Everything was canceled. But good luck getting that insurance money.

Canceled flights, business losses: Your insurance probably can’t help you.


June 25, 2020

Raise your hand if the sheer force of your anxiety has ever made you pay a little extra to insure your flight. Maybe you thought, You never know, a pandemic could hit.

Well, the worst happened — but all that worrying doesn’t seem to be doing much good.

Turns out, canceling your flight because of a global pandemic is not covered in the policies of the 2 major flight insurers, Allianz and Travel Guard.

When it comes to insurance, we’re all losers

There are some exceptions to that travel insurance rule: If you had COVID-19, you might have gotten an insurance payout — but only under certain conditions.

In flight insurance lingo, you can’t be covered if there is a “foreseen” disaster. But insurers set their own rules about when the risk of catching COVID-19 was “foreseen.”

For Allianz, you had to book before January 22. For Travel Guard, you had until March 11. COVID-19 patients who bought insurance after those dates: Tough luck.

But flight insurers aren’t the only ones to totally flop during their moment in the spotlight.

Small businesses, don’t hold your breath for a payout

Back in 2006, small business insurers agreed that they wouldn’t cover any pandemic-related loss of business.

Which means: Businesses facing a historic drop in customers are going to have a tough time getting insurance help.

One lawyer told Marker there might be a workaround — blaming a loss of income on the lockdown, not the virus specifically — but it won’t be easy.

Meanwhile, businesses facing looting damage have also struggled to get their money. A case in point: After multiple lootings, the sneaker reseller Rif LA only recouped 20% of its losses.

But some insurers are feeling a little more generous. With so few people driving, car insurance companies have been handing out rebates.

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