Families and loved ones are reunited as the United States reopened its borders starting today i.e. the 8th of November 2021. Fully-vaccinated visitors from 33 countries in total, including India, the EU (Schengen Area), China, the U.K., and Brazil will be able to enter the country.
The full rules of entry are still not clear yet, except that every person entering the U.S. should be fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The list of approved vaccines for fully vaccinated visitors to the U.S. are:
- Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation)
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
Fully vaccinated air travelers will continue to be required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within three days of travel to the United States before boarding. That includes all travelers – U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and foreign nationals.
We recommend monitoring announcements and FAQs on traveling during Covid by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Search for the right travel insurance spike as international travel resumes. It comes as no surprise that Google trends rank the following as top searched phrases for travel insurance:
- Best value travel insurance
- Travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
- Cheap medical travel insurance
- Travel insurance that covers covid
- Travel insurance over 60 [sic]
Many travelers have been complaining about the uncertainty around travel regulations and random flight cancellations leading up to the border reopening for international travels across social media and review sites.
As borders are reopening and international travel is seemingly returning to normal, travelers and travel insurance providers have learned and adapted: travelers who did not usually get travel insurance are now looking at travel insurance and most insurance companies provide Covid-19 specific coverage.
Are Covid-19 coverage and “Cancel for any reason” coverage worth the cost?
Amidst the uncertainty and ever-evolving virus, one thing for certain is that we can offset the financial risks surrounding travel uncertainty by buying travel insurance with cancel for any reason add-on.
“Cancel for any reason” coverage or CFAR, is an add-on to an existing travel insurance policy. A CFAR coverage allows for last-minute cancellation protection under any circumstances for any reason, whatsoever.
Most travel insurance plans now offer Covid-19 coverage, CFAR coverage on the other hand is an add-on typically calculated as a percentage of the price of the base insurance policy. CFAR coverage costs an additional 40% – 60% of the base insurance plan and not the cost of the trip.
For example, let’s say you have purchased a trip insurance plan that costs $100, with CFAR coverage your total cost of the trip insurance would be around $140 to $160.
Is CFAR coverage still worth it?
The answer is yes! Here’s why:
- CFAR offers reimbursements of up to 75% of your total insured trip
- CFAR offers coverage for cancelations that are non-refundable
CFAR is a time-sensitive and comparatively expensive upgrade. We recommend checking with your insurance policy provider to understand the eligibility and requirements for CFAR reimbursements.
Is Covid-19 coverage worth it?
Covid-19 is covered like any other illness – provided you contract the virus after the policy effective date and you are not in the incubation period. Few policies also offer indemnity benefits should the insured need to quarantine at the travel destination.
Vaccines are effective, but with new variants developing, you do not want to take any risk while you are traveling. The good news is that Covid-19 coverage should be a part of your standard coverage as most insurance companies are offering it as part of the travel insurance plan. If Covid-19 is not covered, look for policies that have Covid coverage and Covid quarantine indemnity benefits.
Best travel insurance plans that cover Covid-19 are as follows:
- CoverAmerica-Gold by Seven Corners
- Diplomat America by Global Underwriters
- Atlas America by WorldTrips
- Safe Travels for Visitors to the USA by Trawick International
When Coronavirus hit, most travel came to a grinding halt worldwide as countries closed their borders and imposed countrywide lockdowns. Stranded travelers were frantically trying to figure out refunds, cancellations, repatriation, and insurance coverage.
Credit card companies and insurance providers struggled with the sudden spike in customer care traffic as travelers scrambled to get their refunds – most often unsuccessfully.
Many insured also discovered the hard way that most travel insurance did not have a Covid19 coverage or any pandemic-specific coverage at the early onset of the pandemic.
The uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic and international travel have changed the way we think about travel. Most of us have moved from finding the cheapest flight tickets to finding a flexible refundable ticket and from uninsured travelers to insured travelers with medical coverage.
Buying a travel insurance plan will safeguard you and your family members against uncertainty at just a fraction of your travel expenses. Avoid having your travel plans derailed by yet another emergency announcement, sudden change in regulations, or a new variant, by getting a Covid-19 coverage. Uncertainty around delayed, postponed, or canceled trips can be insured by CFAR coverage.