Back in late 2019, hardly anyone could’ve predicted how life would be brought to a standstill as it is today. The global coronavirus epidemic continues to ravage the world in ways we may not have deemed possible. From postponements of billion-dollar sports competitions such as the Olympics and the European Championships to the cease in production of all TV shows and movies, the coronavirus has shattered the world. Suffice to say, everything we knew about the world has changed to an unparalleled degree. This includes travel insurance.
If you were planning a relaxing vacation to the Caribbean beaches or the ancient pyramids in Egypt, chances are you’ll end up having to postpone those travel plans. The nature of the coronavirus means that any travel between countries poses a significant risk. Different countries have reacted in various ways to the crisis. However, most of them still maintain strict regulations regarding foreign travel.
Travel experts, as well as travel insurance agents, have been left dealing with angry and confused customers. Especially customers that are trying to get their money back for a trip that never happened. In their defense, this is an unprecedented situation. There is hardly an established protocol in the event of such a pandemic. Regardless, the fact of the matter is that this epidemic will leave a lasting impact on travel as well as the travel insurance industry. What are these changes? And how are they likely to impact your future travel plans? To learn more about these and other such important questions, continue reading below.
Travel Insurance Will Become Scarce
Just in case you’re wondering: travel insurance will become hard to get. The reason is almost natural as it is a response to the international market situation. Several renowned insurance agencies have already stopped selling insurance. There is no update on when and if they will restart their operations.
Another reason for this is the sheer volume of requests that travel insurance agencies are likely to receive. While logistics in such cases can be a nightmare, the cost of servicing so many policies can be disastrous. Several insurance agencies invoked force majeure, a legal loophole that allows them to evade having to pay the billions of dollars in policies.
If these travel insurance agencies do resume their operations, they are likely to tread lightly at first and examine how the market, as well as travel demand, seems. All of this means that they’ll be a lot less willing to be as excessive in selling policies as they were pre-coronavirus.
“Cancel for Any Reason” Options Will Be More Restricted
The uncertainty over the current epidemic means that skepticism is high in the travel insurance industry. There are multiple reasons for this, such as the fact that the chances of people contracting the virus in future 2nd or 3rd waves remain a possibility.
While most people are being advised to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel, sooner or later air travel will have to resume in some form or another. But some are still booking their travels for the end of the year as well as for next year. Optimism isn’t a bad thing but it’s a long shot that things will be safe enough for mass travel between countries. With that in mind, these people are likely to enquire about how to cancel a flight. This option usually allows them to receive partial and at times a full refund thanks to their travel insurance.
“How to cancel my travel insurance” has always been a hated query for these insurance agencies. However, now most travel agencies will likely remove the option altogether. Travel agencies are likely to be a lot less generous after this epidemic is over and this will reflect in the policy options they offer to customers.
More Policy Options, More Limitations
A less-generous attitude doesn’t necessarily mean a less generous slew of policy options. Travel experts believe that we might see the introduction of several new iterations of travel insurance. These would be meant to cater to different circumstances considering how jittery the world will be in the immediate future.
As mentioned earlier, eventually travel between countries will resume. When that happens, travelers will opt to get travel insurance of some kind. This was already the case before the coronavirus as millions of travelers and tourists found themselves on foreign shores. They had to bear expenses of staying in hotels, meals, and other such necessities in foreign lands when the pandemic hit. In the aftermath, a lot of travel insurance agencies refused to reimburse them.
In other words, while the exact insurance policy options might be higher, there will likely be numerous limitations on all these in terms of how to cancel them, their refund policies, and the overall coverage customers will get.
Some Things May Not Change
While the travel insurance industry is likely to change one particular aspect might not: how travel insurance is handled for customers from different countries. For instance, a traveler from Bangladesh traveling to Australia will have a different catalog of insurance options than someone from the EU.
Most insurance companies rely on your location data to tailor the insurance options available to you… similar to airlines in many ways. This means you might end up paying substantially more for the same policy option depending on your geographical location.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way around that. By using a secure and reliable VPN such as PureVPN, you can obfuscate your location online. This will allow you to see whether there are better insurance options available, and at lower prices than the ones displayed to you. Furthermore, PureVPN ensures complete anonymity for you online so you never have to worry about anyone keeping tabs on your digital activities anywhere.
Rather expectedly, the travel industry is going through a tremendous change. Once international travel resumes, whenever that maybe, we’ll see some of these changes in effect. However, some things are likely to stay the same, like price discrimination. The best way to avoid paying extra for the same service available at much more affordable rates at other locations is through a VPN. PureVPN allows you to choose from more than 140 geographical locations and buy the best deals at the most affordable rates.