How to insure your trip against Corona

Hamburg. The Insurance industry is known to be in Wirtschafts­krisen comparatively mildly to get away with it. That should also be the case this time, especially with the products for corporate customers Risks one pandemic are very often excluded.

For private customers of the insurance industry, the effects of the wave of coronavirus infections are particularly relevant with regard to travel and international health insurance. Here, the pandemic has led to previously virtually unknown case constellations. In addition, various providers, including HanseMerkur, recently launched additional corona protection for their travel insurance. Here are the most important questions and answers about this complex:

What’s new in travel insurance?

In the tourism sector in particular, the pandemic has led to a massive slump in business. In order to spare its guests at least some of the uncertainty, Lufthansa has been offering insurance included in the ticket price in most booking classes since the end of June, which covers, among other things, the costs for quarantine at the destination and for return transport in a specially equipped aircraft. The Hamburg insurer HanseMerkur has developed a similar product for the Lufthansa cheap subsidiary Eurowings and, according to its own information, was one of the first companies in the industry to launch additional corona protection for its travel insurance. For a travel price of 1000 euros, for example, the supplement alone costs 22 euros.

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“Such additional protection can of course be viewed as an expansion of the benefits,” says Claudia Frenz from the Bund der Versicherung (BdV): “However, the providers we know currently demand considerable additional premiums for extended services.” Thus, it must be checked individually whether a conclusion is recommended . Ergo, for example, only charges 4 euros for its “Covid-19 supplementary insurance”. But between the additional tariffs of the individual providers there are “serious differences in the conditions,” says Sandra Klug, head of the investment / retirement / insurance department at the Hamburg consumer center. “For example, the Ergo offer does not cover quarantine at the holiday destination, which causes additional costs for the hotel room and a flight other than the planned return flight.”

Who pays if you cannot travel because of a fever?

This is probably the horror idea of ​​many tourists: if a temperature check is carried out immediately before departure, for example at a cruise terminal, a fever is detected and the holiday falls through the water. Is there any compensation for additional services booked? “It is not always clear whether the contractual conditions of a travel cancellation insurance include a suspicion of corona disease or whether a confirmed diagnosis must be available,” said Klug.

In the additional protection of HanseMerkur, for example, the “refusal of transport” after a temperature measurement is expressly covered. In the opinion of BdV expert Frenz, however, the regular travel cancellation insurance would also have to pay, because the sudden occurrence of fever could be viewed as an “unexpected and serious illness”, meaning that there was an insured event. But one thing is clear: There is no compensation if someone does not start the trip because subjectively it no longer seems safe to them. “The fear of Corona is not insured,” says Klug.


Does travel insurance make sense in principle?

A travel interruption cost insurance could be worthwhile “if it is a very expensive vacation”, explains consumer advocate Klug. Claudia Frenz sees it very similarly. “The pandemic alone or the coverage extensions that are now appearing on the market do not change the basic assessment that travel cancellation or termination insurance is rarely recommended and should only be considered for extremely expensive or long trips.”

Which private insurance companies have pandemic exclusions?

Among the international travel health insurance there are some that expressly exclude benefits in the context of pandemics, said Frenz. “But the majority of the tariffs should be paid,” says Klug. She is not aware of any corona exclusions from other insurance products that are relevant for private individuals, such as occupational disability and term life insurance.

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What do I need to know about foreign health insurance?

A travel health insurance abroad is – regardless of the current pandemic – a “very useful and important” protection for everyone who travels abroad, says Frenz. The insurance covers the costs for medical treatment that are not covered by the statutory health insurance if you fall ill outside of Germany.

Here, too, there are differences in the conditions that could be decisive in individual cases, according to the expert: “Often only the medically necessary return home is covered, but in better tariffs the insurer also pays for medically meaningful return transports.” If you have started a trip despite a travel warning from the Foreign Office, there is no money in the event of illness.


What should you think of free insurance from some holiday countries?

Since the beginning of August, the Canary Islands have been insuring all visitors through the Axa Group against additional costs due to a corona infection during the vacation – including the quarantine accommodation. The Dominican Republic also wants to stimulate tourism again with a travel insurance policy paid for by the Caribbean state. Consumer advocate Klug, however, is skeptical: “I don’t know how much you should rely on the fact that travel insurance, such as that offered by some holiday countries as a flat rate, really pays in the specific case.”

Are there insurance policies that should be taken out because of the pandemic?

“From our point of view, there is no increased need for the conclusion of certain private insurance contracts due to the corona pandemic,” says Frenz. In principle, existential risks should be secured, regardless of pandemics. This includes, for example, term life insurance if you want to secure family members financially in the event of your own death or if a mortgage has to be serviced. “Other important insurances include occupational disability insurance and personal liability insurance,” says Frenz.

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