Consumer Alert: Did COVID-19 ruin your travel plans? Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance


HONOLULU (KHON2) – For many people, travel plans have been put on pause due to the Coronavirus outbreak. So can travel insurance help recover any costs from canceled trips?

According to some experts, it depends on the policy and the situation.

Since March, the Better Business Bureau has received over 1,5000 complaints related to travel insurance. The BBB says 67.5% of which occurred, because the policy didn’t cover the cancellation caused by COVID-19.

“So what people need to beware of is when you book a trip, you need to read the terms of agreement, because many times pandemics are not covered,” said Rosean Freitas the Better Business Bureau Hawaii Marketplace Manager. “They’re not necessarily covered by the travel insurance you purchased as well.”

The BBB says, the cancellation of a trip due to travel advisories is not typically a reason covered by insurance policies. Also, pandemics are usually listed as exclusions in the fine print.

“So just like purchasing the actual trip, when you buy the insurance you got to read it, because there’s a lot of things not covered. You need to understand what that is, because you assume you bought this insurance but it’s not especially for pandemics.”

Travelers should also contact airlines, hotels and rental car companies to see if there are refunds or waivers offered.

“Will I be refunded? Do I have to pay? Will I owe any money? So it’s reaching out before you book the trip and asking those questions first.”

When thinking about purchasing travel insurance, consider these tips:
– Once an event has been anticipated, it may not be considered a reason for cancellation.
– Policies vary so before purchasing, read the specifics on what it doesn’t cover.

For more information on travel insurance and the BBB, click here.

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