With some of the World starting to open up, now more than ever is it important to have some sort of travel insurance in place. If you are planning on going travelling in the foreseeable future, you’ll want to pay close attention to their coronavirus travel insurance policy in particular.
This article delves into some of the best travel insurance companies out there – as well as the not so great. It also covers travel insurance reviews based on the first-hand experience of making a claim.
A year ago, no one could have predicted just how much havoc the Coronavirus would cause globally. Large chunks of the world have been in lockdown for months although gradually, some countries are reopening their borders for tourism. A the same time, other countries have had to go back into lockdown after an influx of infections. Other rules in place mean you could end up having to self-quarantine after your return from travel. Everything feels very uncertain right now and I have a strong feeling it won’t be going away any time soon.
So, go grab a brew, while you find out about Travel Insurance with coronavirus cover.
What you can expect in this article...
You might be interested in these other great travel articles.
COMPARISON TABLE - Travel Insurance & Their Coronavirus Travel Insurance Policies
No time to read the full article about COVID-19 travel insurance now, then why not pin it for future reference?
Travel Insurance FAQs
Do I really need travel insurance?
Honestly, it’s a no brainer. Although it’s not compulsory, travel insurance can be an indispensable investment if anything were to go wrong. Especially with COVID-19 lurking about.
No one can predict the future and your travel insurance will give you peace of mind against loss, theft and injury. There are plenty of companies now adding coronavirus travel insurance as standard, to their policies, which can help protect you against changes to your travel plans due to outbreaks.
So although travel insurance isn’t mandatory (yet), personally, I would never travel without it.
Things to consider before purchasing travel insurance
There are several things you will need to think about before choosing travel insurance. Different companies specialise for different styles of travel, for example, if you are planning on becoming a digital nomad then SafetyWing is a great option, likewise, for backpacking and adventure travel World Nomads and True Traveller are a better choice.
Other things you might need to consider:
- Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
- Which countries are you visiting?
- How long are you away for?
- What activities will you be doing while you’re away?
- How much excess are you willing to pay if you do have to claim?
- What personal belongings or valuables are you taking with you?
When is the best time to purchase travel insurance?
Ideally, you’ll want to buy travel insurance before you go away. We are in a bit of an unknown with regards to countries going in and out of lockdown right now. Therefore, it’s a good idea to choose Travel Insurance offering COVID cover and purchase this just after booking things like flights and accommodation to make sure you’re covered if anything does get cancelled before your departure date.
Can I purchase travel insurance when I'm already on my trip?
Yes, you can. Although you won’t be able to claim for any incident if it happened before the Travel Insurance start date. Be sure to read the Ts&Cs for any policy as they may have a cooling-off time in place before you can make your first claim.
If you’re already on a trip, then World Nomads offer a Travel Insurance policy for this.
Single Trip vs Multi-trip or Annual Travel Insurance
This one depends on how much you plan to travel. If you’re only going away for a couple of weeks once a year, then you’re better off just buying a single-trip policy.
However, if you’re going away on several trips, then an annual-policy can work out cheaper. Be careful to check the small print as sometimes they will only cover you for a certain number of days-per-year (eg, 45 days away per year, spread over as many trips as you want), or for a maximum number of days in one go (eg, no more than 60 days in one trip)
If you are going to be travelling long term and possibly working as a digital nomad, then its certainly worth checking out what SafetyWing offer. They specialise in long-term cover plus they’ve also just extended the travel insurance for coronavirus across all their policies too.
Travel Insurance vs Medical Insurance
Essentially, Travel Insurance covers you for cancellations, theft or loss your belongings and any emergency treatment you need while you’re away.
Medical or Health Insurance is covers you more for existing conditions such as check-ups and continuation of care, such as chronic conditions whilst you are away.
Travel Insurance & Their Coronavirus Travel Insurance Policies - REVIEWED
Reviewed by Lora Pope from Explore With Lora
When I went on a year-long backpacking trip around the world, I purchased World Nomads Travel Insurance a couple of days before leaving. The insurance was easy to get, I did it from their website in less than ten minutes. I opted for the explorer plan which well slightly more expensive, covered up to $3,000 in personal belongings.
Soon into the trip, I had a new GoPro Hero 6 stolen from my bag while in Antigua Guatemala. I immediately contacted World Nomads and they advised me of the documentation I needed to provide to start my claim. I had to get a police report of the incident, show proof of purchase, and fill out a claim form. I was able to send photos of the docs via e-mail, which made it so much easier since I was traveling. Within a couple of weeks, my claim had been processed, and they reimbursed me for the full price that I paid for my GoPro.
