International travel insurance for Coronavirus

Updated 14th May 2020

Compare and buy travel insurance for Coronavirus (Covid 19)

COVID-19 travel medical coverage while travelling outside the USA

Travelers today in the face of a pandemic face special challenges. Everyone must be prepared for set backs and last minute changes to travel plans given the daily changes and problems we are facing across the world due to the coronavirus. At first, many insurance companies were covering coronavirus disease, but, particularly after March 27, 2020 when the CDC acknowledged the world wide pandemic and placed the whole world at level 3 ("Avoid Non-Essential Travel), many companies dropped coverage for covid-19.

Since these things are changing so rapidly, we thought it prudent to write a blog about companies that are still offering covid-19 coverage for people that are visiting outside the USA. Please note that you MUST NOT wait to get coverage. If you are already sick or even in the incubation period for the disease before your policy begins, ALL policies will exclude coverage. So, it is important to start coverage as soon as possible and not have a break in coverage. You can purchase the policies below even if you started out with a different company or did not previously have US health insurance. Ideally, you should start a plan from the day you leave your home country until you expect to return. The policies below can be extended for at least 6 months of coverage.

There are currently two top insurance providers namely Trawick International and INF insurance who offer international travel medical insurance coverage for coronavirus.

Trawick International Insurance:

Trawick International offers international medical insurance for coronavirus (covid-19) with their Safe Travel insurance plans. Safe Travel Outbound plans are available for up to 6 months and are for US residents traveling outside the US. Safe Travel International plans are for non-US residents traveling outside the US. Note that with any of these plans, you must pre-certify in the case of covid-19 coverage (that is, you call the insurance company first before seeking testing or treatment).

Trawick International offers the following plans:

INF travel insurance:

If your travels are taking you to Canada or Mexico, you can also consider INF travel insurance.

As ever, we here at American Visitor Insurance try to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date information we can about the policies available to you and your loved ones during these trying times. If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to call us anytime or send us an email. Remember that if you want a specific quote from us, we need to know the age(s) of the traveler(s) and the dates (or amount of time) they will need the policy for and where they are traveling to (and sometimes from).

Stay safe and be well wherever your travels may take you,

Frequently asked questions for travel insurance with covid-19 coverage

What medical coverage will my travel insurance policy provide me if I contract COVID-19 while I am traveling?

The coverage for COVID19 will depend on your travel insurance policy. Some US insurance providers like Trawick International, Global Underwriters and INF are still providing coverage for COVID19 in their travel insurance plans. So if you have one of their travel insurance plans, you will be covered for medical expenses relating to COVID19 as long as your have bought the travel insurance policy before you contracted COVID19. If you have purchased travel insurance from any of the other US travel insurance providers like IMG, SevenCorners, TokioMarine..., coverage for COVID19 will depend on when you bought your travel insurance. Most of these companies made the coverage for COVID19 an exclusion once it was declared an global pandemic by the Center for Disease control (CDC) in the United States. Testing for COVID19 itself however will be considered preventive care, and all the travel insurance plans will exclude preventive care expenses.

Will my travel medical insurance cover the cost of COVID19 testing?

US visitor medical insurance plans will not provide any coverage for preventive care. Testing for COVID19 will be considered preventive care, and the travel insurance plans will not insure that. Expenses relating to the treatment of COVID19 may be covered depending on your visitor insurance plan and when you purchased it. Some insurance companies made coverage for COVID19 an exclusion after the CDC announced it as a global pandemic.

Popular International travel medical insurance providers for Covid-19

SevenCorners
Trawick
HCCMIS
Note: For new policies starting after May 1, 2020, Seven Corners plans (Liaison travel insurance, Liaison Student Insurance and other plans) will NOT offer coverage for COVID-19 disease.

Health insurance for Coronavirus, Covid 19 for international travelers

Coronavirus or Covid 19 has totally disrupted international travel with most airlines across the world having suspended or severely limiting flights. In this context international travelers have to be very careful as Coronavirus has become a global threat, with over 150 countries reporting positive cases resulting in many deaths. Many parts of China, Italy, Spain, United States, Iran, Germany, France, South Korea, Switzerland, U.K, Netherlands, and Japan are completely locked down even to domestic travel. While the disease began in China, it has quickly spread to many parts of the world. Current hotspots include Iran in the Middle East, Italy, Spain, France, Germany in Europe and the United States. Many of these affected areas are trying to contain and delay the spread of the disease with many countries having taken extreme measures of quarantining entire regions. While new cases are slowing in China, the virus is still spreading across many parts of the globe.

