A friend of mine from California just flew to New York City for a conference at the Jacob Javits Conference Center. When he arrived at the conference center, he was tested for Covid. Some conference organizers, like those in charge of the one he is attending, are being vigilant and requiring participants to test every day, which is smart.

Unfortunately, he tested positive and I’m not sure if it’s the conference policy or per the state or city of New York but the testing company is required to report him to the State. A short while later, he was contacted by a health official. He was directed to go back to his hotel and quarantine in his room for 10 days. They told him not to go out and order room service.

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He was only supposed to be in the Big Apple for a couple of nights but now, that’s obviously all changed. He’s not allowed to fly or leave his hotel room. I don’t know how they will monitor his activity (sounds like it’s an honor system) but I know he will abide by the instructions he’s been given because he’s a solid dude and will do his part.

Fortunately, he has no symptoms and he’s traveling for business so his company will pay for it. But if you don’t work for a big company, you should consider buying travel insurance or line up a place to stay with friends or family so you’re not on the hook for a huge bill.

My cousin is heading to New York next week and he purchased travel insurance via American Airlines. He forwarded me the coverage since I wanted to read it and it turns out, it was via Allianz. Full disclosure: I’ve been a brand ambassador for Allianz for years but my cousin’s coverage with them is just a coincidence. Here are the details of his Allianz Travel Protection Plan. “Our plans do not generally cover claims due to COVID-19. This is because our products do not generally cover losses caused directly or indirectly by known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, or government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories. Nor do our products generally cover for fear of travel. However, for a temporary period in response to the ongoing public health and travel crisis, we are currently accommodating claims for:

  1. Under Emergency Medical Care Benefit: Emergency medical care for a customer who becomes ill with COVID-19 while on their trip.
  2. Under Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption Benefits: Trip cancellation and trip interruption if a customer becomes ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip.

Customers who become ill with COVID-19 while on their trip will not be subject to the Trip Interruption benefit’s five-day maximum limit for additional accommodation and transportation expenses (however, the maximum daily limit for such expenses and the maximum Trip Interruption benefit limit still apply).

Please note, we will accept proof of a positive COVID-19 test or a physician’s diagnosis as proof that you are ill with COVID-19.”

No matter which travel insurance company you choose, read the fine print, but something like this coverage, which cost him $25 for his three-day trip (10% of the cost of his plane ticket), is well worth the peace of mind. But back to my friend who tested positive, the one way he could have avoided this headache is if he’d taken a Covid test before he got on the airplane since he obviously had contracted Covid before flying to NYC; that is, if his test results aren’t a false positive, which they may be.

Bottom line: My tip is even if you’re just flying domestically, be sure to take a Covid test before leaving home and have a back-up plan via travel insurance or friends and family, in case you test positive while you’re away.

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