Overall, the claiming experience with World Nomads was very smooth. Just a few days into the trip and the cost of my travel insurance had already paid for itself. It definitely made me a World Nomads customer for life!
At the time of writing this (August 2020) I know World Nomads isn’t providing insurance right now for Canadians since there is a government advisory not to travel. So be sure to check the Ts&Cs for your own country here.
I do a lot of adventure sport when I travel, and I found that most travel insurers didn’t offer a policy which covered the activities I was doing, or if they did, it was an insanely priced premium.
I was looking for a new travel insurer after awful customer service with the previous one I was with. I quite a bit of shopping around and reading recommendations and someone suggested I look at True Traveller. They were the answer to everything I needed True Traveller specialise in adventure travel. Their user interface is super easy and they have an online chat so if you have a problem or question there is someone to help you right away.
The thing I love most with True Traveller insurance is that you start with a basic level of insurance and then it’s up to you to decide what gets added on, including additional cover for certain adventure sports. They work on tailoring the insurance to your own needs. Their premiums, even after adding on a ton of extras, were really good value.
I did have to make a claim, my camera was accidentally broken while I was away in Jordan. I was pleasantly surprised with how straightforward they made this, and after a few short online forms, the money to cover repair costs was transferred directly into my account a couple of days after.
True Traveller offers insurance to European citizens and covers worldwide destinations. They’ve even added in a great coronavirus policy too.
Reviewed by Maggie Turansky from The World Was Here First
If you’re looking for an easy and affordable travel medical insurance option, you really can’t go wrong with SafetyWing. This insurance company markets itself towards digital nomads and expats and offers quite affordable coverage with very few restrictions. As someone who lives abroad, I’ve had a SafetyWing policy for more than a year and have been extremely happy.
Luckily, I’ve only ever had to make one claim through the insurance and the process was fairly easy and straightforward. Basically, I had a minor illness when I was in Australia, went to the doctor, was told to purchase a few over-the-counter medications and was able to easily claim everything that I spent with no further follow-up needed. I did make sure I scanned every single receipt and doctor’s note, but the process was as simple as I could have hoped.
There is a $250 deductible that you must meet before you can stop paying out of pocket and I did find that the claim took a while to process (about three months), but I was happy that all I needed to do was send in initial paperwork and wasn’t asked for a million follow-up statements or documents.
SafetyWing has two different plans – one travel medical insurance plan that is perfect for digital nomads that costs $37 USD for 4 weeks and renews automatically unless you cancel it. You can also sign up for it while already on the road and it will also cover you in your home country (for a limited amount of time). Some downsides include the fact that it doesn’t cover travel-related expenses like trip cancellation or stolen or damaged items.
Don’t cover trip cancellation due to Covid-19.
Reviewed by Corritta from It’s a Family Thing
As a full-time travel family, travel insurance is very important. It protects us in the event of an emergency, like the time we were stuck in Mexico. Not only did we have insurance through our travel credit card with Chase, but we also had travel insurance with Travelex.
The claim process with Travelex was quick and easy. We called customer service to explain our situation.
Our flight was cancelled and we did not have accommodation or food for the night. All we had to do was submit our receipts and we were reimbursed for the hotel, food, transportation, and even diapers!
Travelex is our favourite travel insurance for families. Kids under 17 can be included in the policy at no additional cost, which is awesome, so your little ones are protected for free. Also, there is no limit to the number of children that can be included in the policy, as long as they are traveling with a parent with coverage.
The website is easy and intuitive. They offer policies that are simple to understand and customer service is so helpful. When I was initially purchasing travel insurance for our family gap year, I had a lot of questions.
I called customer service and the agent answered all of my questions. The best part is they can accommodate our complicated itinerary. With the international plan, we are covered everywhere, except for a few countries (I believe there are only 5 they don’t cover). I didn’t have to list every country we planned to visit, just provided the overall trip cost. The best part was they have plans for 364 days instead of only 6 months.
One of the great things about this company is their purchase guarantee. If you are not satisfied or change your mind within 15 days of purchase and before departing for your trip you will receive a refund.
Allianz & Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Reviewed by Talek Nantes from Travels with Talek
I always get insurance for international trips. I had never needed to use it but always got it because, hey…you never know.
Last December my husband and I planned a trip to Jordan and Oman. I purchased basic insurance online with Allianz for both of us.
