Swine Flu Travel Insurance


swine-fluTo be honest, I’m really, really tired of hearing about the Swine Flu and the pending pendamic. But, I thought I should pass along the following information for those of you who do have travel plans and have an interest in purchasing travel insurance to cover the flu.

According to Squaremouth, it’s TOO LATE TO BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR SWINE FLU. The press release had the following to say about last-minute insurance purchases:

The bottom line is this: Don’t rush today to buy travel insurance in hopes of being covered during the swine flu crisis arising directly or indirectly from epidemics or pandemics. Always check the fine print to see what protections apply to you. You can only cancel up to 48 hours before you leave and you may not get 100% of your money back. Make sure you check the fine print before you buy.blockquote>

Squaremouth, who I’m pretty certain we’ve mentioned in the past is a travel insurance comparison website. Like Orbitz for your health.

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Chris Harvey, CEO of SquareMouth, further explained “If you don’t buy travel insurance before a storm receives its official name, you aren’t covered for losses relating to that storm. Similarly, for most travel insurance companies, Friday, April 24, 2009, was the date the swine flu outbreak became what the industry calls a “foreseen” or “known event” because of widespread media attention.”

So policies purchased before April 24 may be honored, but anything bought thereafter will not be covered.

“Moreover, even if you think your policy covers “unforeseen circumstances,” there may be language in a General Exclusions section exempting claims ‘arising directly or indirectly from epidemics or pandemics.'”

Like when I recenlty bought trip protection insurance for a hotel I booked through Orbitz, only to find that it ONLY covered medical emergencies. My cancelled flight, which prevented me to make it to the place in which I had the reservation, was not covered by the policy.

SquareMouth advises the only way to ensure cover for swine flu is by adding on the optional “Cancel for any Reason” benefit available on some policies. This option is not without risk, however, as your cancellation period may be limited and you may not get a full refund for your trip. Again, read the fine print. Something I’m not a fan of.

If you’re thinking about traveling to Mexico or some other risky destination, be sure to check out SquareMouth.com, who is compiling official swine flu position statements from insurers and posting the updates at www.squaremouth.com/travel-advice/swine-flu-outbreak. You can also contact the comapny at (800) 240-0369 to discuss your concerns about the outbreak and how it affects travel insurance.