Travel insurance may not cover you if you cancel for coronavirus

Concern over the coronavirus is starting to impact people's travel plans. A big question that people have: should they get travel insurance?

Travel insurance covers a lot of emergencies, but it turns out fear over coronavirus isn't one of them.

"Even the insurance that we sell that is canceled for any reason because this is a known issue, they wouldn’t cover that," said AAA field manager Scott Bartle.

Scott Bartle deals with travel insurance for AAA. He says January 22 is the day coronavirus became a "known event." If you bought travel insurance before that date, it might cover you if you cancel an upcoming trip because of the virus. But if you purchase insurance after that and cancel because of the virus, you likely won't get your money back. 

If you are considering canceling, "the best advice would be to contact a professional and let them dig into what’s going on and then advise you," said Bartle.

If you're traveling with a tour or cruise, "I would look at when your final payment is due because once you pay your final payment, then you’re within penalty." 

You can likely cancel before your final payment. 

The company also may alter the travel plans or allow you to change the dates of your trip. 

When it comes to flights, Jetblue announced it's waiving change and cancellation fees for some flights due to coronavirus. Bartle says other airlines will likely follow suit "especially if flights are going into cities where there are newer issues or as things crop up more and more, they’ll be more flexible in allowing people to change without penalties." 

Bartle still suggest getting travel insurance because it will cover you if you become sick before or during your trip.