Travel Insurance That Covers Border Closures

Find out if travel insurance policies cover border closures by comparing with Savvy.

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, updated on September 4th, 2023       

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The way we holiday has changed since the pandemic and many travel insurance companies have done the same, with most now providing some coverage for COVID-19-related costs, including any cancellations. Whether you’re worried about border closures or a positive test derailing your travel plans, comparing with Savvy will allow you to find the most cover at the best price.

Doing a quick comparison with us allows you to weigh up the pandemic-specific benefits of each policy. You’ll be able to find out if you’re covered for snap border closures, lockdowns and other pandemic-related reasons, so before you take off, compare with Savvy.

Can I get travel insurance that covers border closures?

Most travel insurance providers don’t cover you if you need to cancel your travel plans due to national or international border closures or lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel insurance companies put the onus on customers to keep on top of federal government alerts and check their destination isn’t under a ‘do not travel’ warning or government-enforced lockdown. As such, many providers won’t cover you for cancellations if the government bans travel to your destination before or during your holiday due to heightened travel warnings.

Some countries will require you to isolate for up to two weeks upon arrival; however, this comes at your own cost. Many companies won’t cover the cost of mandatory quarantine if you’re buying travel insurance for a domestic or overseas trip. They also won’t cover the cost of any testing.

As of August 2022, most countries have phased out mandatory quarantine upon arrival, though some provinces still make it a requirement upon entry. For example, you’ll need to quarantine if you’re travelling to Hong Kong or Jersey off the northwest coast of France. In Hong Kong, you’re required to isolate in a quarantine hotel for three days at your own cost.

What COVID-19-related expenses does travel insurance cover?

Australians are taking to the skies in record numbers following two years of global lockdowns and border closures. The Australian Federation of Travel Agents says international holiday bookings are four times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

If you’re one of the many people jumping on a plane, travel insurance covering COVID-19-related costs will be vital to make sure your journey is a smooth one. Some of the benefits include:

Medical and hospital expenses

Most travel insurance companies will cover the cost of any medical treatment you require if you test positive for COVID-19 on your holiday. While any medical treatment on Australian soil will be covered by Medicare or your private health insurer, this benefit is particularly important if you’re heading overseas. For example, there are reports of travellers without insurance paying between $50,000 and $100,000 for COVID-19 treatment in American hospitals.

Extra travel expenses

Your policy should cover the cost of any extra expenses if you test positive for COVID-19 while on holiday. These include being directed by your destination’s government to isolate and needing to pay for additional accommodation.

Family emergencies

If you’re overseas or interstate and a close family member tests positive for COVID-19, your insurer will cover the cost of cancelling or rescheduling your travel so you can return home to be by their side. This usually includes if the family member is hospitalised or dies from the virus. Some providers allow you to claim a reasonable amount for the care of your dependents such as pets or children if you also can’t return home due to a positive diagnosis.

24/7 assistance

If you’re embroiled in an emergency and need to reach your insurer as soon as possible, you’ll get around-the-clock assistance over the phone or online. This allows you to double-check aspects of your policy, make claims over the phone and request assistance if you suffer an accident or illness and need help covering medical bills in a hurry.

Evacuation and repatriation

Your insurance company can arrange your evacuation or repatriation if you fall gravely ill due to COVID-19 while on holiday overseas. This is particularly important if you’re travelling on an international cruise, as the cost of being airlifted to shore can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your insurer will also cover the cost of repatriation if you need to return to Australia. If you’ve passed away, this includes the return of your remains and covering the cost of your funeral up to a certain limit.

Cancellation

Travel insurance covers you if you need to cancel or rearrange any pre-paid bookings, such as airfares, hotels and any tours, because you tested positive for COVID-19. Insurance companies will likely ask you to supply a positive PCR test as proof of diagnosis. This benefit comes with a claim limit, usually about $5,000, though this can vary depending on the provider you choose. Most insurers won’t allow you to make a claim within 72 hours of taking out a policy.

