Travel Insurance Post-COVID: What’s Changed?


Traveling has been a part of human life for centuries, whether for business, leisure, or exploration. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed major challenges to the travel industry, disrupting travel plans and causing uncertainty among travelers. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals dropped by more than 70% in 2020 as compared to the previous year. As the world slowly recovers from the effects of the pandemic, the travel industry is gradually picking up pace. But things have changed, and travel insurance is one aspect that has undergone a significant transformation in the post-COVID era.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance has always been seen as an additional cost by many travelers. However, the pandemic has shown the importance of having adequate travel insurance coverage. It is no longer just about unforeseen flight cancellations or lost luggage; the risks involved in traveling have increased, and travel insurance has become crucial to protect travelers from potential financial losses.


One of the major changes in travel insurance post-COVID is the inclusion of pandemic coverage. When the pandemic first hit, most travel insurance policies did not cover any losses or disruptions caused by the virus. However, as travel restrictions eased and people began to travel again, insurance companies have started to offer coverage for COVID-related issues. This includes coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellations or interruptions due to COVID, and even quarantine expenses. With the dynamic nature of the pandemic, it is essential for travelers to carefully review their travel insurance policies and understand the coverage provided.

CFAR Coverage

Another significant change in travel insurance post-COVID is the introduction of ‘cancel for any reason’ (CFAR) coverage. This add-on option allows travelers to cancel their trip for any reason and receive a partial refund of their pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs. Before the pandemic, this coverage was not commonly offered and only covered specific reasons for trip cancellations, such as illness, natural disasters, or job loss. With CFAR coverage, travelers have more flexibility and can cancel their trip even if they simply change their mind. However, this added coverage comes at a higher cost, typically around 40% more than a standard travel insurance policy.

The pandemic has also shed light on the importance of medical coverage in travel insurance. With the risk of contracting COVID during travel, travelers are now more concerned about medical expenses overseas. Therefore, many insurance companies have increased the medical coverage in their policies or even introduced new medical-only coverage options for those who do not require cancellation or baggage coverage. This change is particularly beneficial for travelers heading to destinations with high healthcare costs or inadequate medical facilities.

Apart from COVID-specific changes, travel insurance has also adapted to the New Normal of travel. Many policies now include coverage for cancellations or interruptions due to mandatory quarantine or border closures. This is important as many countries require travelers to quarantine upon arrival or return, which can significantly impact the duration of their trip. Some policies also offer trip interruption coverage for travelers who test positive for COVID during their trip and have to cut their trip short. These additions ensure that travelers are protected from financial losses even if their travel plans are disrupted due to COVID.

The pandemic has also forced insurance companies to review their policies’ terms and conditions. With the uncertainty surrounding travel, many policies now have more lenient cancellation terms, allowing travelers to cancel their trip and receive a refund without having to provide a specific reason. This change aims to ease travelers’ concerns and encourage them to book their trips without the fear of losing money.

However, it is worth noting that not all travel insurance policies are the same, and the coverage provided by one company may differ from another. It is crucial for travelers to carefully review the policy’s coverage and limitations before purchasing it. Travelers should also consider their specific needs and destination when choosing a travel insurance policy. For example, a policy that covers everything from flight cancellations to medical expenses may not be necessary for a road trip within the country.


In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the travel landscape in many ways, and travel insurance is no exception. The new normal of travel comes with its share of risks, and travel insurance has adapted to provide coverage for these unforeseen circumstances. Travelers should now make it a priority to purchase adequate travel insurance before embarking on any trip. It is essential to read the policy’s details carefully, including any add-ons or exclusions, to fully understand the coverage provided. With the right travel insurance, travelers can have peace of mind and enjoy their trip, knowing that they are protected from potential financial losses.

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