CENTRAL ILLINOIS, Ill. (WMBD)– If you’re planning for spring break, keep in mind that most travel insurance policies don’t cover epidemics or pandemics. That doesn’t mean changes can’t be made by local travel agencies. Local travel agents said the biggest change they’ve seen is adjustments to current plans.
Some insurance companies explicitly state epidemics and pandemics are excluded reasons for canceling a trip. There are ways to buy travel insurance that might cover cancelations or changes due to the Coronavirus.
“Right now, we’re not seeing a whole lot of cancellations across the travel industry in general,” said Jennifer Walker, Owner of Jennifer Walker Travel located in Washington. “What we are seeing are people postponing trips, or switching the destination.”
Central Illinois travel agents like Jennifer Walker, said local consumers are better off booking through an actual agency someone can go to bat for you should changes arise.
“A travel advisor can work with their suppliers to get those kinds of changes made and hopefully avoid some of those cancellation fees,” said Walker. “My best advice is to always take out travel insurance. Now, with the Coronavirus, we’re finding that many of the policies don’t cover some of the reasons the trip is being canceled. So, you need to look at the policy to see is and is not covered and then maybe call the insurance company before you make that cancellation because you don’t want to be out all that money for your trip.”
Director of Airports, Gene Olson, says the Peoria International Airport doesn’t expect to see a decrease in passengers during the outbreak.
“Just the opposite,” said Olson. “Allegiant has 90 flights scheduled from this airport in the month of March and so we’re concerned about how we’re going to park all the cars.”
So while food, good times, and new destinations are on the mind, travel experts suggest to take the normal safety precautions and plan your trip responsibly.
It’s worth noting that travel insurance policies are not the same in every state, so policy options may vary. For instance, cancel for any reason travel insurance can’t be sold in New York state.