As vacationers think about getting back to Cape Cod and the Islands in the days to come, concerns about travel uncertainties continue. As homeowners, you’re undoubtedly fielding questions about your rental cancellation policies as well as the topic of trip protection, AKA travel insurance.
Most Travel Insurance Companies Now Cover COVID-19
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been a significant rise in the number of vacationers who specifically search the Internet for information on travel insurance. When the pandemic first struck, most travel insurance providers failed to cover trip interruptions and cancellations due to COVID-19. In recent months, however, travel insurance providers have stepped up their offerings. Most now cover the illness and the myriad complications that go along with it for the vacationer. Regardless of how strict or lenient your cancellation policy is, you might consider recommending travel insurance to prospective guests, especially if they express concern about a potential cancellation.
Choosing the Appropriate Insurance Coverage
TravelInsurance.com is an aggregate website that enables vacationers to compare and buy trip insurance online from some of the travel insurance industry’s most well-known and trusted providers. Vacationers input their specific travel information and are instantly shown custom quotes and policy details from several different providers. They select a travel insurance provider and a policy that best suit their needs, directly paying online. The vacationer’s policy is active from the time they make their purchase.
Cancel for Any Reason Insurance (CFAR)
Sudden travel bans and quarantines are not typically covered under regular policies, even those that do cover a “diagnosed case of COVID-19.” If a vacationer is concerned about the possibility of those types of situations, they will want to consider Cancel for Any Reason Coverage (commonly referred to as CFAR). Interest in CFAR coverage has also skyrocketed online in the past year. CFAR coverage will allow the vacationer to cancel for any reason at all, such as fears or worries of COVID-19, which isn’t a standard covered reason in most basic travel insurance policies. While it’s often likely to be worth the additional cost for a very concerned vacationer, it’s also important to note that even CFAR policies allow the vacationer to recover only 50%-75% of trip costs. Additionally, CFAR coverage is usually available to the vacationer for just a short window of time when initially purchasing their policy.
In the event that a vacationer who has purchased travel protection does need to cancel their trip, their travel insurance provider will likely request a brief Notice of Cancellation from the vacationer. This may require you, the homeowner, to draft a short email detailing the dates of missed stay, cost of the missed stay, and other details. It will be important to the vacationer to submit those cancellation details to their travel provider in a timely manner in order to begin their reimbursement process.
If you, the homeowner, need to cancel
If you, the homeowner, need to cancel with the vacationer for an unforeseen reason, many travel providers will allow a policyholder to cancel their policy and receive a refund for the cost of their premium. It’s up to the vacationer to read the fine print before purchasing their policy to see whether that type of coverage is offered.
Keep in mind that you are not a “licensed seller” of insurance, so recommending specific plans or policies is not advisable. It’s the vacationer’s responsibility to research and select the coverage that is best for them.
The bottom line for homeowners on the topic of travel insurance is that it’s usually a very good idea to suggest it to vacationers. In a world full of uncertainties, travel insurance coverage will often give the vacationer that added “peace of mind” that they are looking for when planning and purchasing their much-anticipated vacation rental stay on the Cape and Islands.