With the spreading omicron variant, should you get travel insurance?

Dec 28, 2021, 5:57 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 10:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY—This week with thousands of flights canceled, we have seen how COVID really can still wreak havoc with travel plans. Travel can get expensive, so having travel insurance helps protect your vacation money – especially as the pandemic keeps everyone guessing.

But it turns out, fewer people say they are buying travel insurance this December than in December 2020. So, is the cost of the insurance worth it?

When the pandemic first struck, travel insurance rarely covered cancellations due to COVID-19. But times have changed according to travel insurance expert Kathy Kimmel of InsureMyTrip.com.

“The industry realized that COVID-19 would be considered unforeseen, so they are covering it as an unforeseen illness,” Kimmel explained.

So now, if you get COVID and cannot travel, travel insurance will cover your expenses including those prepaid, non-refundable deposits made on accommodations and transportation, and other expenses.

Yet statistically it seems interest in travel insurance is waning. In December 2020, half of travelers bought insurance according to consumer website, ValuePenguin. That number dropped down to 29% this December. Kimmel says that is likely because travelers still have travel insurance that carried over from canceled trips.

“What we found out from 2020 to 2021, the folks in 2020, who maybe had their trips canceled two, three times they’ve transferred to this year,” she said.

Kimmel said typical travel policies cover health costs if you are outside the reach of your insurance network. Travel delay coverage can reimburse you for extra lodging and food if you have to quarantine during a trip. And if a canceled flight leaves you stranded at the airport, it can reimburse you for a hotel, meals, even transportation.

“First thing you always have to do is go up to the check-in counter and get some sort of document that states why you were delayed,” she advised. “Because it (the coverage) goes from then your time of flight on.”

But you should know, if you plan to cancel your trip because you are afraid you might come down with COVID, that is not a reimbursable claim unless you add “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage.

“You cancel two or more days prior to departure and you get up to 75% (of your trip expenses covered.) So, you’re right, at least it would be something,” Kimmel said.

Kimmel said the typical travel insurance will cost around 6% of your trip expenses but can run 10% if you buy the additional Cancel for Any Reason coverage. You can buy coverage any time before your trip, but she recommended having it in hand no later than 21 days before you take off. If COVID sidelines your travel plans, you must have insurance before getting sick to make a claim.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Man accused of exposing himself at Utah store...
Shara Park

Man accused of exposing himself to underage girls at Utah store

The owner of Rad Swim in Highland is warning Utah families after she says a man exposed himself to her associate and several young girls in her store Monday evening.
1 day ago
High school teammates play in Super Bowl...
Ayanna Likens

2 former Stansbury High School teammates to faceoff in the Super Bowl

Two former Stansbury High School football teammates will face each other as rivals in the Super Bowl.
1 day ago
HOV lanes for pregnant women...
Katija Stjepovic

House passes bill allowing pregnant women to drive solo in HOV lanes

Pregnant women may soon be allowed to drive solo in HOV lanes after a bill allowing just that passed in the Utah House of Representatives Friday.
1 day ago
(Matt Rascon/KSL TV)...
Matt Rascon & Eliza Pace

KSL+: Healing in schools after Enoch tragic shooting

In the weeks following the tragic shooting in Enoch that killed five children, the school community continues to feel the impact.
1 day ago
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
Madison Swenson

Two Utah county men, business charged with $11M COVID tax fraud scheme

Two Utah County men, as well as an accounting business in Provo, have been charged with a COVID-related tax fraud scheme totaling more than $11 million.
1 day ago
Elk herd near Parleys Canyon...
Jed Boal

3 elk die after herd wanders onto roads near Parleys Canyon

A large herd of elk continues to keep motorists and state troopers on high alert near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
With the spreading omicron variant, should you get travel insurance?