I've been looking at the travel insurance racket and have this question: Has anyone found a travel policy that specially and ONLY covers quarantine costs due to a positive test on the date of return? Before covid we traveled to Europe on average twice a year and never felt the need for insurance. Now my only concern is being stuck abroad for 10 days at the end of a trip. I don't need the usual: cancellation coverage, lost luggage, missed connection, etc. Where can I get quarantine-only coverage?
You make no mention of what country you live in. That would greatly affect your answer. In my country there are several travel policies covering that.
Right! I'm in the US. Next trip: London in May.
Are you fully vaxxed -- and boosted?
That's the best "insurance" you can start with, and though you might want to choose to buy more coverage, at least you can know the odds are overwhelmingly better if you start out juiced and as bullet-proof as you can be.
I know, lots of people have gotten all the jabs they can (I'm looking forward to my fourth in a couple weeks). But some people haven't, and it's good to remind them that the best "insurance" starts with taking care of yourself...
I have not seen quarantine-only insurance. I looked at a lot of policies last summer for a Fall trip and even the policies that covered some costs related to Covid 19 did not provide coverage for the amount that 10 extra nights would cost. Or actually it would probably be 12 nights because you'd have to have some time to get a Covid certificate and other paperwork done.
I looked thru policies at www.squaremouth.com and at www.insuremytrip.com Both websites have information about covid coverage but I haven't looked recently to see if there is now such a thing as quarantine/isolation only coverage. (Because if there is a positive test it would be isolation. Quarantine is if you are exposed but no positive test)
I finally decided I could cover 10 extra days with a CC so just made sure I kept my credit card balances paid down including doing a payment while traveling.
I did decide that what was more important to me was having medevac coverage. If I DID get Covid and even though vaxx'd was very ill, I'd want to be flown out of France to a hospital back home (IF there was a bed and if anyone would accept me). So..I went for 1 million in med evac as opposed to having hotel coverage.
There are policies that have a "cancel for any reason" clause. You pay extra, of course, as it's a rider on a regular travel insurance policy but it would cover what you are looking for.
What you are probably looking for won't be called "quarantine coverage." It will be called "trip interruption" coverage. This means that you started on your trip but were unable to complete it due to a set of circumstances. You will need to read through carefully, but many policies include "quarantine" as one of the set of circumstances covered by trip interruption.
It's called Trip Delay coverage and you can filter on Squaremouth and Insuremytrip sites.
I saw the max was about $2000.
That's if you test positive before returning to the US and incur costs to quarantine and change your flights.
I asked both sites and they said it would work that way but there are no guarantees when you actually submit a claim.
I sent email to one of the actual insurance companies, got no reply back.
CFAR is expensive and won't cover full costs, it's only like 75 or 80% so you have to set your trip costs higher but that means a higher premium.
Also you have to enroll in a CFAR policy like within a week of booking your flight or your first expenditure related to the trip. But I think it's the flight, since it's a big line item.
I would not assume that fudging the cost of a trip (on the high side) would allow a cancel-for-any-reason policyholder to recover more than 75% of his/her actual, documented expenses.
CFAR is currently running about a 50-70% return for the most popular travel protection vendors (a much higher percentage fall into the 50-60% range). Inflating your coverage amount will not enhance your return as you must have valid receipts for EVERY expense.... so simply adding "coverage" doesn't work unless you can prove you spent that amount. No receipt - no payout!
Many companies require you to buy CFAR travel protection within 15-21 days of your initial deposit/payment and you must cover all nonrefundable expenses. In addition, many companies have stopped selling CFAR, or are limiting the amounts they will cover.
As detailed above, most of the more established companies have "trip-interruption" protection and will compensate you at $200/day for up to 10 days - or $2,000. Some companies sell this as part of their policies - like the Travelex Travel Select policy. And other companies allow you to add this as a supplement, like the Pro Plus Policy from Arch RoamRight. Lots of fine print to read!
I used Squaremouth to look for coverage. Most policies have small travel delay coverage limits of $500 or so. Trawick's safe travelers "voyager" policy has $2000 travel delay coverage, and can be customized for $4000 or more. However, if I understand correctly, this is limited by the policy dates which extend only to a maximum 7 days beyond the scheduled departure. Moreover, there must be a doctor's note or quarantine requirement by a government official; I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to get either of these if I had a mild case. Like you, I worry that I'll be stuck covering an indefinite period of time waiting for a negative covid test, while none of the policies would cover me.
I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but have you tried checking out Covac? It's a Global Rescue-type thing, but with a covid-specific focus. I looked into it after having friends get stuck in quarantine in Chile and have tremendous problems, not necessarily with the cost but with the bureaucracy.
