While listening to KQED’s Forum on February 26, 2020, I heard one of the guests mention getting travel insurance and it might offer some protection for trip interruption or medical evacuation. While this may be the case for some destinations, when I entered China as the destination for travel insurance with the travel insurance carrier I represent I got the following notice.
You have selected a destination that has been under a Warning Level 3 within the last six months from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disease outbreaks related to the CDC warning are not covered under this policy. For more information, please visit: CDC travel notices.
Travel Insurance Exclusions To Countries With Travel Warnings
Many travel insurance policies, such as from Tokio Marine HCC, include coverage for medical expenses. There are also benefits for emergency medical evacuation and trip interruption. However, once a Level 3 or 4 warning has been declared by the CDC, at a minimum, medical expenses will not be covered.
You may actually be on your trip, in the country of destination, when the CDC warning is issued, and that will automatically cancel the medical expense coverage, according some to some representatives.
If a CDC warning of level 3 or higher is placed on the country in which you are visiting, representatives tell me you have 10 days to leave the country before they will no longer honor the medical provisions of the plan pertaining to the specific disease threat. Other illnesses or accidents not associated with the CDC warning will be honored. Always confer with your travel insurance provider for the most updated information.
HCC Tokio Marine Evac Update
You are covered:
1. The cost of transportation by the most economical means possible for you to the nearest country of safety or to your home country. We will determine to which country you will be evacuated.
You are not covered unless you fulfill the following conditions:
1. The U.S. Department of State has issued a level 3 or level 4 travel advisory after your arrival in the destination county; and
2. You contact us within 10 days of the date of the travel advisory is issues.
Other provisions such as trip interruption, travel delay assistance, and assistance with returning home may still be in force.
If you have plans to travel outside of the United States, carefully monitor CDC travel notices. If you have not purchased travel insurance, you can investigate the costs with the understanding that if a level 3 or 4 warning is issued, the benefits may be reduced.
This is obviously a fluid situation as of late February, 2020. If I receive any pertinent updates or changes I will post them here.