What does travel insurance cover for COVID-19?

The coronavirus (COVID-19), first detected in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China, has now spread to at least 50 countries, including the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the global threat level to “very high,” as new outbreaks appear.

Please note that U.S. residents who purchased a World Nomads travel insurance policy do not have exclusions from coverage based on pandemics or epidemics.  However, for both the Standard and Explorer World Nomads plans, fear of travel and/or fear of illness are not covered reasons for any type of coverage under the plan provisions. There is also no coverage in the plan should the city/location/travel supplier determine that there is a quarantine and services are canceled as a result.  Those U.S. residents who purchased the plan who have been quarantined or become sick from the virus may still qualify for trip interruption and emergency medical benefits.  For example:

Case #1 I'm already in Wuhan, China and am stranded because of the lockdown. Am I covered?

Flight cancellations due to a government-imposed quarantine are not covered. In other words, if you're not sick and need to get out of China, you may not have any coverage under your plan. However, if you’re sick or you've been personally quarantined and not allowed to fly because of the illness, then you could be eligible for emergency medical and trip interruption coverage.

Case #2  I'm traveling around China and my next stop was supposed to be Wuhan, which is now under quarantine. Am I covered? 

Because you weren't quarantined or suffering from symptoms of the coronavirus that prevented travel, you may not be covered.

Case #3 I booked a trip to Italy but now I want to divert my travels to another country because of the surge in coronavirus cases. Can I cancel?

Unfortunately, our travel insurance policies don’t cover changing your plans out of fear of what may happen.

Case #4 I had to cancel my trip to the because of a coronavirus-related work emergency. Am I covered?

You’ll be reimbursed for non-refundable pre-paid travel arrangements but the covered reason for the cancellation is the work emergency and not the coronavirus.

Please read your policy wording for the full policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions.

If your travel plans are affected:

  1. Contact your airline, cruise or tour operator to check if tourist services are affected.
  2. If you need to change your travel arrangements, contact your airline, cruise company or travel agent for assistance in the first instance. Refer to your policy wording for more detail or contact our Customer Service Center to discuss your plans before making any changes.
  3. Injured or ill? Contact the Emergency Assistance team as soon as possible. Their details are listed on your Certificate of Insurance.
  4. In the event of a claim covered by your policy, you must do everything you can to minimize and reduce the cost of the claim and provide all supporting documentation of the event and expenses incurred. If you intend to submit a claim, please complete the claim form and if you need help doing this, contact us.
If you’re caught up in this event, please read here for some general safety information.

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