The Zika Virus and the Travel Community

Published on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Caribbean Island

The Zika virus is having a significant impact on the travel community. Honeymoons, babymoons, and vacations are all being rescheduled or postponed because of the fear of infection. In fact, our assistance provider, On Call International conducted a survey which found that up to 64% of Americans would cancel their trip because of the virus.

At RoamRight, we’ve seen almost a 10% increase in coverage for people traveling to the most impacted destinations of Central and South America and the Caribbean since the beginning of December. Cancel For Any Reason coverage (CFAR) has shown an 81% increase in premium over this time last year. Many travelers have questions about how travel insurance covers their concerns about the Zika virus.

“While the thought of getting sick while you are out of the country can be upsetting, most travel insurance plans don’t cover trip cancellation based on just the possibility of illness,” says senior vice president of travel, Linda Fallon. “If you get sick before your trip and can’t travel, trip cancellation benefits are available, and if you’re on your trip and you get sick, travel medical coverage is available.”

Specifically in relation to pregnant women, RoamRight’s standard plans allow for trip cancellation benefits, provided that the pregnancy occurred after the effective date of the policy. Women who were already pregnant prior to purchasing coverage would need a CFAR policy in order to cancel a trip due to concerns over the Zika virus.

The good news is that with a CFAR upgrade, travelers can cancel their trip without worrying about the exclusions and limitations presented by more traditional travel insurance plans. RoamRight’s customer service representatives recommend purchasing a CFAR upgrade to anyone who may want to cancel a trip for reasons outside of our standard limitations. RoamRight’s CFAR upgrade is available when travelers purchase insurance within 21 days of making the first payment on their trip and insures the full cost of the trip. With Cancel For Any Reason coverage, travelers can cancel up to 48 hours before departure for any reason at all and be reimbursed for up to 75% of their non-refundable trip costs.

If travelers aren’t certain about the type of coverage they need, we encourage them to call for assistance.

You may be interested in reading our recent press coverage about this virus.

Fortune – “The Zika Virus is a Boon for Travel Insurers”

Forbes – “Dealing With The Zika Virus: Plane, Cruise, Hotel, Travel-Insurance Updates”

Huffington Post – “Worried About Zika? Here’s How It Could Affect Your Travel Plans”

New York Times – “How The Zika Virus Is Affecting Travel”

If you’re interested in offering RoamRight travel insurance to your clients, contact us to learn more.

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