Why the right travel insurance is crucial in a pandemic

Travel expert Sara Rathner of NerdWallet believes in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, travel insurance is more important than ever before. That’s why she’s advising tempted travelers to think twice before booking that getaway trip.

“You need a plan A, B, C and D if you’re booking travel right now,” Rathner said. “If you prepay a large amount for a trip like a cruise or some sort of travel package where you put a lot of money up front, travel insurance can help you protect your travel investment in case you need to cancel your trip.”

While airlines, hotels, and rental car companies have built more flexibility into bookings, travel insurance, specifically the cancel-for-any-reason kind, although more expensive, comes highly recommended. Standard trip-cancellation coverage oftentimes doesn’t protect against the fear of traveling during COVID-19.

CDC urges Americans to continue to avoid traveling

Travel + Leisure articles editor Paul Brady suggests travelers check out websites including SquareMouth and InsureMyTrip to compare policies and the fine print before booking.

“Let’s say a kid has to quarantine because of a case at school or you have to quarantine because of an outbreak, travel insurance can protect your investment by refunding that money should you not be able to go,” Brady said.

Experts also recommend people look into any existing travel coverage they may have through the credit card used to book the trip and make sure they’re familiar with any coronavirus regulations specific to where they’re traveling.

Canada blocks cruise ships until 2022, affecting Alaska tourism, too

“Now we’re seeing a list of countries — Jamaica and the Bahamas, Thailand — before you think of booking your travel, look up what sorts of restrictions and requirements there are,” Rathner said. 

While insurance can’t protect you from getting sick, it can protect your investment while giving you peace of mind as you get ready for your next trip.