Delays

Flight delays and travel disruptions are part and parcel of travelling domestically and internationally in the post-pandemic world. If your flight is delayed or you test positive for COVID-19 and need to reschedule your plans, your insurer will cover the costs. This allows you to claim a modest amount for accommodation, meals and essentials such as toiletries while you wait for your plane.

How do I compare COVID-19-inclusive travel insurance policies?

Comparing travel insurance policies that include COVID-19 coverage is the best way of finding a product with the benefits you need. By comparing with Savvy, you’ll be able to do a side-by-side comparison to see how one policy fares against another.

Some of the factors you should weigh up when it comes to looking for COVID-19 cover include:

Cost

Shopping around allows you to price match between different travel insurance providers. Your premium will fluctuate depending on the travel insurance company you choose, so getting a few quotes and weighing up the prices can help you find a policy which gives you the most cover at the best price.

Level of cover

When you’re buying travel insurance, you’ll get the option of basic or comprehensive coverage. Many basic international travel insurance policies, while cheaper, will only cover you for medical-related expenses and personal liability, leaving you unprotected if your trip suffers delays or you need to cancel at the last minute. Consider the type of coverage you need for your overseas holiday and compare to see which provider offers the best option. Keep in mind that some providers will make you take out top-level travel insurance if you’re over 80 due to the increased risk of injury or illness.

Inclusions and exclusions

The main reason you’re buying travel insurance is for the benefits, so it’s important to compare with Savvy and choose a policy that offers you the best bang for your buck. Brush up on different providers’ Product Disclosure Statements and compare what is and isn’t covered to make sure the insurance you choose is right for your next holiday.

Claim limits

Travel insurance providers usually put caps on how much you claim for various incidentals, such as lost luggage or delays to your travel. For example, if you travelled to Canada and your luggage was damaged, some insurers allow you to claim up to $5,000 while others let you claim up to $15,000. It’s best to compare these to find a set of limits sufficient for your travel plans.

Excess

If you do need to make a claim, you may need to pay an out-of-pocket excess. This cost varies from $100 to $250; however, there are situations where you won’t need to pay a cent to file a claim. Consider this when you’re doing your homework and reading up on different policies.

Frequently asked COVID-19 travel insurance questions

Is COVID-19 covered with travel insurance if I’m taking a cruise?

Many travel insurance providers will cover the cost of treatment relating to COVID-19 onboard your cruise. However, only certain insurers will cover you in the event you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to postpone or call off your holiday.

How late can I purchase my travel insurance?

Technically, there’s no real rule around how late you can purchase your travel insurance as long as you buy it before you embark on your holiday. Purchasing your policy as soon as you know your travel dates will give you the maximum amount of coverage time and allow you to be covered for more pre-paid bookings such as tours and flights.

How do I make a COVID-19-related claim on my travel insurance?

Whether you need to claim for hospital bills or the cost of quarantining in a hotel while recuperating, you can do this through your insurer’s website. It’s a pretty straightforward process which involves doing the following:

  • Submitting your policy number and attached email address
  • Provide ample details about your claim
  • Attach receipts or medical reports to back up your claim
  • Submit your claim

 

Most insurers will tell you it can take up to ten business days for a claim to be approved. It’s important to respond to any queries from your insurer promptly to avoid dragging out the process. 

Do some destinations require proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes – there are more than 80 countries which require you to have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter as of August 2022. These include the United States, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand. However, certain countries relax these rules for children. For example, if you’re travelling to Bali, the Indonesian government doesn’t require children under the age of 18 to be vaccinated upon entry.

Can I cancel my travel insurance for free if there’s a border closure?

Most travel insurance policies won’t allow you to cancel your policy and get a full refund if border closures suddenly impact your travel plans. However, if your policy is still within the cooling-off period, many providers will allow you to cancel for no reason at all. These periods usually range from 14 to 30 days.

Can I extend my coverage if I contract COVID-19 while overseas?

Some providers will allow you to extend your policy if you test positive for COVID-19 and need to isolate at your destination. It pays to check with your insurer, however, as certain providers only let you extend your policy if you test positive at the end of your trip.

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Disclaimer:
We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.

Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.