RICHMOND, VA, September 1, 2020 — For those planning to hit the roads or take to the skies for domestic or even international travel as foreign destinations begin to open up to American tourists, there is a strong focus on how to stay safe while traveling.
Travel Insurance and Assistance provider** Allianz Partners’ senior medical consultant, Lori Calavan, is a physician assistant at the ICU at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT. When she’s not busy caring for seriously ill patients in the ICU, Lori helps manage the emergency medical care and emergency medical evacuations of Allianz customers who become ill or injured while traveling. Lori’s experience in helping travelers after they need medical attention has led her to develop some important tips on how to improve your safety while traveling. These tips offer a combination of common sense and professional advice on how to avoid illness and injury while enjoying the last vestiges of summer.
“It’s important to remember that the precautions you take to stay safe in your community should also be followed while you’re traveling,” said Lori Calavan. “Planning ahead for a trip to unfamiliar territory can increase both your peace of mind and your chances of enjoying your trip without incident.”
-Assess Risk. Evaluate the risks involved for all parties traveling, and reconsider taking a trip if you have an underlying health condition or are in a high-risk category. If you feel sick, stay home.
- Plan Ahead. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find the most up to date guidelines for COVID-19, visit state and country websites to read executive orders such as mandatory masks, quarantine for out-of-state or U.S. residents, or testing requirements and visit tourism board websites to review special procedures places of business have implemented.
- Download the App. By downloading Allianz’s free TravelSmartTM app, you’ll have access to many safety features and helpful travel resources, available even if you don’t have a policy.** Tap ‘Assistance Around Me’ to locate the closest hospitals, nearby doctors, pharmacies, police stations and U.S. Embassies if you experience an emergency overseas.
- Be prepared. Make sure you’re equipped with extra quantities of masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers – for both road and plane travel and bring sealable plastic bags to dispose of used items. While companies are stepping up their cleaning protocols, it’s always better to be prepared.
- On a Plane, Train, Bus. Wear a face covering and before sitting down, thoroughly wipe down all surfaces (especially high touch areas like seat buckles) and use hand sanitizer frequently. Consider limiting beverage intake to avoid bathroom use and circulating during the journey.
- At the Pump. With a surge in road trips, service areas and gas stations may be crowded – increasing the chance of exposure. Wear disposable gloves when pumping your gas and throw them in a trash bin before you open your car door. To limit contact with others, pay with a credit card (sanitizing it with a wipe after use) and instead of going into concession areas:
- Bring Food + Water. Pack coolers with your own snacks and bottled waters and bring travel-sized non-perishable snacks to limit the amount of times you need to stop for food. Each destination will be different in terms of restaurant dining options, so you may want to opt for lodging that includes a kitchenette to prepare your own food.
- When Nature Calls. Public rest areas mean increased exposure, so remember not to retouch the faucet after washing your hands and to grab a few paper towels (and bring your own in case supplies run low) to grab door handles.
- At the Pool/Beach/Lake. With no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through the use of recreational waters, you should still maintain social distance, wear a mask while out of the water and be mindful of shared facilities.
“Whether traveling to the beautiful beaches of Mexico or the U.S. countryside, now more than ever, it’s incredibly important to plan ahead,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Partners. “Like travel insurance, safety precautions can help protect against the unexpected, allowing you to truly be at ease throughout your trip and enjoy it to the fullest.”
Although travel insurance products generally do not cover pandemics, Allianz Travel has made several temporary accommodations to provide coverage for trip cancellations, trip interruptions and emergency medical care for those who become ill with COVID-19, and has temporarily extended refunds of travel insurance premiums to customers whose travel suppliers have canceled their trips due to COVID-19.***
The travel insurance and assistance company is also allowing customers to use their policy any time within 770 days of the purchase date, so that it can be used for a new or rescheduled trip. Customers moving their existing plan must change their plan coverage dates prior to traveling and prior to any loss for which they are seeking coverage. In addition, if the customer takes advantage of this option to insure a new or rescheduled trip that was paid for with a travel supplier voucher, any amount paid by a travel supplier voucher would be considered part of that customer’s insured trip payments.
Allianz offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com.
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About Allianz Partners
Allianz Travel-branded travel protection plans are offered by Allianz Partners (AGA Service Company), a leading consumer specialty insurance** and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, the company serves over 45 million customers annually and is best known for its travel protection plans. In addition to travel insurance, the company offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.
**Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. Benefits and limits vary by plan. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your specific plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A‐" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101‐C series or 101‐P series, depending on state of residence. AGA Service Company d/b/a Allianz Global Assistance is the licensed producer and administrator of Allianz Travel-branded travel protection plans in the U.S. and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. Allianz Global Assistance, TravelSmart, and AgentSmart are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between Allianz Global Assistance and Jefferson Insurance Company. Plans include insurance and assistance services. Noninsurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by Allianz Global Assistance. SmartBenefits proactive payments and “no receipts” payments available only on certain plans. For plans that include proactive payments: when you opt-in and provide flight information, Allianz Global Assistance will monitor flights and send flight status and benefit alerts, including alerts about flight delays that qualify for automated travel delay payments. Standard message/data rates apply to SMS alerts. Automated claims and payment system availability is not guaranteed and is subject to our sole discretion. All claims subject to policy terms, conditions, and exclusions. TravelSmart app features availability is dependent on a variety of factors, such as phone model, operating system version, etc.
***Restrictions apply. These accommodations are strictly applicable to COVID-19 and are only available for customers whose plan includes the applicable benefit. All other terms, conditions, and exclusions of the plan apply as normal. Please note, the described accommodations are an explicit and limited expression of donative intent only, which is for only the limited purposes expressly specified at the link below and for no other further purpose, express or implied. Further, it is expressly not a guarantee of coverage or admission of legal or equitable liability. Nothing contained or described at the link below, nor any payment made pursuant to the position described at the link below, is or should be construed to be a waiver of any term, condition, or exclusion of any plan, or any applicable rights, remedies, or defenses under any plan or at law or equity. We and our applicable underwriters and reinsurers reserve all rights, remedies, and defenses under the plan and under applicable law and at equity. For complete details, please visit: https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/coverage-alerts/2019-novel-coronavirus.htm.