If you're going to or you're thinking of travelling, here's what you need to know about UAE travel insurance during the Coronavirus outbreak
3 March 2020| Last updated on 3 March 2020
We speak to insurers and financial experts on what happens to travel insurance in the event of an epidemic.
With the outbreak of (Covid-19), future and current travelers have been expressing their concerns on how the virus will affect their trip, and if their UAE travel insurance can safeguard them. Some residents have canceled their travel bookings while others are buying a policy or upgrading to premium.
If you're planning on traveling out of the UAE and are worried about your coverage due to Coronavirus, we've called on the expertise of local insurance providers and financial experts to answer your concerns.
To help protect your health, safety, and peace of mind during your holiday, here is what you must know about Coronavirus and travel insurance, from epidemic coverage and emergency medical evacuations to travel cancellations and restrictions.
Where will you not get travel insurance coverage?
As of now, UAE insurance companies have been advised that they won't be able to provide outbound and inbound insurance cover for people traveling to and from China, Thailand, some parts of Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Italy.
So if you are considering or will travel to any of the countries mentioned above, it is likely that you won't be able to receive travel insurance that will financially protect you in these destinations.
It's important to note that aside from the Covid-19 virus, UAE insurance companies still won't be able to provide covers for sanctioned countries whether there is a Coronavirus outbreak there or not.
Sanctioned countries include Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, DRC, Liberia, Sudan, Syria, Cuba, Zimbabwe, etc.
How to protect my trip if I already have travel insurance
It's important that you check if your destination is a safety risk. If the World Health Organisation (WHO), your local government, and destination's government have advised against travel to that area, and you decide to continue with your trip, your travel insurance policy may be invalid.
Thus, if you already have a travel insurance policy prior to the outbreak, you are advised to contact your insurance provider to confirm whether your trip to a certain country will be covered or not.
What will my travel insurance cover?
Insurance companies will provide cover for emergency medical expenses on a case to case basis as they will need to confirm whether the claim is something foreseen or unforeseen.
Additionally, they can cover travel inconveniences such as cancellation or curtailment of a trip if the person has already booked their travel and purchased their travel insurance prior to the local and destination's government issuing travel restrictions.
Otherwise, travel inconvenience cannot be covered if you've bought your policy after the outbreak led to official travel restrictions.
I don't have travel insurance. What should I look out for?
Travel insurance financially protects you in the event of an unforeseen incident as well as conditions that are not pre-existing. Each individual policy has its own specifications and rules as to the circumstances of the cancellation and what is covered and what is not.
In a bid to limit the spread of Coronavirus, airline companies in the UAE have restricted or reduced their flights going to hard-hit countries such as China. As the situation continues to develop and we are not sure which countries will next implement travel restrictions, be sure to keep a look-out if your premium covers trip cancellations, emergency medical evacuations, etc.
Travelers are advised to refer to the World Health Organisation (WHO) official page to be aware of which areas are under health risk and which are not.
What happens if I cancel my trip because of Coronavirus?
If you have canceled on your own accord rather than forced by the airline or Government ruling, then you may stand to lose any deposits or non-refundable advance payments from your trip. This can include prior expenses made on your flight, hotel bookings, other transportation, and activities.
Travel restrictions imposed by a country's government will affect your cancellation and insurance claim options.
If news of the Coronavirus has you worried about your travel plans and your insurance plan, click "contact" below to get in touch with an expert at ExpatInsure. Their team of professionals will connect you with the best possible travel insurance for a safe and secure holiday.