At the end of the day on 15 January, the UK government suspended all of its travel corridors and implemented a regulation that made it mandatory for all inbound travellers to present proof of a negative Covid test taken 72 hours prior to travel departure, in addition to a compulsory 10-day quarantine. The move comes just days after similar requirements came into effect in Germany, where it has become necessary for all arrivals from high-risk destinations to present a negative coronavirus test within 48 hours of their arrival, in addition to the 10-day mandatory quarantine on arrival.
Sparked by the introduction of the strict health requirement in the US (in early January, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mandated that as of 26 January, a negative Covid test would be a pre-requisite for travel to the country), negative Covid-19 testing may well become a more regular occurrence for many global destinations.
Demand for Covid-19 cover surges
Commenting on the globally expanding requirement, US insurer Seven Corners’ President Jeremy Murchland told ITIJ: “This new requirement that we are seeing around the world concerning mandatory negative Covid-19 tests is yet another reason why purchasing travel insurance is so important. As more countries start to require this from international travellers, more people will become aware of how travel insurance can help. They'll also recognise the importance of reviewing their insurance plans thoroughly to ensure all angles of their trip are covered, including situations like quarantine or contracting Covid-19 on a trip.
“As a travel insurance company, we improved travel insurance options for travellers in June of 2020 by developing plans that cover Covid-19 medical expenses. For example, our Liaison Plus plan has a separate benefit that covers the virus if someone contracts it while traveling, and coverage is not affected by travel warnings like many other plans.”
Murchland noted that since their launch, these new plans have accounted for 55 per cent of direct-to-consumer sales. “Because of these new requirements, we expect that trend in sales with Covid-19 coverage to continue.”
CFAR coverage a recommended product
InsureMyTrip has also released travel insurance advice with regards to the new mandatory negative Covid test requirements. The US travel insurance aggregator site reasons that in the majority of cases, travel insurance does not cover the new Covid-19 testing requirements for air passengers, and so travellers should ‘strongly consider’ a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) upgrade. “This upgrade offers the most trip cancellation flexibility and is the only option available to cover fear of travel,” the company noted.
Travel insurers should be sure to recommend this option to their consumers, to ensure that travellers have the appropriate level of cover should more destinations adopt these mandatory negative test requirements in the coming weeks and months.