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We are traveling to Austria from the USA at the end of November. The travel insurance policies I have seen are confusing as to trip cancellation. Do any of the policies cover trip cancellation if a country bans citizens from your particular home country from coming into their country due to Covid? We have the ability to cancel our hotel with no penalty but the airfare is only changeable up to 48 hrs before departure.

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  • Note that in the vast majority of cases, bans are for people who have been in a given country recently rather than citizens of any country, with exceptions for citizens and permanent residents of the destination country (and sometimes of the block they are part of, e.g. the EU). Also note that many policies exclude any travel to a country for which an advisory has been published by the origin country (e.g. CDC or State Department for the US). Austria is currently on level 3 out of 4 for both the CDC and State Department.
    – jcaron
    Aug 15, 2021 at 14:42

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Do any of the policies cover trip cancellation if a country bans citizens from your particular home country from coming into their country due to Covid?

Typically not.

Insurance policies vary a lot so you need to carefully study the details of your specific policy to find out. Personally I found websites like sqauremouth.com very helpful, since you can read the full policy before you buy (no advertisement or endorsement intended).

It appears that most insurance would require a "Cancel for any reason" policy to cover that specific case. However these are rather expensive and typically don't cover all of the travel cost (typically 75%).

Personally, I just do medical travel insurance since it's inexpensive and the potential costs could be massive. Travel cost coverage often costs 5%-10% of the total trip price and my track record of making trips is much better than that.

Even if you get banned from entering Austria on short notice, you may still be able to negotiate something with the airlines. It's also possible that the airline will have to cancel their flight, in which case you would get a full refund.

Some sources:

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  • Recently many travel insurance products have been including COVID specific cover which may cover travel bans specifically for COVID. It's worth checking the fine print. Aug 15, 2021 at 22:15
  • @Crazymoomin: I couldn't find a single example of this. "Covid coverage" varies wildly and typically cover health care cost and also cancellation if you get infected. I have not seen any coverage for entry bans and most insurances clear state that Covid is a "foreseeable" event.
    – Hilmar
    Aug 16, 2021 at 15:06
  • I've seen some of the more premium policies with cover to that effect, though I'll agree it's not in every COVID policy (many policies do cover specific "foreseeable" events after all, like ski resort closures due to lack of snow). In these circumstances booking a package through a travel agent is the best option, since packages tend have the strongest protections in the event you can't legally travel. Besides, the travel agent is likely to cancel in the event of a travel ban. Aug 16, 2021 at 18:27

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