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Swine flu and travel insurance

Apr 28, 2009 | | Comments Comments Off

j0437185Thinking of canceling a trip because of swine flu concerns? Even if you bought travel insurance, you may not get reimbursed. Policies sold after April 24 will likely exclude swine flu, while some policies sold before that date routinely exclude cancellations due to epidemics and pandemics.

If you actually catch the disease while abroad, though, the medical coverage portion of your policy probably will kick in–unless, again, there are exclusions for epidemics/pandemics.

See why it’s important to read these policies before you buy?

Travel insurance is a great idea for expensive trips or any trip that takes you somewhere where your health coverage doesn’t apply (for example, international trips). But policy details vary, so you have to do your research.

John Cook, president of QuoteWright, posted this overview:

Basic trip cancellation coverage is what is referred to as “named peril” coverage where only those perils that are listed by the insurance company and not limited by the company’s exclusions are covered. Most companies refer to these as “covered reasons”. Under the basic trip cancellation/interruption coverage there are no benefits if you cancel due to the threat of avian [sic] flu because the threat of sickness is not listed as a covered reason. Most policies include being “quarantined” as a covered reason and would provide coverage if one was forced to cancel their trip due to it however; some companies exclude an “Epidemic” and would not cover being “quarantined” if it was caused by an “Epidemic”. Under the basic coverage benefits are limited or non-existent however, several companies offer an option that you can add to the basic coverage for “Cancel for Any Reason”. Generally this allows you to cancel your trip for any reason that is not otherwise covered.

For more, read “Tips for choosing the right travel insurance

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