How Coronavirus spreads and precautions to protect oneself?

  • The virus spreads through contact with infected individuals via a cough, sneeze, breath or nasal discharge.
  • Everyone should practice good respiratory hygiene.
  • Washing hands frequently and thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • While coughing and sensing cover the mouth with the tissue and discard it in the trash
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay indoors at home when you are sick

Should I travel during the Coronavirus outbreak?

There are some places that one should not travel to if one can avoid it. US citizens have travel restrictions given by the US Department of State. A level 4 warning tells us not to travel to that destination. Of course, we are free to ignore these advisories, but it is reasonable to consider their information. As of writing this blog, China, Iran and South Korea are on level 4 warnings, or "Do Not Travel" warnings. Italy and is at level 3 which is "Reconsider Travel". Japan and Hong Kong are listed as level 2 which is "Exercise Increased Caution". The CDC maintains similar lists with its recommendations. The highest of which is usually level 3 and is "Avoid Nonessential Travel".
Individuals in high risk groups should probably avoid travel into countries and communities with community spread of this virus. The data informs us that older individuals (over age 60) and particularly those with co-morbidities (like heart failure and COPD) will be likely be more negatively affected by this disease (that is, get a more severe form) and are more likely to die of the disease. We only know this from information that has come out of the outbreak in China and it is important to remember that there is much that remains unknown about this virus and the disease it causes.

International travel insurance providers for Coronavirus (Covid 19) coverage

Trawick International travel insurance

TRAVEL MEDICAL Plans do not require that you purchase the insurance before you leave on the trip. The TRIP CANCELLATIONS Plans do require it is purchased before you leave.
The plans available for a US Citizen is Safe Travels Outbound or Safe Travels Outbound Cost Saver - these are pay and claim plans.
Plans available for people in the USA- that are not US Citizens, US Residents or Greencard Holders are Safe Travels USA, Safe Travels USA Cost Saver, Safe Travels Comprehensive, and Safe Travels for Visitors to the USA. These plans require pre-certification for the virus.
The plans available for people who are stuck in a country that is not their home country and not the USA - Safe Travels International - this is a pay and claim plan.

Disclaimer:
* The policy covers COVID-19 subject to the terms and conditions of the policy normal limits and policy conditions including pre-ex, so if you already have the virus - it will not cover you. If you are in the incubation period when you buy, it will be considered pre-existing condition.
* Testing for COVID-19 will be covered under your policy if you are sick, are referred by a medical practitioner and it is carried out at an approved facility, subject to the terms and conditions in your policy.
* In the event that a test proves positive and requires treatment, members can be assured that all associated treatment costs would be covered under the normal benefit limits and terms of their policy. Please ensure these are pre-authorized with the GBG Assistance team.

INF travel insurance

INF travel insurance coverage for Coronavirus is straightforward. The coronavirus will be covered as per any new sickness in the policy since it is not explicitly excluded. Note that their plans only offer coverage in the US and Canada.
INF Traveler USA visitors insurance Covers Coronavirus for Visitors Already in USA INF provides insurance coverage for any COVID-19 infection and it will be covered fully by INF Traveler USA as a new sickness. INF Traveler USA is available to visitors who are already in the United States and does not have any restriction on the length of time the visitor has been in the US. INF Traveler USA will cover COVID-19 infections for major in-patient hospitalization, need for oxygen cylinders, and medication or other miscellaneous expenses required to treat the Coronavirus.

Frequently asked questions about INF international travel insurance coverage for Coronavirus
Now that the CDC announced that the world is at a level 3 travel advisory, is there any coverage for your policies for COVID-19?
Ans. There is no change in the coverage.
Will these policies be voided given that travelers are basically stuck wherever they are and there is no place "better" to travel to?
Ans. If they are currently enrolled, the policy will not be voided. If they are enrolling after the arrival date (most common situation now) they may go through special underwriting.
Will policies already purchased before March 27th where travelers where NOT in level 3 areas already have "normal" coverage for all illnesses except COVID-19 or will COVID-19 be covered for them?
Ans. INF plans cover COVID-19 like a new sickness, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. This is not a guarantee of benefits, however, as each claim is evaluated individually.
Will you be issuing new policies since the CDC announcement?
Ans. Currently, we will continue to support our customers and allow new enrollments in INF Standard and INF Traveler USA and others case by case.
Many people are currently stuck in countries with their other policies running out and non-renewable. Can they purchase the your policies ?
Ans. Yes, they can enroll in the INF policies.
Will you continue to allow pre-existing condition coverage during the month of April for the "marooned" travelers?
Ans. As of now, the pre-existing coverage will remain intact. For new enrollments, they may undergo special underwriting.
Will these policies cover any other illness, injury or accident as long as the person does not travel?
Ans. Yes, the plan will cover eligible sickness and accidents.
Can they travel (say from US to Canada and back?)?
Ans. If they are a Non-US Citizen or Non-US Resident, yes they will be able to.
Will they cover COVID-19 if they stay in one country or if they travel or not at all?
Ans. INF plans cover COVID-19 like a new sickness, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. This is not a guarantee of benefits, however, as each claim is evaluated individually.
Additionally, we do not cover anyone who is already sick or showing symptoms, or plans to see a physician in the immediate future. As you know, the situation is developing day by day and is constantly changing. If the Travellers are interested in enrolling, we advise them to enroll right away.

