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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- International travelers are growing concerned as the number of countries with confirmed cases of MERS increases to twelve. To address these concerns, Squaremouth, America's fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, explains how travel insurance can and can't help.
Contracting MERS is Covered (For Now)
As of May 19, travel insurance providers consider becoming infected with MERS an "unforeseen event", meaning they will provide benefits to a traveler who is diagnosed with the virus before or during their trip.
Travelers who contract MERS and need to cancel their trip can file a claim to be reimbursed for their trip cost. Likewise, travelers who are diagnosed during their trip can receive medical treatment under their policy, and can even file a trip interruption claim for any trip expenses that went unused during the treatment.
Fear Typically isn't Covered
The Center for Disease Control does not recommend changing travel plans yet, however some concerned travelers may want to cancel a trip for fear of contracting the virus. Unfortunately for those who turn to travel insurance for it's trip cancellation benefit, canceling for fear is not covered.
While standard trip cancellation policies don't cover fear, some policies offer an optional "cancel for any reason" upgrade. This upgrade will allow cancellation due to fear, but it comes at an increased premium and will only reimburse up to 75% of the trip cost. Furthermore, these policies must be purchased within 30 days of a trip's initial deposit date.
"Much remains unknown about MERS," says Josh Walker, Product Manager at Squaremouth. "As the situation evolves, travel insurance providers may consider the virus "foreseen". Once this happens, it would no longer be covered under their policies."
Travelers who are especially concerned with MERS should consider purchasing a policy sooner rather than later. MERS is covered today, but it may not be tomorrow.
To help keep travelers up-to-date with MERS and it's affect on travel insurance, Squaremouth has launched the MERS and Travel Insurance Information Center. This webpage is updated regularly with travel insurance provider position statements, FAQs and travel warnings.
Squaremouth is an online company that compares travel insurance products from every major insurance provider in the US. Using Squaremouth's comparison engine and customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products. More information: www.squaremouth.com.
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