AAA says not all travel insurance covers trip cancellations for the coronavirus

A traveler wearing a face mask walks into the arrivals area at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
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Despite worries of the COVID-19 epidemic, people are taking trips through air ports and on cruise ships. If you have to cancel a trip due to coronavirus though, you might not be covered.

"On January 22, the coronavirus was designated a known event by most travel insurance providers," said Kimberly Schwind from AAA.

Schwind says if you purchased the insurance on or after that date your insurance policy would not cover it. If you purchased it before January 22, it may cover the novel coronavirus.

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If your insurance doesn't cover you, it's because on February 3 the CDC and world health organization designated COVID-19 as an epidemic and most travel insurance policies exclude losses for that reason. That's why some travel companies have taken matters into their own hands.

"In many cases tour operators and cruise lines are offering consumers trips to china refunds or alternative itineraries," said Schwind. "In the fine print in your policy an epidemic is often one of the exlusions not always though."

the big takeaways are if you booked atrip with travel insurance, call your agency. Determine what they will and will not cover. If you're booking a trip and considering travel insurance, you should dive into the policies and read the fine print. It should have the reasons for trip cancellations and interruptions.