No special COVID-19 insurance on travel

Standard policies are likely to exclude travel insurance claims arising directly or indirectly from COVID-19 related events 

Travel insurance claims arising directly or indirectly from COVID-19 related events are likely to be excluded from standard policies.

A majority of insurance companies will not be covering pandemic-related events for travellers, according to the Malta Insurance Association.

“Insurance companies will be abiding by exclusions issued in March, when the pandemic broke out. Such exclusions are issued on an individual basis, with parameters laid out by the specific insurance companies,” Charles Zarb of the MIA said.

Travellers will be allowed to go abroad to a list of 18 ‘safe corridor’ countries that include two regions in Italy, as approved by the Maltese government.

But travel insurance will not be adapted to specific destinations which might have high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases. “There is no cover for losses arising directly or indirectly from COVID19, therefore the number of positive individuals in a country has no bearing on the premium,” Keith Tanti from Atlas Insurance said.

And the price of travel insurance will not be changing despite the limited number of destinations available to travellers. “This has no bearing on the premium of travel insurance so this has not changed,” Tanti said.

But travellers will have no costs covered from insurances if they are forced to quarantine upon arrival to a destination. People will only be covered for cancellations tied to specific conditions only. “If you booked a flight or a hotel in January, but you are choosing to not travel to that destination in the coming months without providing a specific reason for that cancellation for example the disruption of flights or the closing down of an accommodation, you will not be reimbursed,” Charles Zarb said.

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