Dr. Bill Pope Serves as Guest Panelist for SOE Webinar RE: COVID-19

March 23, 2020

Dr. Bill Pope, President of MissionSafe, was a panelist for the Standards of Excellence in Short Term Mission (SOE) webinar regarding COVID-19. He shared some expert insight about the many questions churches, organizations, and schools are being faced with during this uncertain and quickly changing time.

Click here to access the webinar.

What restrictions do we need to be looking at outside of COVID-19? 

  • Look at exclusions of the policy – some of the lower level policies have a limited schedule of benefits and exclude situations classified as national emergencies, epidemics, and pandemics. 
  • Trip cancellation – people need to be aware that you must purchase trip cancellation insurance within 20 days of the first initial deposit of any kind (example: deposit for airline ticket, deposit to a church or school planning the trip) if you want the benefit of cancelling for any reason. 
  • Usually you have to insure 100% of non-refundable trip costs and then policies usually only offer a 75% refund benefit on non-refundable costs.
  • If you do have trip cancellation coverage, you must cancel the trip at least 2 days prior to departure. Certain policies are voided if you wait until the very last minute. 

How is pricing determined for trip cancellation policies?

  • Age Based
  • State Based
  • Total trip cost

= Premium is 7-10% of trip cost on average

Many insurance companies have stopped offering this type of coverage because people are purchasing without the proper understanding of the dates (purchase within 20 days of making a deposit / cancel at least 2 days prior to departure). They are making it so you can only purchase coverage through an agent or broker. This way, there is someone to explain the dates to you beforehand and you aren’t under any false assumptions of what will and will not be covered.

For more information on trip cancellation, please refer to our previous blog, Coronavirus and Travel: How is Insurance Coverage Impacted?

Receiving ministries – The world economy is being affected by COVID-19, so a receiving ministries’ ability to handle incoming groups might be impaired due to their lack of resources and lack of ability in their own countries to hold gatherings. It is not just the logistics of “going” that are impacted. We need to also be mindful of those that are receiving – there needs to be coordination on both ends of the trip.

Will a team being stuck in a country under quarantine be covered under insurance?

If the quarantine is a part of the medical treatment that they are undergoing then a lot of plans will cover the cost associated with quarantine. If they are in quarantine from a preventative perspective, then those costs will not be covered under many insurance plans. For those instances, trip delay or trip interruption policies would come into play to assist the traveler with extra expenses incurred. 

Please click here to access the full webinar.

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