International Medical Group (IMG)

For new policies starting after March 11, 2020, there is no coverage for COVID-19 disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) in announcing coronavirus as a pandemic has designated the entire world a “level 3” travel zone. Since the coronavirus and COVID-19 is now a known threat (not an unknown possibility), it will no longer be covered by IMG policies. However, if your IMG policy had already started prior to the March 11th announcement and it was NOT to travel into a level 3 travel area (at the time of travel), you will be covered for COVID-19 and that coverage will continue on renewals to that policy. If the travelers visits the country that the CDC, WHO or US Department of State has issued an alert to not visit, the coverage for coronavirus will be excluded. The Patriot travel insurance will not offer coverage benefits if the traveler visits the country after the alert has been issued. If the traveler is already in the country before the alert was issued, then the insured may be covered.

Seven Corners visitors insurance

Seven Corners visitors insurance coverage for sickness arising from Coronavirus is like any other sickness with the exclusions as in the policy details. One of the main exclusions is not to travel to a level 4 country as noted by the US Department of State. Travel to a level 4 country will void the policy from that point forward meaning that no benefits will be paid for any condition or claim. Additionally, the Political Evacuation or Political Repatriation must be arranged by Seven Corners Assist. Failure to utilize Seven Corners Assist will result in the denial of benefits.

Frequently asked questions about coverage for Coronavirus
Will Liaison travel insurance policies cover COVID-19 if they stay in one country or if they travel or not at all?
Ans : Liaison travel insurance will cover all expenses from Covid-19.
Many travelers are currently stuck in countries with their other policies running out and non-renewable. Can they purchase a Liaison policy?<
Ans : Yes they can purchase a Liaison travel insurance plan that will offer them coverage for Covid-19.
Will Liaison travel insurance policies cover any other illness, injury or accident as long as the person does not travel?
Ans : Yes, Liaison travel insurance offers coverage for other illness, injury or accident as long as the person does not travel.
Can they travel (say from US to Canada and back)?
Ans : If the US government allows them to travel then yes!

Note: For new policies starting after May 1, 2020, Seven Corners plans (Liaison travel insurance, Liaison Student Insurance and other plans) will NOT offer coverage for COVID-19 disease.

Travel Insure international travel insurance

An insured individual is eligible for treatment of Coronavirus provided they do not contract the Coronavirus in a country for which there is a CDC Warning Level 3. This is the specific exclusion, which will apply should a new CDC warning be issued for another country:
Exclusion language:
Charges resulting from a disease outbreak in a country or location for which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Warning if:
  • the warning has been in effect within the 6 months immediately prior to your date of arrival, or
  • you have failed to depart the country or location within 10 days following the date the warning is issued.
Frequently asked questions about Travelinsure insurance plans (Visit USA, Intermedical, Worldmed, Study USA) coverage for Coronavirus
Now that the CDC announced that the world is at a level 3 travel advisory, is there any coverage for your policies, particularly the travel or student policies, for COVID-19? Will these policies be voided given that clients are basically stuck wherever they are and there is no place "better" to travel to?
Ans. As of the CDC Global Warning Level 3 on March 27th, any insured not already located in a destination under a CDC Warning Level 3 has 10 days of coverage for charges related to COVID-19. Those already in a country under a CDC Warning Level 3 would have 10 days of coverage based on the date the warning for that country was first issued. Insureds will continue to be covered for eligible Non-Covid-19 related expenses after the 10 days have elapsed.
Will policies already purchased before March 27th where travelers where NOT in level 3 areas already have "normal" coverage for all illnesses except COVID-19 or will COVID-19 be covered for them?
Ans. They will have coverage through April 6th for COVID-19, which is the tenth day following the global warning on March 27th. After this, COVID-19 will no longer be covered, though coverage for all other eligible expenses will remain in place.
Will you be issuing new policies since the CDC announcement? Many people are currently stuck in countries with their other policies running out and non-renewable. Can they purchase a VisitUSA or StudyUSA policy? Will these policies cover any other illness, injury or accident as long as the person does not travel? Can they travel (say from US to Canada and back?)? Will they cover COVID-19 if they stay in one country or if they travel or not at all?
Ans. COVID-19 will not be covered under any current policy due to the CDC Global Warning Level 3. Policies will continue to cover other illness and accidents as per the policy wording. I understand that new coverages/plans may be considered in the future, though at this time no policies will be covering COVID-19.

