COVID-19: Travel Insurance and Medical Evacuations

For the latest information and resources on Coronavirus, please visit the RCM&D COVID-19 Resource Center at

The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) brings about much concern and uncertainty.  Of particular concern may be the financial impact and economic consequences that may be imposed on businesses. 

We are in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.  It is a very fluid and ever-changing environment.  As a result, it is difficult to know what the full impact of these circumstances may present in time to come. With potential widespread illness and financial losses, questions are sure to arise concerning the possible role of insurance to mitigate the damages and/or to provide relief for such losses.  While insurance policies vary for each line of business, the coverage provided by each policy also differs.  There are exclusions in policies that may or may not address issues related to COVID-19.  Likewise, insurance carriers’ interpretation of coverage often differs as well.  At this time, we do not know what coverage decisions will be made by carriers in response to losses related to COVID-19, so we offer the following information as a general overview of the various insurance coverages and how they traditionally respond. But again, because states are now proposing legislative changes we cannot anticipate how these changes may impact your specific insurance coverage at this time.  

Travel Insurance & Medical Evacuations

Forgoing travel plans due to fear of traveling for any reason is rarely covered by a travel insurance policy. Many policies also include limitations and exclusions for outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19.  The exception would be if the traveler purchased the ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ upgrade on the policy. This optional coverage may cover up to 50 -75 percent of the cost of the trip at a significantly higher premium than a standard travel policy. 

Travelers may find some recourse during this difficult time through Trip Delay coverage. If an individual is quarantined due to exposure to the virus, benefits under this policy may be considered payable. Additionally, as airlines experience increased travel restrictions and reduced demand, Trip Delay coverage may be triggered for many passengers whose flights have been canceled.

Medical evacuation plans will not provide coverage for any individuals who would like to leave an affected region due to fear or due to being quarantined while abroad. These plans will only be triggered once an individual has contracted the COVID-19 or other illness and need to be medically evacuated.

We are in unchartered territory in the United States and internationally. If you believe that you may have a claim, or circumstance that could lead to a claim, we continue to recommend that you report all claims or potential claims to their appropriate carriers per the instructions provided in your Claim Reporting Manuals. While there may be exclusions in your insurance policies that could apply, as circumstances continue to change, we are starting to see States proposing new legislation surrounding various exclusions. 

Be assured that RCM&D strives to advocate on behalf of every client.  When coverage is denied or disputed, our team will assist in evaluating the carrier’s position against the policy language.  Every effort is made in assisting our clients with negative coverage determinations.  We will continue in that regard as well to COVID-19 related claims.  Any valid and appropriate argument will be considered to advocate on behalf of our clients when coverage is disputed.

RCM&D is making every effort to anticipate our clients’ questions and concerns during these ever rapidly changing times.  If there are any questions, or if further assistance is needed with the claim process, please let us know.