We booked and prepaid with a tour company. I paid with my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, a card that gives me award miles with specific airlines.
Just before the trip my husband got sick and decided not to go. I went alone. We were out of pocket for his portion of the trip.
On my return, I filed a claim with Allianz who rejected it with a letter saying my husband’s condition was pre-existing. I disagreed, responded, and received no response.
I remembered one of my card benefits was trip insurance if I purchased the trip with my card. I filed the same claim with the credit card company convinced I didn’t have a chance of getting reimbursed but thinking I should at least try.
We went back and forth with the claim for about six months with all sorts of documentation; doctor’s reports, tour company invoices, sworn statements. I had a file about an inch thick!
Eventually, they paid the claim. I’m still amazed. I never really thought of credit cards as insurance providers, but there you have it.
Travel Insurance Direct (TID)
Frequently changes, check site for the most up to date information.
Travel Insurance Direct,
Reviewed by Chris Fry from Aquarius Traveller
After 14 years of traveling worldwide, you understand that Travel Insurance is as important as the rest of your arrangements. If you have ever needed to claim, then you know that premium prices are not the only thing you should look at. Choosing your Travel Insurance should come down to your personal background, issues that are of high risk or what you’re more likely to claim on. My best advice would be to look into not only what you can claim and how much, but also what paperwork you need to complete in order to get it paid.
Coming from Australia, I have tried a number of company’s before and found TID (Travel Insurance Direct) to be fantastic. Purchasing the premium is a 10 min job online through their website and an instant PDF Premium certificate emailed.
As for claiming on the premium, I have done this twice in the last 5 years. First time for an ear infection that stopped me from Diving in Fiji. Lucky only a doctor’s medical certificate was needed for this one. Second time was for an entire trip to China due to a death in the family. This one required a Death certificate which unfortunately took 3 months to issue. Both were paid within 5 days of Paperwork received.
I would advise to take note of the excess and sometimes opt for a higher premium to reduce this. The excess is charged on sectors, not just once for each claim. Therefore Flights, Tours, car hire, day trips etc are all separate sectors.
MSIG (Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group)
Reviewed by Marya Sutimi from The Beau Traveler
My last Indochina trip earlier this year, I got sick in Vientiane that I ended up claiming my travel insurance with MSIG. Despite offering various travel insurance plans that cover more than 100 countries, it seems like their target market is still within the Asia-Pacific and Australia region.
MSIG has their office representatives globally, although to set up your insurance policy, you need to register through the local website according to your country of origin. I registered through their Indonesian website a few days before I left for my trip to Indochina.
Their insurance plans are affordable, starting from only around $15 for a trip. My plan covered me within the Asia-Pacific region. I paid only $30, which includes insurance coverage in Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.
When I got sick in Vientiane, I had the Covid-19 symptoms that I had to get a swab test at one of the hospitals there. I checked with MSIG Indonesia through Whatsapp, and their customer service was surprisingly prompt. They outlined the claiming process and the requirements needed to reimburse my medical expenses there.
The requirements include the e-tickets booked for the trip, e-policy that they sent me when I registered, the boarding pass for my flights, and the copy of documents with the hospital’s receipt.
I had to send the hard copy of all the required documents 20 days after my arrival in Indonesia by the latest. Despite their claim to reimburse all the medical expenses for a maximum of 14 business days, they reimbursed only 70% of my medical expenses a month later directly to my bank account.
They don’t have any platform to show us the real-time progress for our claim, so I think the claiming process could have been easier if I didn’t have to reach out manually through their Whatsapp or office number to follow up.
Travel Insurance & Their Coronavirus Travel Insurance Policies - Final Thoughts
I really hope that a year from now, Coronavirus will be a blip in the horizon as we find our way back to some sort of norm without the need for last-minute lock-downs and borders being shut. But if you’re planning on travel in the foreseeable future, then I 100% suggest you invest in travel insurance with COVID cover.
What Travel Insurance companies cover will probably change as we move forward, so make sure you go through your policy with a fine-tooth comb and make sure you’ve covered for whatever eventuality may happen
You might be interested in these other great travel articles.
Pin it for later
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If you’re thinking of travelling, and still in the planning stages of your trip, then why not pin this for future reference. Alternatively, if you’ve got any questions then pop a note below and I’ll try and I’ll try and answer it.
Likewise, if you’ve had a great or bad experience with any of the travel insurance companies I’ve talked about today one even one I’ve not covered then I’d love to hear about it.