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GeezerCouple

Novel Coronavirus & Insurance (from TripInsuranceStore.com)

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I found this bit from TripInsuranceStore.com about "epidemics":

 

https://tripinsurancestore.com/travel-insurance-epidemic-coverage/

 

Three things jump out as important:

 

Feb 5, 2020 Medjet Services Alert: Please be aware that due to restrictions resulting from the Coronavirus, we regret that MedjetAssist and MedjetHorizon services must be suspended in the following countries: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau

 

The 2019-nCoV outbreak is now a known event. This means that any CSA, Generali, Travelex, Travel Insured, TravelSafe and TripAssure plans would have had to been purchased prior to Jan 21, 2020 for the policy to cover you.

 

The only exception to have Trip Cancellation coverage is if you buy the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage.

 

One thing that confuses me is that IF one purchased a policy shortly after Jan 21st, but were NOT SICK the day you purchased it, why would you not be covered?  You'd be "fit to travel" on the day of purchase.

Why would these policies not cover the traveler at least prior to the new "Do Not Travel" restriction by the USA State Department (for USA-based travelers, at least)?

Did something happen specifically on the 21st to make that the "cut-off" date?

 

GC

 

 

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26 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

The 2019-nCoV outbreak is now a known event. This means that any CSA, Generali, Travelex, Travel Insured, TravelSafe and TripAssure plans would have had to been purchased prior to Jan 21, 2020 for the policy to cover you.

 

Hey Steve, AKA @iamtrustworthy, what does this mean? i.e. what is not covered in these policies purchased after Jan 21?  Does this mean if you are infected with coronavirus, nothing will be covered by insurance including medical, trip interruption and medical evacuation?  Someone else just asked a question about a policy they bought from another large insurance company.  Specifically would they be covered for medical expenses if they were infected with coronavirus?  They called the insurance company and were told the policy had no pandemic/epidemic exclusions and they would be covered for medical treatment.

Edited by Jersey42

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5 hours ago, Jersey42 said:

 

Hey Steve, AKA @iamtrustworthy, what does this mean? i.e. what is not covered in these policies purchased after Jan 21?  Does this mean if you are infected with coronavirus, nothing will be covered by insurance including medical, trip interruption and medical evacuation?  Someone else just asked a question about a policy they bought from another large insurance company.  Specifically would they be covered for medical expenses if they were infected with coronavirus?  They called the insurance company and were told the policy had no pandemic/epidemic exclusions and they would be covered for medical treatment.

Hi Jersey,

 

Unfortunately, many companies have not clarified exactly how they are covering the Coronavirus.

 

Trip Cancellation policies have two kinds of benefits:

  1. Pre-Departure – This covers the period of time starting the day after you buy the policy to when you leave on your trip. The Trip Cancellation benefit is the only coverage you could use prior to your Departure Date. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) is a Pre-Departure benefit.
  2. Post-Departure – This covers the the period of time starting when you leave on your trip until you return home. Trip interrution, medical, medical transportation / evacuation, trip delay and every other other non-trip cancellation benefits are the only coverages you could use as early as your Departure Date.

 

Q. What is your Post-Departure coverage if you bought your Trip Cancellation policy before Jan 21, 2020?

A. The plans I know bought before Jan 21, 2020 provide Post-Departure coverage for the Coronavirus.


Q. What is your Post-Departure coverage if you bought your Trip Cancellation policy after Jan 20, 2020?

A. The plans I know bought after Jan 20, 2020 will not provide any Post-Departure coverage coverage for anything related to the Coronavirus once you leave on your trip.

 

None of the plans I know have pandemic/epidemic exclusions. Instead, how companies control the risks is they pick a "cutoff date" to determine when an event goes from unknown to known. The same thing happens when there are named hurricanes.

 

Instead, this what someone needs to find out when they buy a travel insurance plan: What date is the "cutoff date" for this policy?