TokioMarine HCC

On March 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 3 Travel Advisory urging U.S. residents to reconsider traveling abroad to any country. If you are an Atlas Travel, Atlas Premium, Atlas MultiTrip, or Atlas Group policyholder, this activates your political evacuation benefit as long as your location has not been under a level 3 or higher advisory in the past 10 days, or prior to your arrival.
If the CDC Issues a Level 3 Travel Warning for the Location Where You Are Currently Traveling: Coronavirus-related expenses will be covered for up to 10 days following the date the level 3 warning is issued, given that your expenses do not arise directly or indirectly from another policy exclusion.
Once 10 Days Have Passed from the Date the CDC Issued the Level 3 Travel Warning for Your Current Location: You will no longer be covered for coronavirus-related expenses. You will still be covered for all other eligible expenses.
TokioMarine HCC travel insurance will cover sickness arising from novel Coronavirus as an eligible illness, unless the virus has been contracted in a location for which the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Warning. Further there is a policy exclusion if the CDC has issued a level 3 Travel Warning if a) the warning has been in effect within the 6 months immediately prior to your date of arrival, or b) within 10 days following the date the warning is issued you have failed to depart the country or location.

Global Underwriters travel insurance

Global Underwriters travel insurance offers coverage for coronavirus as any new sickness. If it is pre-existing, then it's excluded. That is of the travelers is infected before the plan effective date, the travel insurance will treat it as pre-existing and will not offer coverage for it.
The coronavirus testing would be covered if a medical physician deems it necessary that the insured fits the criteria for the test and the insured is effective on the policy during the time of the testing. The medical expenses would be covered as well during the time of the policy and if the signs and symptoms started during the effective date of the policy and will be paid per the parameters of the policy.

While the language of coverage is generally similar across the industry, there are some variations in coverage and which advisories are heeded between US visitor insurance providers that offer coverage for Coronavirus (Covid 19). Travelers should carefully compare and understand the different travel insurance policies before purchasing visitor medical insurance for coronavirus to make sure they are protected.

GeoBlue travel insurance for Covid-19:

Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is covered without copay or other member contribution.
Treatment for COVID-19 is covered as an Illness under the policy, unless a member failed to depart a country within a reasonable time from the date the country became subject to a level-3 travel warning by the CDC, or similar travel warning from that country’s government. Members remaining in a country in that circumstance would not be covered for COVID-19, but otherwise would retain all coverage under the policy within its normal terms and conditions.
Preventive quarantine in a hotel, cruise ship or any other location would not be covered. The plan would cover medical evacuation if deemed medically appropriate for the illness/injury, subject to the usual plan provisions.

International Trip cancellation insurance for US citizens:

Trip cancellation policies available to US citizens and residents allow for trip cancellation due to your own illness or quarantine as part of their normal cancellation policy. You can also purchase many plans with a "Cancel for Any Reason" (CFAR) option (it is included in some) which will return 75% of your travel investment should you simply decide that you don’t wish to risk the trip or some other situation occurs outside your control that, does not allow normal cancellation of your trip, but still keeps you from taking your trip (for example, your best friend, who is not traveling with you, is sick and you want to stay home and help her).
These are Trip Cancellation Insurance which have CFAR coverage:
Travel LX insurance from IMG Round Trip Choice Insurance and Round Trip Elite Insurance. From Seven corners

Travel Insurance Select Trip cancellation insurance for Covid-19

The Travel Insurance Select plan does not have a specific Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption peril tied to a CDC Warning. Therefore, the main eligible coverages would be:
  • A person traveling in an affected country who becomes ill, in which case emergency medical expense or emergency medical evacuation coverage may apply, or
  • Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) – this option must be purchased as an upgrade within 21 days of your initial trip deposit/payment. Other conditions apply – see plan details.
Crum & Forster considered this to be a foreseen event on 01/23/2020.
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