Will travel ever be the same?
The CDC recently added seven countries to their highest travel risk level for Covid-19. According to travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.com, four of these countries – Israel, France, Iceland, and Aruba – are among the most popular destinations for US tourists.
With the addition of these countries, Squaremouth reports 44% of trips being booked are now to countries listed as a Level 4 risk, the highest risk of contracting Covid-19, a news release said.
As more European countries reopen their borders to US tourists, the demand to visit them increases, along with the risk. In September, 40% of Squaremouth travelers are heading to Europe, with a large percentage visiting high-risk countries, including Greece, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Squaremouth explains how CDC travel advisories impact travel insurance coverage:
CDC Advisory Usually Does Not Trigger Cancellation Benefits
Most travel insurance policies do not provide cancellation coverage for Department of State travel alerts, including these CDC advisories.
Only 4 of the 94 policies currently available on Squaremouth.com include cancellation benefits for government-issued travel advisories. However, to have coverage, the policy must be purchased before the date the advisory is issued. This means it is too late to purchase a policy for any country with a current Level 4 travel advisory.
CDC Advisory Does Not Void Coverage
Travel insurance policies typically provide coverage worldwide, and most insurance companies are still providing cancellation and medical benefits for contracting Covid-19. This means, even if there is a travel advisory at the insured’s destination, benefits are still available.
CDC Advisory-Related Cancellation Requires Cancel For Any Reason Coverage
Squaremouth recommends travelers concerned about government-issued advisories consider a Cancel For Any Reason policy, as this provides the best chance at getting some money back.
“Most issues our travelers have experienced throughout the pandemic weren’t directly caused by contracting Covid-19, but other related circumstances,” says Squaremouth Spokesperson, Megan Moncrief. “These new advisories may make travelers concerned about their health and safety at their destination. Likewise, they could cause a domino effect of border closures or other travel requirements. For these reasons, Cancel For Any Reason is the best option.”
Squaremouth.com hosts the largest number of travel insurance providers and policies that offer coverage related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Squaremouth Analytics studied data from thousands of policies purchased between May 1, 2021, and Aug. 16, 2021, to identify changes and trends in travel insurance, revealing where customers are traveling and which countries are under a Level 4 CDC Alert.
Countries that were under a Level 4 CDC Alert before Aug. 9, 2021, are labeled as Existing CDC Level 4 Risk. Countries where a Level 4 CDC Alert was issued on or after Aug. 9, 2021, are labeled as New CDC Level 4 Risk.
Squaremouth maintains a list of country insurance requirements here.