 

I hope this helps,

 

Steve Dasseos

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5 minutes ago, iamtrustworthy said:

Hi Jersey,

 

Unfortunately, many companies have not clarified exactly how they are covering the Coronavirus.

 

Trip Cancellation policies have two kinds of benefits:

  1. Pre-Departure – This covers the period of time starting the day after you buy the policy to when you leave on your trip. The Trip Cancellation benefit is the only coverage you could use prior to your Departure Date. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) is a Pre-Departure benefit.
  2. Post-Departure – This covers the the period of time starting when you leave on your trip until you return home. Trip interrution, medical, medical transportation / evacuation, trip delay and every other other non-trip cancellation benefits are the only coverages you could use as early as your Departure Date.

 

Q. What is your Post-Departure coverage if you bought your Trip Cancellation policy before Jan 21, 2020?

A. The plans I know bought before Jan 21, 2020 provide Post-Departure coverage for the Coronavirus.


Q. What is your Post-Departure coverage if you bought your Trip Cancellation policy after Jan 20, 2020?

A. The plans I know bought after Jan 20, 2020 will not provide any Post-Departure coverage coverage for anything related to the Coronavirus once you leave on your trip.

 

None of the plans I know have pandemic/epidemic exclusions. Instead, how companies control the risks is they pick a "cutoff date" to determine when an event goes from unknown to known. The same thing happens when there are named hurricanes.

 

Instead, this what someone needs to find out when they buy a travel insurance plan: What date is the "cutoff date" for this policy?

 

I hope this helps,

 

Steve Dasseos

 

Thanks for clarifying the "before/after" issue a bit.

 

Now, with hurricanes, we usually know there is a storm that hasn't yet been named, etc.

 

But with a new epidemic/pandemic, we may not yet have even heard about it.  And then IF we got it before departure... too bad for us!

 

So should we double check before purchasing coverage IF there is any "known" event/condition with a cut-off date, before we proceed?

 

It almost sounded like they were back-dating that Coronavirus "cut-off date".  I hope not!

So did they announce that ON or after the cut-off date?


Many thanks!
 

GC

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3 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Thanks for clarifying the "before/after" issue a bit.

 

Now, with hurricanes, we usually know there is a storm that hasn't yet been named, etc.

 

But with a new epidemic/pandemic, we may not yet have even heard about it.  And then IF we got it before departure... too bad for us!

 

So should we double check before purchasing coverage IF there is any "known" event/condition with a cut-off date, before we proceed?

 

It almost sounded like they were back-dating that Coronavirus "cut-off date".  I hope not!

So did they announce that ON or after the cut-off date?


Many thanks!
 

GC

Hi GC,

 

You are welcome.

 

Yes, backdating is exactly what they did.

 

Jan 21st is the date the first person was diagnosed with the Coronavirus in the USA.

 

Some companies were saying they have no exact cut-off date. I was certain that would be the date, so I went ahead and started saying that was it. Now all those companies are using Jan 21st.

 

Steve Dasseos

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3 minutes ago, iamtrustworthy said:

Hi GC,

 

You are welcome.

 

Yes, backdating is exactly what they did.

 

Jan 21st is the date the first person was diagnosed with the Coronavirus in the USA.

 

Some companies were saying they have no exact cut-off date. I was certain that would be the date, so I went ahead and started saying that was it. Now all those companies are using Jan 21st.

 

Steve Dasseos

 

Wow.

 

To me (and I am no expert on insurance and I'm not an attorney) that sounds like *changing* the terms of a contract after both parties have agreed to it.

I wonder how that would hold up... (or do you have any knowledge/experience about this issue?).

 

Thanks very much.


GC

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This seems insane to me. Since when do you buy an insurance policy and the company can change the rules when they decide it might be too expensive for them. Maybe the affected cruisers need to lawyer up and start challenging this. If I have a policy and its not in the documents, I don't see how that is legal or ethical. 

 

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2 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Wow.

 

To me (and I am no expert on insurance and I'm not an attorney) that sounds like *changing* the terms of a contract after both parties have agreed to it.

