Travel in a World of Superbugs

By Kelly Pellicano

The global number of confirmed coronavirus cases now exceeds 42,500; Its presence is far-reaching and impacting thousands of people causing anxiety on many levels.

As countries around the globe implement a variety of steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, restrictions on travel seems to be the top of most lists.

As an administrator of several travel insurance programs, cbsi receives calls and inquiries from concerned cardholders looking for answers, the most common questions are below:

  • Can I change my travel plans?
  • Can I cancel my travel plans?
  • What are my options?

For those directly or even indirectly impacted by this worldwide health crisis, considering passing along this information to your cardholders whose travel plan may be affected:

  • Research insurance on credit cards. Many of today’s credit cards offer some travel insurance protections that may alleviate some cardholder worry.
  • Encourage cardholders to understand what travel protections are available on specific credit cards, how those travel protections work and what limitations might be applied as well.
  • Remind cardholders to review travel protections prior to booking travel. Coverage is only effective when the travel is purchased on a card that has these protections.

A covered person or traveling companion that needs to cancel travel due to contracting the coronavirus would be covered by most policies just as they would be for other illnesses. If a covered person or traveling companion were to be unable to travel out of impacted areas due to quarantine, this may also be covered.

Disinclination to travel due to the potential risk of any health-related circumstances, however, is not a covered instance. If cardholders have plans to travel to an area that is open for travel and not restricted, they would still be able to be take their trip.

Know that most airlines are accommodating travelers who want to modify, delay or cancel their itineraries to certain areas in China that have been impacted by the coronavirus.

An alternative is for cardholders to purchase a per-trip insurance policy that covers them for canceling travel for any reason. While certainly this additional insurance is a pricier option than the no-fee coverage provided with many credit cards, it may offer the peace of mind needed, particularly for travel to high-risk destinations.

Remember, cardholders can always call the number on the back of their credit card to discuss these benefits with a licensed professional.

Be sure to remind cardholders to review their “Guide to Benefits.” This Guide to Benefits details the Terms and Conditions for all benefits available on their credit card.  The bank’s customer service and / or website may also serve as key resource for cardholders to learn more about the benefits on their card.

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