Travel Insurance COVID-19

Compare travel insurance with Savvy and get covered for COVID-19.

Last updated on August 4th, 2022 at 04:10 pm by Kurtis Eichler

Get travel insurance to cover COVID-19

For almost two years, Australians waited for the pandemic to pass so they could travel again. Now that domestic and international travel has resumed, travel insurance providers have started offering coverage for pandemic-related events, allowing you to plan your next holiday without having to worry as much about COVID-19 getting in the way.

Comparing with Savvy allows you to find affordable travel insurance that protects you if your trip is impacted by COVID-19. Take the guesswork out of finding the best travel insurance and find the right deal for your travels today.

Does travel insurance cover COVID-19-related expenses?

Some travel insurance providers offer coverage for COVID-19-related expenses. However, this coverage tends to vary depending on the policy you choose. That’s why it’s important to compare deals so you get the best coverage to suit your needs.

Many providers require you to take out comprehensive travel insurance if you want cover for COVID-19-related expenses. Plenty of these comprehensive insurance policies allow you to claim between $2,500 and $5,000 in non-refundable costs, as long as you bought the insurance at least three weeks before your departure. Claimable expenses include:

  • Ambulance and hospital treatment.
  • Cancellation of accommodation, tour and flight bookings because you or a close relative or business partner contracts COVID-19.
  • Funeral or repatriation costs if you die overseas.
  • Care for your pets back home if you need to extend your stay abroad due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Quarantine hotel and COVID-19 testing costs. A few countries and cities require you to quarantine upon arrival in the country at your own cost. If you’re travelling to Hong Kong, you’ll be required to isolate for 14 days at your own cost and undergo two COVID-19 tests before you’re free to roam the city.

A few basic packages can also cover you for medical expenses if you require hospitalisation due to illness, although they won’t allow you to get your money back for cancelled flights or accommodation.

What isn’t included in COVID-19 travel insurance?

While there are insurance policies on the market which cover you for COVID-19-related costs while on a holiday, there are some restrictions on what you can claim. Many of the policies won’t cover you if you travel to a country against government advice. The government regularly updates its travel warnings on other countries, with a number deemed high-risk destinations for a variety of reasons including civil unrest or COVID-19.

Many providers won’t cover you for border closures, travel bans or lockdowns back home or abroad which result in you being unable to travel. When you’re comparing with Savvy, make sure you find a policy which allows you the flexibility to get a refund on your premium if you’re unable to enjoy your holiday. Otherwise, if there’s a snap lockdown in your destination and you’re unable to enter the country, you could be left out of pocket from the cost of flights or hotels.

Most insurers also won’t cover you for cancellation due to quarantine more broadly, such as if you’re deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 case overseas or at home. Many also view not wearing a mask in a high-risk setting or visiting a COVID-positive person as ‘risky behaviour’ and may void your claim.

How else should I compare travel insurance policies?

Doing your homework is the best way to find the right travel insurance policy for you. When you’re comparing deals with Savvy, you’ll need to weigh up several factors to ensure you get the coverage you need. These include:

Comprehensive or basic

Look closely at what each of these options covers and assess whether it’s worth a little extra money for a little extra protection. Few insurers offer COVID-19 protections within their basic policies, so you’ll more than likely need to take out comprehensive insurance if you want coverage. Comparing with Savvy will allow you to see the difference between providers clearly, helping you make a clear-cut decision.

Inclusions and exclusions

Comparing insurers will allow you to see what’s included in their policy and what isn’t. Many insurers cover things such as overseas medical expenses, cancellations and the excess on your hire car. However, some policies won’t cover the loss or theft of your luggage or only cover up to a lower monetary limit in lost possession (such as $2,000). Doing your homework allows you to get the most out of your travel insurance.

Optional extras

If you’re planning on doing some thrill-seeking while you’re abroad, you might want to check you’re covered if something unexpected does happen. Insurers offer optional extras such as snow sport or skiing coverage or add-ons if you decide to go scuba diving, sky diving or paragliding. By comparing with us, you can boost your chances of finding a provider which has the extras you need or includes such events in their main policy.