I wonder how that would hold up... (or do you have any knowledge/experience about this issue?).

 

Thanks very much.


GC

I just said the same thing, but not as nice. 

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I need to further explain about the lack of a pandemic / epidemic exclusion in trip cancellation plans.

 

If an insurance company says "we have no pandemic / epidemic exclusion in our policy", this does not mean that cancelling or cutting your trip short because there is a pandemic / epidemic happening in one of your destinations is covered.

 

I have a few pet peeves about how travel insurance is explained. This falls into my biggest one: The failure to use intuition fully explain to a potential customer the implications of specific policy wording.

 

When a potential customer asks a question, they have no way of knowing what are the implications of specific policy wording. I have found that I have to ask lots of followup questions and volunteer more than they want to know because I am looking down the road to what could possibly happen.

 

However, when someone hears "we have no pandemic / epidemic exclusion in our policy", they likely assume that cancelling or cutting their trip short is covered. That is the wrong assumption. If it's not listerd as a covered reason it's not covered.

 

Q. Why does the Pre-Departure Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) benefit cover me?

 

A. The CFAR Pre-Departure benefit works for Trip Cancellation because it only covers what are not covered reasons to cancel a trip. For example, cancelling because of worry or fear of the Coronavirus is not a listed covered reason.

 

I know it sounds like a contradiction to say you are covered for Trip Cancellation if you have the CFAR. It’s not a contradiction because if you cancel because of worry or fear of the Coronavirus with the CFAR, you must cancel your entire trip at least 48 hours before your departure date for a reason that is normally not covered.

 

Remember: The CFAR only covers the Pre-Departure trip cancellation coverage if you are cancelling your trip at least 48 hours before your departure date. You are not covered for any Post-Departure benefits. Be sure your policy has the correct dates.

 

I hope this makes better sense.

 

Steve Dasseos

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5 minutes ago, Anet01 said:

This seems insane to me. Since when do you buy an insurance policy and the company can change the rules when they decide it might be too expensive for them. Maybe the affected cruisers need to lawyer up and start challenging this. If I have a policy and its not in the documents, I don't see how that is legal or ethical. 

~~
GC said:

To me (and I am no expert on insurance and I'm not an attorney) that sounds like *changing* the terms of a contract after both parties have agreed to it.

I wonder how that would hold up... (or do you have any knowledge/experience about this issue?).

Hi Anet01 and GC,

 

This is getting into an area of insurance laws that deal with the "Retroactive Date" and "Adverse Selection".

 

One purpose of a retroactive date is to eliminate coverage for situations or incidents known to insureds that have the potential to give rise to claims in the future. The example I often use is wanting to buy Fire Insurance when your house is on fire.

 

What people don't generally understand is that Travel Insurance doesn’t cover everything – it just covers “Listed Unforeseen Events” aka "Covered Reasons".

 

I'm sure that most people do not know the date the first person was diagnosed with the Coronavirus in the USA. I didn't. However, according to the CDC, it was Jan 21, 2020: 

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0130-coronavirus-spread.html

 

Yet, this information was not released until Thursday, January 30, 2020.

 

The first two paragraphs in this release say:

 

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread between two people in the United States, representing the first instance of person-to-person spread with this new virus here.

 

Previously, all confirmed U.S. cases had been associated with travel to Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by this novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. However, this latest 2019-nCoV patient has no history of travel to Wuhan, but shared a household with the patient diagnosed with 2019-nCoV infection on January 21, 2020."

 

I hope this helps.

 

Steve Dasseos

 

 

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If you have a "unforeseen reason" endorsement on your travel insurance policy which list "epidemic" as a General exclusion on that endorsement than you cannot claim you want to cancel due to concerns over how the cruise lines are handling quarantines due to the Coronavirus can you?  
 

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43 minutes ago, Debate said:

If you have a "unforeseen reason" endorsement on your travel insurance policy which list "epidemic" as a General exclusion on that endorsement than you cannot claim you want to cancel due to concerns over how the cruise lines are handling quarantines due to the Coronavirus can you?  
 

