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What happens if you have to travel and then be in quarantine for a few days? This question usually troubles travellers who travel abroad amid the spread of covid.

An unexpected rise in covid cases has shaken the travel and tourism industry. Travellers who had pre-booked their trips or were already on their way faced losses because travel insurance didn’t cover any changes due to the pandemic. As a result, people spent more money cancelling or postponing their trips.

Even with vaccinations and safety precautions in place, travellers are highly cautious about ensuring that their travel insurance protects them from the pandemic’s uncertainties. However, policy buyers should read the policy document carefully and look out for those that exclude hospitalizations due to covid. Here are some specifications you should take note of when buying a travel insurance policy.

Trip cancellation: If you plan a trip during the covid-omicron wave, your trip can get cancelled or delayed if the cases rise. Therefore, when purchasing travel insurance, select the Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) add-on. It will allow the insured to use the option to cancel travel plans other than those specified in the policy. The add-on generally provides 70-75% reimbursement of your non-refundable trip costs. Amit Chhabra, head- health and travel insurance, Policybazaar.com, said, “CFAR provides flexibility and freedom when taking decisions on travel reservations. In addition, the rider covers the scope of coronavirus accommodation and flight cancellation benefits."

Baggage delay: Baggage delays, or even worse, losses en-route are always a possibility. However, this situation will only exacerbate the stress of testing positive for covid-19. So, if you have insured your checked-in luggage against loss and delay, your travel insurance will compensate you financially if it is lost.

Quarantine expenses: Some countries still enforce quarantine rules; hence covering this cost is also critical. Chhabra said, “If you test positive for the omicron virus after arriving at your destination or while returning from it, you will be able to book accommodation and airline tickets through your travel coverage." However, you must read the fine print before signing up for it.

Medical expenses: If the insured has a medical emergency due to covid, the travel insurance will reimburse them for the costs paid during the trip. Chhabra said, “If the covid-19 impacts the insured and he gets hospitalised while on international travel, the insurer will also pay outpatient expenditure. However, the insured will get the coverage as per the policy limit."

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