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Cancelation Insurance due to Coronavirus

Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I know that most (if not all) travel insurance companies will not cover you if you catch the coronavirus while traveling. But, does anyone know of an insurance policy that will let you cancel the trip and get reimbursed if you decide not to travel to a country that has become a hot spot or the CDC declares it as a problem?

The scenario would be that I am about ready to leave and all of a sudden the cases spike in Salamanca and it's not a good idea to get there, so I would like to cancel.

From what I've seen I think the answer is no, since most policies have a single word that is not covered ("epidemic") No qualifications, no clarifications.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
I know that most (if not all) travel insurance companies will not cover you if you catch the coronavirus while traveling. But, does anyone know of an insurance policy that will let you cancel the trip and get reimbursed if you decide not to travel to a country that has become a hot spot or the CDC declares it as a problem?

The scenario would be that I am about ready to leave and all of a sudden the cases spike in Salamanca and it's not a good idea to get there, so I would like to cancel.

From what I've seen I think the answer is no, since most policies have a single word that is not covered ("epidemic") No qualifications, no clarifications.
Good question! The developing situation certainly is a factor in Camino planning at the moment...fortunately I haven't booked flights so I can defer the de Lana until the fall if need be. While 'Trip Cancellation' is an option offered under normal circumstances, I can see that the Insurance companies may want to weasel out of it in this case. Perhaps there is a difference between cancellation due to general uncertainty or cancellation due to lockdown in the area you are traveling to. I shall be watching this thread with interest.
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Most travel insurance will only cover cancellation for fixed reasons such as advice from your government not to travel to a nominated country or the death of a close relative etc. You need to study the policy first before deciding whether it is worth taking.

It is unlikely you will be able to find a policy which enables you to cancel because you have decided yourself you do not wish to travel.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
@John Sikora It might help get more specific answers if you state your home country. Insurance conditions are often specific to nationality. From your CDC reference I am assuming you are in the USA. Is that correct?
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I know that most (if not all) travel insurance companies will not cover you if you catch the coronavirus while traveling
No, I don't belive that statement is true. They will cover you if you become sick and cannot travel, or if you need medical care while you are traveling.

From this article in Forbes:

Standard "named perils" policies usually exclude epidemics and pandemics. But they will cover you if you become sick on your trip. “Being worried about traveling to a destination is not a covered reason under standard trip cancellation insurance,” says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of TravelInsurance.com.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
When the time is right
I would contact the insurance provider you would normally use and if they don’t, go down the list of providers in your area and call them individually. Our interpretation of any policy is very subjective. Better to get it from the « horse’s mouth » so to speak.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
My experience with travel insurance from the US is that if you buy the insurance within a specified amount of time after making an initial payment you are covered for "cancellation for any reason". Sometimes that coverage may not be offered on the least expensive levels of coverage offered, and the grace period for eligibility varies from company to company, but usually requires purchase within two weeks of the initial payment.

I would check directly with the company with specific questions about the coronavirus and whether simply buying an airline ticket is enough to qualify for the coverage. Although I've been covered for "any reason" many times, I have never had to make a claim on this clause so I don't have direct experience in how difficult or not getting reimbursed may be. So again, check directly and get answers in writing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2 Camino Frances, next: April 2020 Primitivo
My travel insurance has a crisis term, which covers epidemic situation and I can cancel my journey 48 hours before travelling. Unfortunately this company operates only in Scandinavia, but surely there must be some others too.
 
D

Deleted member 43780

Guest
Interesting question.

I would say read the fine print.
Ask questions.
Get it in writing.

don’t know answer. Could be either way.

then could be such a hassle to get reimbursed. Some of these companies are international. Move your claim from office to office. Country to country.

then getting what you think you will get vs what you actually get are two different things

then you have the problem of airlines who subcontract out. Omg a Spanish friend of mine got stuck in that mess. Never got his ticket money back.

for example, last year in Puerto Spain one UK ran bus company didn’t show for a few runs to Seville and else where. People are still trying to get their ticket money back.

what happened for those who could not fly the first week or so after 9-11?

did they get reimbursed?

what happened when the volcano blew few years ago and people in Northern Europe couldn’t fly? Flight restrictions were imposed anywhere north of Madrid Spain then.

yes those two examples are not the virus but caused similar loss of flight
 
Last edited by a moderator:

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
My experience with travel insurance from the US is that if you buy the insurance within a specified amount of time after making an initial payment you are covered for "cancellation for any reason".
Not exactly true. You have to specifically ask for cancel for any reason insurance, and it won't refund 100%. Usually just 75%.

