Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Why Travel Insurance is Important?

Travel During the Pandemic: Why Travel Insurance is Important?

With the loosening travel restrictions under the “0+3 measure” and many countries’ borders opening up, I bet most of you have already planned a “Revenge Trip” with your friends or family. But travelling isn’t as smooth as before the COVID-19 pandemic. Flights might get cancelled or disrupted, but trip bummers are still on their way!

Wanna enjoy a carefree trip? Consider getting travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage! It will support your back if you get infected (touch wood, not the fourth time!).

Why Is It Important to Get Travel Insurance During the Pandemic?

Though we’re getting over the last phase of the pandemic (hopefully!), the restrictions have yet to be fully lifted. Flight delays or unexpected quarantines are still possible.

Travel insurance costs little, but it can save you a lot from unexpected costs from unforeseen incidents like flight delays, lost luggage, or even worse – pulling off the trip!) This is why you should consider getting travel insurance during the pandemic.

Here are a few reasons that may change your view about travel insurance and encourage you to get one for your planned trip.

Reason 1: Cover medical costs for COVID (and other) overseas treatment

No one likes getting sick, particularly when travelling overseas. Even though the COVID symptoms are not that severe, it’s better to have your medical expenses covered. So you can be less worried about overseas medical costs, especially when travelling with your kids and parents.

Plus, travel insurance covers other medical expenses incurred by other incidents, like breaking a leg during your Hokkaido skiing trip. By the way, do you know how much it costs if you need to stay in the hospital for treatment?

The estimated cost for a broken leg treatment can be as high as ¥400,000 (roughly HK$22,000). If you need surgery, it can cost ¥2,668,000 (approximately HK$145,000)! Let alone the cost of sending yourself back to Hong Kong for further treatment.

Without travel insurance, you need to pay the total cost all by yourself. I guess that’s not what you expect for the end of your long-awaited trip.

Reason 2: Cover the cost of flight cancellations and missed connections

In the time of the pandemic, travelling is only sometimes pleasant, and it might get a bit bumpy. Flights being cancelled or missing connections are not uncommon for you or me.

Travel insurance covers the flight cost, and they have hotlines to help you find your next flight connection. (Phew! How fortunate to have them!)

Reason 3: Compensate the extra costs induced by infection with COVID-19

Imagine that a week before you go, your daughter, unfortunately, tested positive for COVID-19. You must pull off the trip, but what about the non-refundable flight tickets and hotel reservations?

If you have COVID-19 coverage on your travel insurance.You’re assured of being compensated for the cancellation of your trip. You may stay in peace of mind.

AXA安盛 logo

Total Premium


15% OffTotal PremiumHK$320
Online Promo
Medical Coverage (Overseas)
Trip Cancellation
Loss/Damage of Baggage
Total Premium
Total PremiumHK$32015% Off
Online Promo:
【AXA SmartTraveller】
Purchase AXA SmartTraveller Plus Plan via MoneySmart to get 15% off on the premium*
From now until 31 Dec 2022, eligible customers can enjoy free protection for up to 14 days when returning to Hong Kong and undergoing the compulsory quarantine measures implemented by the Hong Kong Government. 
Valid until 30 Nov 2022

What Are Travel Insurance COVID-19 Coverages?

Travel insurance COVID-19 coverages are additional perks to regular travel insurance, except that they cover the most expenses for COVID-19-related situations such as:

  • Trip cancellation due to contraction
  • Contracted COVID-19 while overseas
  • Confirmed contraction of COVID-19 after returning to Hong Kong
  • The trip ended earlier than scheduled due to contraction

Which Circumstances Are or Are Not Covered?

Regarding which circumstances are covered or not, the answer mainly depends on the travel insurance policy you’ve purchased. But in general, here are the typical situations for Hong Kong citizens:

  • Obtained 2 related COVID-19 vaccines
  • The insured period is no longer than 90 days

What if you got infected before going and I needed to cancel the trip?

It’s not lovely to cancel your trip just before going because you are infected. There is plenty to worry about. What about the flight ticket? The hotel reservation of a sea-view luxury loft? What if they are all non-refundable? Does it mean you will lose all the money even if you don’t go?

