Before COVID-19, many travelers felt that purchasing travel insurance was an added fee that was not needed. They were not worried about their non-refundable deposits for airfare, tours, or accommodations being affected by something out of their control. With the ongoing pandemic, travelers now seek protection more than ever for the non-refundable portions of their trip. What caused this behavior change?
In a word, uncertainty. The world we live in today is filled with questions that didn’t exist a few months ago. Will my travel provider be in business? What happens if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs at my destination? What if I get COVID-19 on my trip?
A recent survey conducted by the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) found that more than 30% of travelers buy travel insurance today. The UStiA survey has indicated a significant increase in travelers purchasing insurance than years past. Still, most travelers are unaware of the types of insurance they should acquire during the pandemic.
As travelers face challenges and questions that they never encountered before COVID-19, they need some form of guidance to help them with their pretravel planning. They need to understand what the benefits of travel insurance are, and what policies they should buy to ensure that they are covered in case of an emergency during the pandemic. That is why they need to be educated on the benefits of trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance.
Trip cancellation insurance provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable trip costs, if you are prevented from taking your trip. Trip Cancellation plans will provide coverage due to a sickness or death of a traveler, traveling companion, or non-traveling family member. An example: in the event that you, your traveling companion, or a non-traveling family member were to become ill before your departure date, trip cancellation plans would provide reimbursement for the non-refundable trip costs.
An added feature of trip cancellation insurance is the Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) option. With this benefit, travelers can cancel their trip and be reimbursed for a percentage of the loss, based on the terms of the specific plan. The availability of CFAR benefits may be impacted by when it was purchased, the trip cost, and when the trip was canceled. One thing to note is that this policy can only be used if the traveler, or travelers, do not go on their vacation.
So, what happens if a traveler goes on their vacation and they get COVID-19 or become ill? What coverage is there for them? This is where trip interruption coverage comes into play. It provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable costs, if the trip is interrupted, along with a refund for the additional transportation cost to return home or rejoin your trip.
For example, if while traveling, you or your traveling companion becomes ill, trip interruption coverage plans would reimburse for the lost days of your trip – along with medical expenses incurred during your trip. Additionally, the plan would provide coverage in the event of an emergency evacuation.
As a travel insurance provider, we realize that one size does not fit all travelers. These plans are designed to be customized to meet the individual needs of the traveler. Travel insurance protecting the covered expenses, in the case of many unforeseen circumstances, was considered an added service when traveling prior to COVID-19. In today’s world, these plans are a necessity. For a fraction of the trip cost, travelers can alleviate the risk of losing money if something unforeseen occurs. It’s our duty as travel industry professionals to offer this coverage and educate the traveler on why they need this extra layer of protection.
About Trawick International:
Trawick International is an industry leader in accident and sickness travel medical, trip cancellation and international student insurance for anyone traveling anywhere in the world. For over 20 years, we have served US Citizens traveling abroad or in the USA, foreign nationals visiting the United States, gap year students, students studying abroad and other individuals and groups traveling throughout the world. We can help you offer your clients a wide variety of quality insurance coverage at great prices. All plans provide medical coverage for COVID-19, the same as any other sickness. Our company’s mission is to deliver superior travel and medical insurance products that offer the best 24/7 emergency assistance services available. To become a Trawick International partner, call 888-301-9289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bailey Foster serves as VP of Trip Insurance for Trawick International. She is responsible for overseeing the Trawick International Trip Cancellation product. Ms. Foster has nearly 20 years of insurance experience, with a proven track record of escalating responsibility. Bailey has developed a strong knowledge of insurance ethics and business practices related to the travel industry. Her experience enables her to provide proactive account management, training, consulting and support.