As has been mentioned above thoroughly read the policy, and don't assume anything!

 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I’m in the US.

I did get a quick response from Nationwide. Their approach is pretty good (but not the cheapest)

If you pay for the policy with 10-21 days of the first payment, all non-refundable fees are paid prior to departure and you cancel from 48-72 hours before departure and you have the cancel for any reason clause, you get 75% of your trip cost back.

So I see the risks as
1) having to cancel less than 48 hours (you have to make sure that doesn’t happen)
2) If you get sick in Europe, you have to make sure that your current coverage extends there - mine does but many don’t

Most of these policies seem to run about 15% of the insured amount. So, if you don’t use it it costs you about 15% of the trip. If you do use it, you get back 75%-15% of your money back. But in theory you have until 2 days before travel starts to make the go/no go decision.

It’s going to be a rough summer.

Thanks for all the advice.
 
D

Deleted member 43780

Guest
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I’m in the US.

I did get a quick response from Nationwide. Their approach is pretty good (but not the cheapest)

If you pay for the policy with 10-21 days of the first payment, all non-refundable fees are paid prior to departure and you cancel from 48-72 hours before departure and you have the cancel for any reason clause, you get 75% of your trip cost back.

So I see the risks as
1) having to cancel less than 48 hours (you have to make sure that doesn’t happen)
2) If you get sick in Europe, you have to make sure that your current coverage extends there - mine does but many don’t

Most of these policies seem to run about 15% of the insured amount. So, if you don’t use it it costs you about 15% of the trip. If you do use it, you get back 75%-15% of your money back. But in theory you have until 2 days before travel starts to make the go/no go decision.

It’s going to be a rough summer.

Thanks for all the advice.
thanks for that info.

give me a few minutes to digest that one.

aren’t there two different types of coverage for this virus incidents?

1. Travel medical coverage
2. And, plane fare/ticket coverages

which they may, or may not, overlap at times?

i don’t use or need either one of these. So have no knowledge of such.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
So I see the risks as
1) having to cancel less than 48 hours (you have to make sure that doesn’t happen)
2) If you get sick in Europe, you have to make sure that your current coverage extends there - mine does but many don’t
If you purchase travel medical insurance they will cover you if you get sick, regardless of what the illness is.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Most travel insurance will only cover cancellation for fixed reasons such as advice from your government not to travel to a nominated country or the death of a close relative etc. You need to study the policy first before deciding whether it is worth taking.

It is unlikely you will be able to find a policy which enables you to cancel because you have decided yourself you do not wish to travel.
Hola William, your comments, I believe, are spot on. Only if your National Govt issues a "do not travel" advice are you entitled to cancel and get a full refund. However, and its a BIG however, I strongly recommend that pilgrims/intending travellers contact both their travel insurance company and register with your national government "travel web site"(in Australia this is the smart traveller site.) I will be following my own recommendations today and (if mods permit) I will post the advice. Cheers
 

andyhp

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2020
We are set to travel in April from Oz and I checked our policy disclosure statement last night for this issue. The policy will only kick in once a travel advisory is given by govt to not travel to that country. This is not great as a preventative cover as even if there were large outbreaks and govt dont go as far as stating not to travel, we would still not be financially able to cancel.
On the plus side we are covered of put into quarantine 👍😃
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
This information for the UK is from the BBC News website:

Does my insurance cover me if my trip doesn't go ahead?

If the FCO hasn't issued a warning, that means you can't expect compensation if you get cold feet and decide to call the journey off.

Su Crown, a spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers, said: "In general, cancellation or travel disruption cover will activate when the FCO advises against all travel or all but essential travel to an area.

"Travel insurance is not designed to cover 'disinclination to travel' where the FCO advice has not changed to advise against travel."

AXA UK, one of the leading travel insurers, agrees with that view.