Hi Debate,

 

May I get the exact wording from your policy for the "unforeseen reason" endorsement? And, which policy do you have?

 

The devil is in the details. 🙂

 

Steve Dasseos

Edited by iamtrustworthy
typo

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Let me be sure I understand. I buy a typical policy today that covers medical, trip interruption and medical evacuation. If I get sick or injured the policy should cover my medical expenses. If it is more serious it should cover losses due to  departing the trip early including extra transportation costs to return home. And if it is even more serious it should cover medical evacuation.

 

If the sickness was coronavirus, then none of the above would be covered? If sickness or injury are covered reasons, what let's them deny coverage for a specific sickness? Or am I misunderstanding?

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I think the answer has to do with the cut off date. If you bought it before then, you are covered. If you bought it after the virus became a known hazard, then you are not covered.

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4 hours ago, Jersey42 said:

Let me be sure I understand. I buy a typical policy today that covers medical, trip interruption and medical evacuation. If I get sick or injured the policy should cover my medical expenses. If it is more serious it should cover losses due to  departing the trip early including extra transportation costs to return home. And if it is even more serious it should cover medical evacuation.

 

If the sickness was coronavirus, then none of the above would be covered? If sickness or injury are covered reasons, what let's them deny coverage for a specific sickness? Or am I misunderstanding?

Hi Jersey42,

 

I have gotten conflicting answers on the sickness coverage from people who work for the same company. I just sent an email asking this: "Will a policy bought after Jan 20, 2020 cover if someone gets sick from the Coronavirus?"

 

One company already answered saying "No" and I'm waiting on the others.

 

I'll update the info here when I get it.

 

Steve Dasseos

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22 minutes ago, iamtrustworthy said:

Hi Jersey42,

 

I have gotten conflicting answers on the sickness coverage from people who work for the same company. I just sent an email asking this: "Will a policy bought after Jan 20, 2020 cover if someone gets sick from the Coronavirus?"

 

One company already answered saying "No" and I'm waiting on the others.

 

I'll update the info here when I get it.

 

Steve Dasseos

Thanks Steve.  There is both conflicting or very cursory info on the internet.  Plus it sounds like calls to insurers don't always yield consistent results. Personally, I keep an annual GeoBlue Trekker policy. The last one was renewed/purchased on 1/11/20, so I hope to be covered for medical in the rare chance I need it. I sometimes purchase comprehensive policies too, depending on the trip. My latest purchase was after 1/21, so I expect trip interruption coverage will be good unless it is related to coronavirus. Hopefully I will not need it.

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4 hours ago, Jersey42 said:

Let me be sure I understand. I buy a typical policy today that covers medical, trip interruption and medical evacuation. If I get sick or injured the policy should cover my medical expenses. If it is more serious it should cover losses due to  departing the trip early including extra transportation costs to return home. And if it is even more serious it should cover medical evacuation.

 

If the sickness was coronavirus, then none of the above would be covered? If sickness or injury are covered reasons, what let's them deny coverage for a specific sickness? Or am I misunderstanding?

My interpretation of what I hear Steve saying is that the insurance companies are treating the Corona Virus just like a hurricance.

 

If you bought the insurance before the storm is "Named", then you're covered if you are affected by the storm.

Once the storm is officially "named", you can still buy a policy, but will not be covered by any affects of the named storm.

 

They are treating the Corona Virus the same way. If you had a policy before the current virus was officially named or recognized as an international health hazard and you trip is affected by the recognized health hazard, you will have some coverage from your travel insurance. If you bought the policy AFTER Corona Virus became a health hazard, your covered for everything but the affects of Corona Virus.