Countries covered

If you’re jet setting across the globe, it’s a good idea to triple-check that the countries you’re travelling through are covered by your insurance. This includes any you’re stopping over in for a few hours while you await a connecting flight. If you test positive for COVID-19 during a stop-over and require treatment, but don’t have insurance, it could end up costing you a pretty penny.

Excess

Insurance companies require you to pay a gap whenever you make a claim. The excess you pay on your travel insurance varies from provider to provider but you usually get to choose how much you can afford to pay if you do make a claim. Make sure the excess you set on your travel insurance policy is affordable for you and won’t stretch your budget too much.

Checklist for before you take out COVID-19 travel insurance

Top tips for saving money on your travel insurance

Consider your destination

Travel insurance premiums are more expensive if you visit some countries over others, primarily due to the cost of health care. For example, it can cost more to visit countries such as the United States and the United Arab Emirates due to their expensive medical treatment. It’s worth considering if you may want to travel to a country with cheaper health care, such as Greece, Italy and Sweden.

Insure early

Buying your travel insurance sooner than later allows you to be covered for more non-refundable costs in the event you have to cancel your trip. That means there’s a higher likelihood you can be reimbursed for deposits paid on your hotels, flights and tours.

Consider annual travel insurance if you’re flying often

If you have multiple trips planned or you are a frequent flier, annual travel insurance can often be cheaper than taking out individual policies for each trip. Not only can it save you money, but it’s also less hassle because you’re covered for up to 90 days over the course of a year.

Paying a larger excess

Every time you make a claim on your insurance, you pay an excess and the provider settles the remainder of the cost. Choosing to pay a greater amount in this instance can save you money on your premium, as you’re willing to put more of your own money towards your claim.

Frequently asked COVID-19 travel insurance questions

Can I travel anywhere I like if I’m not vaccinated?

Many countries won’t grant you entry if you’re unvaccinated and can’t produce proof of vaccination. If you’re travelling to the United States, Canada, New Zealand France and Italy, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated upon entry. However, there are still parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom, Thailand, Mexico, Ireland and India which will allow unvaccinated travellers entry. While being unvaccinated won’t directly affect your premium, you may not be covered if you don’t follow government advice at your chosen destination.

Can I take out a travel insurance policy for just medical expenses?

Yes – you can get basic travel insurance which includes coverage for medical treatment overseas. This is a popular policy for backpackers or those travelling on a budget who don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles that come with comprehensive insurance. Basic coverage could be handy if you only want coverage for COVID-19, but you’ll have to make sure that a medical-only policy covers you in this area also.

Can I extend my coverage if I’m overseas for longer due to cancellation?

Some providers may allow you to extend the length of your coverage if you fall ill due to COVID and need to pay for additional transport and accommodation. However, this isn’t the case for all providers, which is why it’s handy to double-check with your insurer to make sure you’re covered.

Can I get COVID-19 cover on my travel insurance if I’m a senior over 65?

Yes – some travel insurance providers can offer you COVID-19 coverage if you’re over 65. However, this isn’t the case for all insurance providers so it’s important to check it’s included before purchasing. Providers have various age limits in place which mean you’ll likely pay higher premiums or could be cut off from certain types of coverage over a certain age. For example, some companies won’t let those over 70 or 80 purchase annual travel insurance or winter sports coverage. Others may insist you take out comprehensive travel insurance while you’re overseas.

What happens if I die of COVID-19 overseas?

Most travel insurance policies cover death in the event you die abroad, including if you die from COVID-19. If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 overseas and pass away, your insurance will help cover the cost of repatriating your body or ashes and your funeral depending on the coverage you have. They’ll also likely cover the cost of any cancellation or booking amendment fees.

Am I covered for COVID-19-related expenses with cruise travel insurance?

There are a few providers who offer coverage for COVID-19-related expenses onboard a cruise ship sailing through international waters. However, not all cruise insurance policies offer this protection, so it’s important to compare to ensure you get the coverage you need while sailing the high seas. Medical expenses can be covered through Medicare if you’re on a domestic cruise ship (provided the doctor is registered with Medicare), but being treated for COVID-19 on international waters can be costly depending on the part of the world you’re in. If you need to be evacuated via helicopter, it could cost you $100,000 if you’re not insured.