Thank you all so much for all of this information. I needed it!
Have one more wrinkle to add to this: AIG travel insurance says that Covid is a "known issue" and that means that it is mostly outside of coverage (like a pre-exisiting condition.). So, with this info, plus that acts of war are always outside of insurance coverage, I'm struggling to figure out if it is worth it and what is the point?
Okay, I just want to complain a bit. Calling to verify a few facts with insurance and coverage around quarantine. Yes, they cover quarantine, but in the details, they have themselves covered so that in reality, they really won't cover it. Basically, what I am being told is that a physician needs to see you and personally tell you to quarantine or the insurance will not cover the expenses. So basically, once positive, need to find a physician who has nothing better to do then to see positive covid individuals, get them to write you a letter to tell you that you shouldn't be running around finding a physician and instead quarantine. Oh, and the positive covid test result, well the results needed to have been reviewed and interpreted by a physician. So those observed home tests and tests done by a pharmacy, well, they don't count. Backing up a bit, I need to find a physician to give me a covid test, interpret that covid test, then tell me to quarantine, then maybe insurance will cover. But I'm sure I'm missing something else, so probably not.
I'll probably delete this post in a bit, but right now I'm so frustrated. I don't mind jumping thru hoops, but don't appreciate hoops that are set so high, that I'm not able to jump thru them.
Gail - did you ask if you need to see a European doctor specifically? I just called (TinLeg) and asked about the doctor issue. I asked, if I test positive abroad and cannot get on a plane, can I get a letter from a US doctor saying this? The answer was Yes. I did not ask about a letter specifically directing me to quarantine but I imagine its the same (I would want to hear that from them though). My thought, which I also asked about, is cant I just call a friend who's a doctor and get a letter from them. The answer: Yes. So if I send a copy of my positive test (that I get at a pharmacy) to a doctor, and they then write me a letter, via email, that letter would serve. So I wonder off you can line up a doctor to contact before your trip in case? In which case you would want to be very clear with your insurance policy what exactly and from whom they require verification. I also wonder about Tele-health in this instance. I believe Ive read that a proctored test does not count, but Ive read so much the past two days my brain is awash
Here's what Travelex said in response to my query about quarantine coverage.
The information you’ve provided sounds similar to our Travel Select policy. Under the Travel Select plan, a positive COVID-19 test is
being treated the same any other unforeseen illness - if you or your
traveling companion(s) were to contract the virus after the effective
date of your policy and prior to departure, you would be eligible for
Trip Cancellation coverage. Similarly, if you were to contract the
virus during travel, you would be eligible for Trip Interruption
coverage, as well as the Emergency Medical Expense and Emergency
Medical Evacuation coverage offered by your policy. The policy also
includes a Trip Delay benefit in the event you or your traveling
companion(s) are quarantined. Here are how those benefits work:
Trip Cancellation provides coverage for the prepaid and nonrefundable
trip cost insured under your policy. Trip Interruption provides
coverage for the unused portion of your prepaid and nonrefundable
expenses insured under your policy, as well as any additional
transportation expenses you may incur to return home or rejoin your
trip. Trip Delay provides coverage for reasonable additional expenses
you may incur, such as hotel and meals, if a physician orders you to
physically quarantine while on a trip and you are delayed by it. Trip
Delay for the Travelex Travel Select plan offers up to $250/person,
per day up to a maximum limit of $2000/person. Lastly, the Emergency
Medical & Evacuation benefit provides coverage for medical expenses
incurred while treating COVID-19 and emergency evacuation if medically
necessary. Our policies do not offer Trip Cancellation or Interruption
coverage solely due to a pandemic, any travel concerns or fear of
travel, travel bans, restrictions, or warnings due to a pandemic.
Under our policies, travel arrangements cancelled by an airline,
cruise line, or tour operator; as well as government regulations or
prohibitions are exclusions from coverage under the Trip Cancellation
or Interruption benefits.
Our full COVID-19 coverage statement can also be found on our website
at https://www.travelexinsurance.com/covid19. If you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Solutions
Department at 1-800-819-9004, or
email@example.com, Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. -
7:00 p.m., CST.
So that's the thing, if you test positive, do you have to see a doctor or is it enough that the public health authorities order you to quarantine?
Sounds like you have to get a doctor's note. But as soon as you test positive, are you going to be able to go see a doctor or are you going to be relegated to staying in a hotel room for 5, 7, 10 days or whatever they require?
Sounds like you would need the note BEFORE you quarantine. You can't quarantine, incur costs, and then try to get doctor's note afterwards.