Coronavirus fears may not be covered by travel insurance

Travel insurance can cover possible losses, but Action 9 found it doesn't give consumers the protection they expect.

There's so much uncertainty now about the virus and that can make travel planning very difficult.

Travel insurance can cover possible losses, but Action 9 found it doesn't give consumers the protection they expect.

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Susan and Mark Harter just ended one vacation and they’ve been tracking Coronavirus updates since they booked a European river cruise in three months.

They're confident travel insurance protects them.

“We've been told if we have to cancel for whatever reason or if the trip is canceled, we get a full refund,” Susan Harter said.

But travel experts say many customers don't have the coverage they thought.

Kasara Barto tracks top travel insurance providers at Squaremouth.com.

“As soon as the Coronavirus became a known event, providers started excluding it from coverage,” Barto said.

A regular travel policy purchased since January 21st , when it became an epidemic, will not cover most travel losses caused by the virus.

Standard travel insurance doesn't cover fear, when you want to avoid a risky area and cancel everything. But there is a policy that does.

It's called Cancel for Any Reason coverage and it provides cancellation refunds. But consumers must buy it soon after making their travel arrangements.

“So, if you're planning a trip and purchased your tickets today, you have three weeks to purchase the cancel for any reason coverage,” Barto said.

The premium policy costs about 40% more than standard travel insurance.

Concerned about the Coronavirus, Trish Borah just bought that coverage for a London trip this summer.

“I think I can cancel the trip if I want to,” Borah said.

She could but Borah was not aware that Cancel for Any Reason policies only provide a refund of 50% to 75% .

“Wow that's depressing. You just ruined my day. Thanks,” Borah said.

If your travel insurance claim is denied, you can appeal.

Also contact the airline or cruise provider, some companies will offer future credits and that’s better than a total loss.