Travel Insurance and COVID-19: Here’s What You Must Know


COVID-19 has had an adverse effect on several industries, with travel being one of the worst affected. Even now, almost a year after the outbreak began in China, people are still hesitant to travel. Even the most frequent flier is now wary of catching a flight. In these situations, if you have made plans for travel, then it is important to safeguard yourself against all the possible risks. Along with the masks and sanitizers, there’s another thing that you should ensure you have – travel insurance.

In this article, we address all that you need to know about COVID-19 coverage under travel insurance. 

How does travel insurance cover COVID-19?

Travel insurance plans offer coverage for several medical risks and dangers. Under your travel insurance plan, you can get compensation for expenses due to hospitalization as a result of sickness or medical issues when travelling overseas. Since COVID-19 is a disease that may require hospitalization, the expenses that will be incurred as a result of it will be covered by most travel insurance policies. 

So, if you are wondering whether your travel insurance will cover you in case you contact COVID-19 during your travel, the simple answer is yes. However, since COVID-19 treatment is a complicated procedure with many steps and guidelines to be followed, understanding the insurance coverage can get a bit tricky. 

Whether you get coverage or not and how much amount you are eligible for will probably be dependent on the severity of your illness. Many may suffer from basic symptoms that may not require hospitalization so your insurance may not cover you during such a scenario. Your travel insurance is also not likely to provide for any expenses related to quarantine or self-isolation measures advised to you in case of mild Covid-19. 

Coverage might depend on the country you are travelling to

The Indian government has restricted travel to several countries where the cases are still on the rise. If you are travelling to these restricted countries, then your travel insurance may not provide coverage regarding any COVID-19 expenses.

Premium might differ according to the country

The premium on your travel insurance is likely to be dependent on the country you are travelling to. So, if you are travelling to a country which has had relatively low cases of COVID-19, then the premium might be low since the risk of you contracting the virus is low. Similarly, travelling to a high-risk country may incur you high premiums. 

Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation charges due to COVID-19 induced sickness?

Most travel insurance plans provide for cancellation charges if you have to cancel a pre-booked trip due to certain specified reasons. However, if you are cancelling your trip due to COVID-19 induced sickness, your insurer may not cover you. 

Few things to remember while buying travel insurance during these times 

  • The cost of COVID-19 treatment is likely going to be expensive, depending on the severity of your illness and the country you are seeking treatment at. Make sure you have opted for a high sum insured so that you get the best treatment. 
  • Since COVID-19 can be transferable by touch, you may not want to opt for cash or card payment. In this case, you can contact the TPA of your travel insurance provider and get pre-approval of cashless claims in case of hospitalization. This will ensure that all payments are done between the insurer and the hospital and you stay safe and keep others safe too. 
  • Make sure you inform your travel insurer about your medical history, especially if you have any co-morbidities which make you vulnerable to COVID-19. If you haven’t done so and in case you do contact Corona during your travel, the insurer may reject your claim based on the lack of information.  

As with any other insurance, make sure you read the policy documents carefully before signing it. The coverage offered under different travel insurance plans differs from lender to lender. It is advisable to consult a professional before acting on any decisions.