 
You can’t cancel your trip and get coverage for the following reasons:
 
•    Travel bans or border closures – when a government restricts the movement of residents or entry to tourists
•    Fear of travel because of the uncertainty of the situation or because things are getting worse
•    Cancellation of flights, tours, cruises, hotels or travel from other providers
•    Voluntary quarantines or stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders that do not require strict isolation
•    Cancellation of events such as weddings, festivals or conferences because of COVID-19

Contact your travel providers to see what their cancellation policies are and if they could offer you alternative options should COVID-19 disrupts your plans. If you don’t end up traveling, you can request a refund of your unused travel insurance policy or change the dates for a future trip

27. Can I extend my policy?

Yes, you can extend your travel insurance coverage if you’re traveling longer than expected. Whether you purchased as a guest or as a member, the process is the same. 

Before your trip: If you’re within the “free look” period, you can “lengthen” your travel insurance policy by either canceling your plan and purchasing a new plan with different dates or purchasing an additional plan for the extra dates. If you’re outside the “free look” period, contact us, and we can advise you of your options. 

During your trip: Purchase a new policy for your desired dates either in your membership or as a guest. There’s a waiting period of 24 hours before your coverage goes into effect, which is why we recommend purchasing at least two days before your original policy expires. That way, you won’t have any days where you are not protected under the plan. Contact us for any specific questions on your case.

28. I canceled my trip and no longer need my travel insurance policy. What are my options?

Travelers who no longer need their travel insurance have a couple of options:

Using your policy for a future trip: If your new trip is to the same destination and the same number of days as your original trip, then we can change the dates of the original policy so that your coverage applies to your rescheduled trip. If you don’t yet know your new dates, you can send us an initial request and a follow-up email when you do have them, provided that you’re planning to travel within 365 days from the date our customer service representative replies to your initial request. 

A refund: If you’re not planning on traveling anytime soon, or if you’re rescheduling your trip but it differs from your original trip in destination or length, and/or if you’re traveling more than 365 days from the current date, then you should cancel your policy for a refund (you can purchase a new travel insurance policy for any new trips, should you need one.)

To qualify for a refund, you must not have started your trip or made any claims, and your trip costs must have been refunded in their entirety by your travel suppliers without any cancellation penalties. 

Whatever your case is, send us an email at [email protected]. We’ll review your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

If you’ve already started your trip but had to end it early, unfortunately, you won’t be able to get a refund for the remaining days of your policy.










 













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