Coronavirus: what does travel insurance cover?

With the coronavirus , many trips have had to be postponed due to the inconvenience of not traveling to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and due to the mobility restrictions that have been established not only in Spain, but also in many other countries. Most people, when they travel, take out travel insurance . But, what happens to these policies against the coronavirus? What do they cover and what is not covered?


The answer to what travel insurance does or does not cover in situations such as COVID-19 or a pandemic is not easy because it all depends on the conditions that have been subscribed and the policy that has been chosen.

Anyway, as a guideline and taking into account the type of policies that are subscribed mostly in the country, it must be clear that travel insurance does not include epidemics or pandemics .

In other words, as a general rule, they are reasons that are usually expressly excluded by the vast majority of insurers . In fact, it is common for them to appear as excluded in the "general exclusions" section of the policy.

Another thing is that a broader insurance has been signed and with coverage that does include these situations because the coronavirus had already been hitting other countries such as China for some time. In these cases, you will always have to look closely at the signed clauses to be able to cancel or whether the refund or any compensation is appropriate for not being able to travel.

Illness or other causes

Travel cancellation insurance does cover all cancellation costs before the date of travel arrives, but provided that the circumstances and situations that are alleged respond to a greater cause .

These causes include the serious illness of the insured or a first-degree relative, having had an accident, a death, some work reasons such as dismissal or the extension of a contract, taking a competitive examination or joining a new position. of work.

However, in the case of the coronavirus , the cancellation of the trip is understood as an ‘ external cause ‘ so it is not covered by the insurance. To have coverage for COVID-19, the clause relating to the declaration of a catastrophic or epidemic area should have been contracted in the policy at the place of residence of the insured or in the area of ​​destination of the trip so that it is not excluded.

However, there is also a caveat here . And it is that, to benefit from this clause (even if it has been signed), it is necessary that the official declaration of ‘catastrophic zone or epidemic’ has been made.

Free withdrawal

Another situation that may have occurred in the face of the coronavirus is having signed a free withdrawal insurance . In these cases, it would cover the cancellation of the trip because, with these policies, it is not necessary to prove or justify any reason not to travel.

In any case, it is an unusual policy and that not all insurance companies offer to customers because the cost is usually much higher than that of other travel insurance.

However, regardless of whether you have insurance or not, it is always convenient to speak with the travel agency, companies, hotels … with whom you have contracted the trip, accommodation, food … because many of them have established measures and policies extraordinary cancellation , cancellation or refund, such as RENFE, in the face of the coronavirus.

In these cases, it should not be forgotten that the possible rights that you may have may vary depending on whether you have bought the tickets and booked the accommodation separately or have opted for a combined trip or other formulas. And, of course, you also have to contact the insurance company in case they have established some extraordinary measure in this situation and make sure of the rights that they may have.