NY travel insurance is undergoing a transformation in the face of COVID-19

NY travel insurance - Virus
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State governor Andrew Cuomo is allowing Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage.

NY travel insurance is undergoing some significant changes as directed by state Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Governor Cuomo has announced that insurers are now permitted to sell Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policies to both residents and businesses.

This move is meant to help insurance companies respond to traveler needs as COVID-19 spreads.

People around the world have become nervous about booking travel plans due to the uncertainty regarding the spread of the coronavirus. In order to help ease those concerns, Cuomo used a recent briefing on the novel coronavirus to announce that New York would now be allowing the sale of CFAR policies.

These policies have not been permitted for sale in the state over the last decade. The reason is that New York didn’t consider CFAR to be a true form of insurance. The reason is that it wasn’t covering travelers against the unexpected as the traveler could decide whether or not he or she was eligible for payment.

The NY travel insurance regulation change is meant to assuage fears about booking new trips.

“With this action, New York State is demonstrating that government can and must do its part to help people navigate through this ever changing situation so they can proceed with their daily lives and routines,” explained the Superintendent of Financial Services, Linda A. Lacewell. “We want to make sure that travelers and business owners are provided accurate information and a measure of relief as they make travel arrangements during this time.”

There are already six global and national insurers that have expressed their willingness to sell CFAR insurance policies in the state. These include:

  • Allianz
  • Berkshire
  • Crum & Forster
  • Nationwide
  • Starr Indemnity
  • Zurich

Guidance issued by the Department of Financial Services underscores that CFAR coverage and traditional NY travel insurance are not the same thing. It explained that CFAR is “separate and distinct from standard travel insurance, and should not be sold NY travel insurance - Virustogether per New York State Insurance Law.” Typically traveler policies don’t include coverage for public health events such as epidemics or pandemics.

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