The impact that the Coronavirus is having on industries around the world seems to be spreading wider everyday. The travel industry is one that continues to be affected. Some recent changes we've seen with travel insurance companies reflect that this industry will continue to be affected for some time yet.
While the news shows of pictures of cruise ships sitting idle at sea with thousands of quarantined passengers aboard, it doesn't take much to wonder how unexpectedly adding 2 weeks to a vacation is going to affect these passenger's work, income and other responsibilities they have at home. For some, their travel insurance will work to cover losses they are incurring while stranded abroad. For those without insurance or inadequate coverages, they will have to recover these losses themselves.
Some travel insurance companies have reported that inquiries to their support lines have doubled with questions about the virus and how it affects their coverage. In light of this we have begun to see some travel insurance companies alerting customers of limitations for claims related to Coronavirus.
Last week we began to see some travel Insurance companies react to the growing pandemic. Tugo, an Armour Insurance partner, has limited Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption claims. A statement posted on their website now states:
"There is no coverage for any Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption claims related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for policies purchased on or after March 4, 2020. COVID-19 is considered a circumstance known for any policies purchased or trips booked on or after March 4, 2020."
Update: Intact Travel Insurance has announced that there will be no trip cancellation or interruption coverage for any policy purchased on or after March 5, 2020.
While this particular restriction only affects cancellation and interruption coverages for policies purchased on or after March 4th, it is important that customers do not knowingly put themselves at risk. There is an existing section in most insurance agreements called "known perils". This means that, if you knowingly put yourself at risk, your insurance policy may not cover you if a claim was to occur.