The Travel Insurance Industry Responds to Consumer Coronavirus Fears
Santa Clara, Calif. (March 3, 2020) – The coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruptions and cancellations in the travel industry as spring break and the summer travel season near. The virus is the first respiratory pathogen capable of community transmission and stakeholders across the travel insurance industry are launching information campaigns and disseminating specialized coronavirus resources as confusion over travel insurance coverage grows.
“There are existing travel medical insurance policies that may cover coronavirus, but every policy comes with restrictions and exclusions,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO and founder of VisitorsCoverage, a Silicon Valley insurtech that provides travel insurance to a global base.
“If you miss a flight or are delayed due to quarantine, your policy should cover you,” Shrivastava explains. “If you become sick from coronavirus many policies may cover your treatment and pay for repatriation. Not all travel insurance policies are the same, anyone planning to travel must review their policies carefully and ask questions specific to coronavirus and related benefits.”
“Our customer service center has seen a significant rise in call volume and the number of inbound queries relating to the coronavirus,” Shrivastava continues. “People want to know if it’s safe to travel, what travel insurance will cover, and what it won’t cover. They are hungry for accurate information and look to our industry to provide that.”
Shrivastava was surprised at the number of calls from people who had no upcoming travel plans but wanted assurance should they need to travel during the outbreak. “Mainstream media coverage of travel insurance due to coronavirus is like never before. This presents a base of new customers for the industry to build awareness with, and for gaining the trust of travelers who previously may not have known or thought about travel insurance.”
The insurance industry is known for its complex coverage language and confusion on the part of the consumer. Third-party providers such as VisitorsCoverage have harnessed the power of insurtech and focus on customer education through robust knowledge centers, news centers, up-to-the-minute blogs, and videos. Shrivastava knows that an educated customer is usually happy with the coverage they select because they’re informed about the product.
Should the virus be declared a pandemic, there may be no coverage options for travelers. Right now, the only type of coverage that will allow you to cancel up to 48 hours prior to departure and recoup up to 75 percent in pre-paid costs is the Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage option. It typically adds up to 40 percent to the cost of your travel insurance policy but will allow you to cancel if an outbreak occurs in your destination or if you want to cancel simply out of fear.
About VisitorsCoverage Inc.:
VisitorsCoverage Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based insurtech company headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. which provides travel insurance for millions of global travelers in over 175 countries. Founded in 2006 by insurtech pioneer and industry expert Rajeev Shrivastava, VisitorsCoverage is constantly evolving by creating innovative, market-demand products and by continually updating an extensive online knowledgebase for their global clientele. For more information visit www.visitorscoverage.com or call 650-735-3640 ext.131.