"Our stance is consistent with the travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office," says Nel Mooy, its head of travel proposition.

"When the FCO advises against travel to a country or a region, people who are booked to travel there should call their airline or travel provider to cancel or postpone and arrange a refund," Axa said.

"Then they should contact their insurer to register a claim."

Will I get a refund?

While insurers may not cover cancellations, some airlines are now letting passengers re-book flights.

British Airways has said that passengers with bookings to some airports in the north of Italy - including Milan, Turin, Bologna, Venice, Bergamo and Verona - will now be able to re-book their flights for a later date.

Delta and Air Canada have announced similar policies.

Many hotels in areas under lock-down are offering refunds or the option to re-book. But if the hotel and its location are open, and the booking is non-refundable, travellers may lose out.

So where does that leave me?

If you're on a flight to northern Italy in the near future, it looks set to operate normally.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs takes a slightly different line from the UK government. It says: "Citizens are advised not to travel to affected areas."

However, it places the onus on travellers to find out whether the area to which they are travelling is affected, advising them to "consult with your transport and accommodation providers".


 

gaylejourno

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances; Camino Portuguese; Le Puy Camino; Via de la Plata; Camino Sanabres; Kumano Kodo

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(13)
Portuguese & Finisterre(16)
Norte & Muxia(18)
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20??)
I know that most (if not all) travel insurance companies will not cover you if you catch the coronavirus while traveling. But, does anyone know of an insurance policy that will let you cancel the trip and get reimbursed if you decide not to travel to a country that has become a hot spot or the CDC declares it as a problem?

The scenario would be that I am about ready to leave and all of a sudden the cases spike in Salamanca and it's not a good idea to get there, so I would like to cancel.

From what I've seen I think the answer is no, since most policies have a single word that is not covered ("epidemic") No qualifications, no clarifications.
Hi John, I had pretty much the same line of question. I asked my insurer, who is a large plan providing coverage to various unions and retired government employees. Here is the direct response from the company.
Thank you for your email. Under your Prestige Travel Plan, you would be eligible to claim for trip cancellation if the Government of Canada issues a travel advisory to avoid all travel or avoid non-essential travel to a country, region or city originally ticketed for your trip.
You would not be eligible for coverage if the medical emergency is not sudden and unforeseen or if a travel advisory is issued after your day of departure and you do not evacuate that country, region or area.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
No, I don't belive that statement is true. They will cover you if you become sick and cannot travel, or if you need medical care while you are traveling.
I must say that, for me, the only useful information that has come out of all these posts related to the corona virus here and in other threads are those related to the clauses in contracts about trip cancellation and about medical coverage and other risk coverage during the trip. I had never really looked at all these clauses but I have now.

It has become obvious, I think, that details depend on your insurer and often also on how these things are handled by insurers in your country of residence. I know now, for example, in my particular context, that when I would travel to an area where our foreign office has issued a warning to stay away because of a particular health risk, my medical expenses and related costs would not be covered by my insurer if I then get sick in relation to this known risk.

I also hadn't paid attention when I recently paid the annual premium for my trip cancellation contract that has been running for umpteen years with an automatic yearly renewal, and I discovered now, thanks to the forum, that they had made a mistake in calculating the sum this time, and they will now reimburse me some 50 €. Thank you to all contributors and to @John Sikora who started the thread!!! 🙃
 

JoEllen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
2019
I know that most (if not all) travel insurance companies will not cover you if you catch the coronavirus while traveling. But, does anyone know of an insurance policy that will let you cancel the trip and get reimbursed if you decide not to travel to a country that has become a hot spot or the CDC declares it as a problem?

The scenario would be that I am about ready to leave and all of a sudden the cases spike in Salamanca and it's not a good idea to get there, so I would like to cancel.

From what I've seen I think the answer is no, since most policies have a single word that is not covered ("epidemic") No qualifications, no clarifications.
I bought travel insurance for an upcoming trip to Greece, and there is a specific exclusion for cancellation due to epidemics. I'd definitely read your policy and then check with the insurance company.
 

design4life

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2014, 2015, 2018); Kumano Kodo (2019); Portugués (2020)
I suggest you deal directly with your airline, especially if you are in a higher-risk age or medical group. Re-booking fees are generally waived with a doctor's note.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
I use LV, a large general insurance company in the UK.
They have a good FAQ section on the coronavirus and how this affects their policy holders. Whilst specific to LV you may wish to pose similar questions to your insurer or broker.

