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We get it — traveling these days can be an uncomfortable experience. In the ever-changing world of COVID-19 variants, border restrictions and PCR tests, learning how to stay protected is important.
Travel insurance can insure you against a variety of complications during travel, including trip delay, trip cancellation and medical issues. But not all policies are the same, and coverage can vary not only across providers, but across policies themselves.
Let’s take a look at travel insurance that covers COVID-19 quarantine, plus the best COVID-19 travel insurance.
What does travel insurance usually cover?
Travel insurance can provide peace of mind on vacation, especially when things go awry. There are varying types and levels of coverage for travel insurance, though these are common inclusions for travel insurance policies:
Trip cancellation insurance.
Trip interruption insurance.
Trip delay insurance.
24-hour hotline assistance.
Emergency medical insurance.
Primary/secondary medical insurance.
Lost or delayed baggage insurance.
Rental car insurance.
There's a lot of variety when it comes to travel insurance and the types of incidents it’ll cover. The cost of your premium will vary according to the plan you select.
Cancel for Any Reason insurance allows you to cancel your trip and recoup your costs, no matter why you’ve chosen to cancel.
Before buying travel insurance, check to see if any of your credit cards offer trip insurance. Some travel credit cards offer this insurance free of charge when you use your card to pay.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, provides primary rental car insurance when you charge the car to your card.
The Platinum Card® from American Express, meanwhile, will cover trip cancellation, trip delay and lost luggage insurance. Terms apply.
There are no credit cards whose benefits include medical insurance. You’ll want to read the terms carefully to be sure that any travel insurance you purchase covers instances of COVID-19.
» Learn more: Will my travel insurance cover coronavirus?
Finding insurance that covers COVID quarantine
In the beginning of the pandemic, many insurance policies covered losses related to COVID-19, including trip cancellation and medical issues.
Since then, some providers have chosen to exclude coverage for coronavirus-related issues. So you’ll need to search specifically for an insurance policy that covers COVID-19.
Fortunately, there are still insurance providers that’ll provide coverage in the event you’re affected by COVID-19, including:
Several countries — like Thailand — actually require that you purchase this insurance before traveling.
If you already have an insurance provider in mind, take a look at their coverage options — and any available add-ons — to see if COVID-19 quarantines are covered.
» Learn more: The best travel insurance companies
If you aren’t already committed to an insurance company, sites such as SquareMouth, a NerdWallet partner, will allow you to search for and compare policy coverage from multiple companies at once.
You’ll be asked to provide a variety of information, such as your destination, dates of travel, age, and whether you’d like to be reimbursed for cancellations.
SquareMouth’s search also includes the ability to filter search results so you’ll only see policies with COVID-19 protections.
Once you’ve found a provider whose policy includes COVID-19 coverage, you’ll want to make certain that quarantine will also be reimbursed. Reading the policy in full will tell you; it can look something like this:
» Learn more: What to know before buying travel insurance
How much will COVID quarantine travel insurance cost?
The price of travel insurance is going to depend on many factors, including the length of your trip, your age, your destination and your coverage limits.
As you’d expect, the more comprehensive your coverage and the higher your limits, the more expensive your policy will be. The same is true if you’re heading out of the country for an extended period of time.
When comparing insurance policies, you’ll want to think about coverage limits as well as whether the insurance will provide primary or secondary coverage. Compare these factors against other policies to see which policy is the right fit for you.
Here’s a comparison between two different policies. Although neither of these requires a deductible, one of these is secondary (it pays out after other insurance) and caps out at $15,000 per person in emergency medical expenses.
The other is primary (it pays out before other insurance policies) and covers up to $100,000 per person in emergency medical expenses:
While $15,000 may seem like a lot of money, remember that this total includes all doctor visits, tests and medications — in addition to the cost of your quarantine stay.
If you’re staying somewhere expensive, those costs can quickly add up.
Although some communities, such as New York City, may provide cost-free isolation accommodation, others will leave you to fend for yourself.
Even if staying in a moderately priced hotel, five to 10 days (or more) of isolation can quickly run into the thousands of dollars. You’ll want to be sure your insurance policy can cover this.
» Learn more: Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?
Final thoughts on travel insurance that covers COVID quarantine
Although the world is still trying to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be looking to get out and travel again. Being protected in the event something happens can give you peace of mind when away from home.
This is especially true when it comes to mandatory COVID-19 quarantine, when costs can easily pile up. Acquiring travel insurance with COVID-19 quarantine protection can save you — and your wallet — in case of an emergency.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card