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1 hour ago, Jersey42 said:

Thanks Steve.  There is both conflicting or very cursory info on the internet.  Plus it sounds like calls to insurers don't always yield consistent results. Personally, I keep an annual GeoBlue Trekker policy. The last one was renewed/purchased on 1/11/20, so I hope to be covered for medical in the rare chance I need it. I sometimes purchase comprehensive policies too, depending on the trip. My latest purchase was after 1/21, so I expect trip interruption coverage will be good unless it is related to coronavirus. Hopefully I will not need it.

Hi Jersey42,

 

Three companies have now confirmed to me that they will not cover anything that is related to the Coronavirus if the policy was bought after Jan 20, 2020.

GeoBlue will cover if you get sick with it on your trip.

 

Steve

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5 hours ago, klfrodo said:

My interpretation of what I hear Steve saying is that the insurance companies are treating the Corona Virus just like a hurricance.

 

If you bought the insurance before the storm is "Named", then you're covered if you are affected by the storm.

Once the storm is officially "named", you can still buy a policy, but will not be covered by any affects of the named storm.

 

They are treating the Corona Virus the same way. If you had a policy before the current virus was officially named or recognized as an international health hazard and you trip is affected by the recognized health hazard, you will have some coverage from your travel insurance. If you bought the policy AFTER Corona Virus became a health hazard, your covered for everything but the affects of Corona Virus.

Hi klfrodo,

 

Yes, that's right.

 

Unfortunately, some companies aren't being very clear. I don't view this as being intentionally deceptive.

 

Instead, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt because the companies, just like the rest of us are not finding the right information about the Coronavirus.

 

Steve

 

 

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Steve ... do you have any knowledge how travel insurance coverage would work for Canadians should they be affected by the coronavirus on a vacation (eg. cruise, etc.)?  You mention you must have purchased your insurance prior to Jan. 20th to be covered for a particular trip.  What if you have year round insurance coverage for out-of-country medical & cancellation, which is renewal each year ... would you be covered for everything?   We have continual insurance and I would hope that covers everything all the time.  It's not like you're buying insurance for a specific trip.

Anxious to hear from you?

Edited by luv2cruise0611

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Because I have pre existing health issues, I bought cruise insurance directly from the cruise line the same minute I booked the cruise and paid the deposit.  My cruise is not until June, but the policy waives preexisting conditions.  plus I can cancel for any reason and get 75% credit for future.  I can't believe people booked a cruise months ago and didn't get insurance right away.  

 

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It's the same here in New Zealand. If you bought your policy after 21 January 2020 (but before 31 January 2020) , you're not covered if you contract coronavirus after travelling to mainland China, but you're still covered if you contract it elsewhere. If you bought your policy after 31 January 2020, you're not covered if you contract coronavirus regardless of destination (except for funeral expenses and repatriation of body/remains).

Also in New Zealand, CFAR is not available or is void for travel to mainland China if you purchased your policy after 29 January 2020 That's because of the general exclusion that you're not covered if you travel to a country with a "do not travel" or "avoid non-essential travel" advisoryfrom the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Bought medical/evacuation coverage for a 4 week trip in December.  In early February we extended the trip 2 weeks so we also paid for 2 more weeks of insurance.  So, are we covered for Coronavirus for only the first 4 weeks of the trip and not for the last part?  Or are we covered for the whole trip because we purchased the policy in December?  

 

Not hugely worried about contracting coronavirus, but I thought this was an interesting question.

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On 2/7/2020 at 11:56 PM, luv2cruise0611 said:

Steve ... do you have any knowledge how travel insurance coverage would work for Canadians should they be affected by the coronavirus on a vacation (eg. cruise, etc.)?  You mention you must have purchased your insurance prior to Jan. 20th to be covered for a particular trip.  What if you have year round insurance coverage for out-of-country medical & cancellation, which is renewal each year ... would you be covered for everything?   We have continual insurance and I would hope that covers everything all the time.  It's not like you're buying insurance for a specific trip.

Anxious to hear from you?

Hi luv2cruise0611,

 

Unfortunately, I cannot give you any advice about how a Canadian travel insurance plan will cover you.

 

Steve

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