 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019

Mycroft

Active Member
I know that most (if not all) travel insurance companies will not cover you if you catch the coronavirus while traveling. But, does anyone know of an insurance policy that will let you cancel the trip and get reimbursed if you decide not to travel to a country that has become a hot spot or the CDC declares it as a problem?

The scenario would be that I am about ready to leave and all of a sudden the cases spike in Salamanca and it's not a good idea to get there, so I would like to cancel.

From what I've seen I think the answer is no, since most policies have a single word that is not covered ("epidemic") No qualifications, no clarifications.
As I understand it (which when it comes to insurances means very little), from what my travel insurance folks told me 3 days ago is no they don't cover it. If you have cancellation/delay in the policy, that would work only if your tour or flight was cancelled. So we are out of luck.
 

Amused212

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
My experience with travel insurance from the US is that if you buy the insurance within a specified amount of time after making an initial payment you are covered for "cancellation for any reason". Sometimes that coverage may not be offered on the least expensive levels of coverage offered, and the grace period for eligibility varies from company to company, but usually requires purchase within two weeks of the initial payment.

I would check directly with the company with specific questions about the coronavirus and whether simply buying an airline ticket is enough to qualify for the coverage. Although I've been covered for "any reason" many times, I have never had to make a claim on this clause so I don't have direct experience in how difficult or not getting reimbursed may be. So again, check directly and get answers in writing.
Check with your insurance company and get it in writing. That said, there is a general trip cancellation benefit and a "Cancel for Any Reason" benefit. You will pay significantly more for the "Cancel for Any Reason" (this is true at any time, the additional cost has nothing to do with the virus). Even then, there may be some exceptions. Ex: I landed in Egypt at the start of the Arab Spring. The government wouldn't let us off the airport grounds, we had to leave. The insurance company would not reimburse any prepaid expenses because they do not cover civil unrest.
 

Meara

It's only rock n' roll but I like it
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles May 2020
I'm scheduled to walk the Camino Ingles May 20. I fly into Madrid and then to A Coruna May 18. I called allianz- my insurer- and after a 45 minute hold time had the most delightful rep tell me I would be covered for anything Air Canada doesn't cover up to $2400 (which I'm well under) if Canada issues a travel advisory. My friend that I was walking with is likely going to cancel her trip so I may be on my own (if no advisory is issued). This may lead to me changing my plans and doing a more populated Camino but I'll have to do some research before I make that decision. I'm taking a wait and see approach right now.

Good luck to all those struggling with making decisions regarding their Caminos
 

Jeff B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Bought a policy last week which allows me to 'cancel for any reason'. This covers up to 75% (as noted above), and, of course, I had to pay up for this coverage.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
"cancel any reason' is the form/clause you need. From the west coast, only my $1500 airfare is 'at-risk' since that is the only prepay, so I must pay $350 to protect $1100.. But it also covers Medical evacuation, $100,000 medical etc. I have not read the details of policy--like 'epidemics' exclusion etc.
Squaremouth.com is a great site to shop for insurance and play with the various clauses/filters. One thing I noted last time I shopped is that after age 70, insurance either gets expensive or the caps are limited. And covering preexisting conditions is also expensive.
Since they ask age, country, travel, etc as data before presenting the options, it is a much better place to gather information about travel insurance than this forum.
 

edelstein

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (September 2020)
Squaremouth.com is a great site to shop for insurance and play with the various clauses/filters. One thing I noted last time I shopped is that after age 70, insurance either gets expensive or the caps are limited. And covering preexisting conditions is also expensive.
Since they ask age, country, travel, etc as data before presenting the options, it is a much better place to gather information about travel insurance than this forum.
This referral was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for the tip!
 

ObeeOne

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage for 2020
My trip tour just cancelled a trip to Italy because of the virus so if by May, it is an issue in Spain I would expect them to cancel and either postpone or refund. I have travel insurance through them so am not overly concerned.
 

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