COVID-19 Has Changed the Way We Look at Travel Insurance

Travelling has changed during the COVID-19 era. These changes have also impacted Travel insurance.

Pre-COVID, a travel insurance package provided comprehensive cover and it was always a no-brainer because it provided coverage for many different scenarios. Post-COVID, travel insurance policy benefits haven’t changed that much, but the way we look at travel insurance has definitely changed.

With the upheaval of so many things we considered stable beforehand; it has become clear that travel insurance cannot always provide cover when the claim is COVID related. Nowadays with the introduction of flight bans and mandatory quarantine, it is important for policyholders to understand what is covered and what not when you contracted COVID.

We will delve deeper into 3 different scenarios when policyholders contract COVID:

1) Before departure

2) While overseas

3) When returning to Hong Kong

1. Contracted COVID in Hong Kong before departure.


  • Trip Cancellation – The earlier you take out travel insurance, the longer the benefit period under your Trip Cancellation will be.


  • OTA Cancellation – You are not covered if your flight is cancelled or you have chosen not to travel because of Red or Black Outbound Travel Alert (OTA).
  • Banned Entry – You are not covered if the place you are going to visit has banned entry for Hong Kong resident OR suspended visa entry arrangement OR has imposed a flight ban.
  • Flight Cancellation – The flight you have booked is cancelled even if there is no flight ban imposed by the government.

2. Contracted COVID while overseas


  • Medical Expenses – You are covered for whatever medical expenses are incurred overseas.
  • Follow-up Medical Expenses – Expenses within 3 Months after your return to Hong Kong are covered.
  • Transport/Accommodation – Irrecoverable loss of or additional cost for transportation and/or accommodation of any scheduled journey due to trip curtailment is covered.
  • Automatic Extension – You are covered up to 10 days free of charge for Single Journey policies.


  • Covid-19 Outbreak – You are not covered if you decide to shorten your journey due to the outbreak of COVID 19.
  • Rumours of a Flight Ban – If you decide to shorten the journey because you heard the local government will impose flight ban soon, you will not be covered.
  • Airline Flight Cancellation – You will not be covered if your airline cancelled your return flight while you are overseas.

3. Confirmed contraction of COVID after returning to Hong Kong


  • Medical Expenses – If you are confirmed to have COVID-19 within 14 days after returning to Hong Kong, then follow-up medical treatment is covered within 3 Months after you return to Hong Kong (Even without medical expenses incurred overseas).

More information
To learn more about Travel Insurance, or to get a quote, please visit our Travel Insurance page
The benefit details mentioned in this article are from the AXA SmartTraveller Plus insurance policy. Coverage details were taken from the AXA SmartTraveller Plus FAQ Sheet

About Charings
Established in 2015, Charings is committed to helping protect you in all walks of life. We are innovators in personal, commercial and specialist insurance. For a truly personal and tailored solution that protects you, contact us to schedule a call.

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