With your travel insurance, you can rest assured that you can get your money back for non-refundable flight tickets and hotel reservation fees.

But what about other scheduled activities, such as amusement park tickets or scheduled diving sessions? Are they covered in the insurance plan?

Unfortunately, most insurance plans only cover accommodations and transportation costs, not other scheduled activities.

Generali 忠意保險 logo

Total Premium


30% OffTotal PremiumHK$273
MoneySmart Exclusive
Medical Coverage (Overseas)
Trip Cancellation
Loss/Damage of Baggage
Total Premium
Total PremiumHK$27330% Off
MoneySmart Exclusive:

【Generali Travel Insurance 
You can now enjoy 30% discount on insurance premiums for Generali Travel Insurance via MoneySmart!

【MoneySmart Exclusive Offer】
With each purchase of Travel Insurance of HK$500 premium or above (after discount) through MoneySmart within the promotional period, applicant is entitled to one HK$50 Starbucks e-Coupon as a gift.

Valid until 31 Dec 2022

What if you get infected during the trip? Will you get any coverage if you contract COVID-19 while you are overseas?

The answer is yes. Your travel insurance should cover the following if you test positive for COVID-19:

  • Necessary medical expenses incurred overseas, including extra accommodation and travelling expenses
  • Follow-up medical expenses after you return to Hong Kong
  • Non-refundable or additional cost for transportation and accommodation of the scheduled journey due to trip curtailment

What if you get infected after coming back to Hong Kong? Are the medical fees covered?

Suppose you are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 overseas within 14 days of returning to Hong Kong. In that case, your travel insurance shall cover follow-up medical expenses within 3 months after you return to Hong Kong.

The coverage is under the condition that you have obtained the vaccination under the vaccination requirements of Hong Kong SAR or the country you travel to before the journey.

Simply put, if you didn’t get the required vaccinations, your travel insurance might not be able to cover the incurred expenses.

What if your family members got infected during the trip and needed to stay in quarantine overseas?

Let’s say you and your son got infected during the trip. Both of you are required to stay in quarantine, which is longer than the planned trip, but your wife and daughter are fine and planning to return to Hong Kong as scheduled.

How would travel insurance cover this situation? In general, travel insurance should cover the additional cost incurred because every member of the family is insured individually. But this coverage varies among insurance policies. Remember to inquire for further details.

Avo 保險 logo

Total Premium


21% OffTotal PremiumHK$237
MoneySmart Exclusive
Overseas Medical Expenses
Travel Cancellation
Loss/Damage of Baggage and Personal Effects
Total Premium
Total PremiumHK$23721% Off
MoneySmart Exclusive:

【Avo Travel Insurance 
You can now enjoy 21% discount on insurance premiums for Avo Travel Insurance via MoneySmart!

【MoneySmart Exclusive Offer】
With each purchase of Travel Insurance of HK$400 premium or above (after
discount) through MoneySmart within the promotional period, applicant is
entitled to one HK$50 supermarket e-Coupon as a gift.

Valid until 31 Dec 2022

Which Type Of Travel Insurance To Choose: A Personal Plan or A Family Plan?

Which type of plan is more suitable for you and your family? Suppose you travel once a year with your family. In that case, a separate personal plan is better because it is more economical. On the other hand, the family plan offers a more affordable and hassle-free alternative than a personal plan. This is suitable for families travelling with children under 18, and the trip lasts fewer than 30 days. Don’t forget that your children must be travelling with you to get insured.

Remember to consider these terms before purchasing if you’re buying a family plan.

Final words: Always Check the Quote Before Buying

Though travel insurance can’t prevent accidents from occurring, it can protect you against various incidents that could potentially cost you a fortune on your holiday trip.

Before getting travel insurance, don’t forget to check the quote and see if the plan is suitable for you. Check out “Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance in HK 2022” for more insurance information.

Final recap: Different travel insurance plans provide different coverages and benefits. You should check insurers’ website and terms and conditions before you purchase.

Looking for more personal finance tips? Let’s check out MoneySmart Blog!