New Covers Launched as Travel Fears Continue

As the number of holiday destinations which are being placed on quarantine lists by countries to fight the spread of COVID-19 increases it has seen a rise in new insurance covers in an effort to get people back travelling.

Norway has recently added France to the list of countries where any traveller arriving from the named nations will need to undertake mandatory quarantine. The UK has warned its holidaymakers that France may be added to a list which has already swelled in the past week. Belgium, Malaysia, Andorra, The Bahamas and Brunei have been added to the UK’s quarantine list and with an uptick in French cases France is set to join them.

However, Portugal is said to be under consideration to be removed from the list, and the country has moved to calm fears alongside the Canary Islands by offering specific COVID insurance cover in an effort to swell the number of visitors.

The Canary Islands’ Department of Tourism, Industry and Commerce has combined with Axa to offer a free policy to UK holidaymakers. It will cover British travellers, provided they stay in tourist accommodation and not with family or friends. Unlike a traditional travel insurance policy, it is focused purely on COVID-19 contraction risks and consequences.

Portugal is launching a new policy which will cover travellers and will include the risk of COVID-19. However, this will come at a price. The product will start at a cost of €37.20 for 10 days of travel, specifically covering newly booked trips.

UAE’s Emirates Airline is also offering passengers free insurance as it ramps up the number of flights it operates across the world.

It has restored the iconic A380 superjumbos on a larger number of destinations and it is offering a 31-day free insurance coverage with each ticket.

It is the first carrier in the world to offer free global health coverage for corona-related health expenses.  Under the policy if the passenger were to be with COVID-19 within 31 days from the time you take your first flight, the airline will cover medical expenses with up to €150,000. The policy will also reimburse any quarantine costs with up to €100 for 14 days.

The coverage is valid up until 31 October 2020 and applies to all travel classes.

Ben Carey-Evans, Insurance Analyst at data and analytics firm GlobalData said the moves made sense as countries sought to stem the loss of tourist income, with many others set to move if the schemes are a success.

“New temporary travel insurers are emerging as countries and airlines desperately attempt to bring tourism back, despite COVID-19 and travel insurers shying away,” he explained. “The Canary Islands Department of Tourism is providing this in partnership with one of the leading insurers in the UK, in AXA. GlobalData’s 2019 UK Insurance Consumer Survey found that it was the sixth biggest insurer, with a market share of 4.6%.

“New policies like this and the recent offer from Emirates providing customers with free insurance for certain COVID-19 expenses, show how essential tourists are to so many businesses. Insurers have been reluctant to offer full coverage for COVID-19 risks to consumers, however, sharing the potential claims costs with companies – or even countries who will benefit from tourists feeling more comfortable travelling – is a sensible temporary measure.

“If Emirates and the Canary Islands see a rise in business with consumers feeling they are now taking on less risk in travelling, then it is likely to be replicated by other destinations and airlines.”

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