BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW)– Flite II Travel in Beachwood is working overtime.
In business for nearly five decades, owner Gail Cochran said the last time her industry saw travel concerns at this level were in the days and weeks after Sept. 11.
“If you’re booking something a year out, anything can happen and you are protected. But in this case, this is completely different,” Cochran said.
It’s because most travel insurance policies do not cover trip cancellations for fears over epidemic disease, like coronavirus.
Travel Guard, one of the largest travel insurance agencies in the country, provides periodic updates regarding travel safety. On its website, the company said if you are considering canceling your trip because of coronavirus, generally fear of travel is not a covered event under most policies.
Flight II Travel is currently working to get clients back to Cleveland from overseas.
“They went for a three-week trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. And I’m worried about getting them home,” Cochran said.
That’s because more and more airlines are canceling international flights, especially to affected areas like China and Italy.
Coronavirus became a known risk on Jan. 24 and any claim arising from coronavirus may not be covered if the policy was purchased on or after that date. Even if you have travel insurance and paid extra for the “option to cancel for any reason,” only a percentage of your trip may be reimbursed.
“We’re getting two and three emails a day from airlines and tourism companies about what they’re doing. And they’re not protecting you,” Cochran said.
The bottom line: Buyer beware since not all travel insurance is equal. Still, regardless of the situation, Cochran recommended everyone purchase travel insurance because it’s better to have some protection, than nothing at all.