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Travel insurance & COVID: Know what's covered and what isn’t before making your plans

WBNS Columbus logo WBNS Columbus 12/8/2021 Kevin Landers
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According to AAA, a third of their members said they plan to buy travel insurance to protect their vacations against the spread of COVID-19.

“All of AAA insurance policies now have been upgraded to include coverage for COVID-19, including medical coverage, trip cancellation, trip interruption and even quarantine coverage,” said Kimberly Schwind, who is a spokesperson for AAA.

Depending on your needs, experts said it's important to know what is covered and what isn’t in case COVID-19 disrupts your travel.

There is insurance that will cover the cost of your hotel stay if you get COVID and there is insurance that will cover your missed flight. There is also a policy called "cancel for any reason." It’s about 40% more expensive but it does remove a lot of the worry if you are someone who is at high risk of getting COVID or just fearful of flying.

“They are essentially allowing you to cancel for any reason so they limit the time that policy is available,” said Megan Moncrief of insurance aggregator Squaremouth.

Moncrief said a cancel for any reason policy will reimburse you for 75% of your travel and is good for up to 30 days after you book your flight.

Moncrief said it's important that travelers understand what they are buying.

“Don't rush to buy a travel insurance policy. There are still a lot of airlines and travel suppliers that are working with customers to waive those change fees and offer those refunds. We don't want travelers to spend more on travelers policy if it's not going to protect what they need,” she said.

Starting Monday, all travelers entering the U.S., regardless of their vaccination status or nationality, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one calendar day of their departing flight.

Previously, a negative test administered up to three days before boarding a flight was considered valid. Biden has also extended the current rule mandating mask-wearing on airplanes, trains, buses and at airports through mid-March. 

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