Irish company Blue Insurance, part of the Cover-More Group, is now covering cancellations that come as a result of a positive Covid-19 diagnosis on their policies from 21 July. The policy will exclude cancellation claims where the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or government administration advise against travel.
Ciaran Mulligan, Managing Director of Blue Insurance, said: “We are delighted to announce this new enhanced cancellation cover protecting holidaymakers against Covid-19 in addition to our medical expenses benefit which now also covers Covid-19 while abroad. Blue Insurance continues to support the travel trade with new product features that protect consumers and gives them the confidence to travel. Our new Agency Sales & Service Manager, Jeanette Taylor will be sharing more details with our agents over the coming week.”
Global insurer Allianz Partners has also decided to include cover for Covid-19 related cancellations and medical costs in all travel insurance policies provided by Allianz Assistance.
Rachel Temperton, Head of Travel and Tourism at Allianz Partners UK, commented: “The Covid-19 global crisis has demonstrated the devastating impact a pandemic can have. Travellers and the travel industry – including insurers – faced a wide range of unexpected situations that never had to be dealt with before. Plans were interrupted or cancelled and medical emergencies abroad were complicated by many new and challenging hurdles. It is vital that in the new world we find ourselves in, we offer a comprehensive insurance product that enables people not only to start to travel abroad again, but to travel with confidence.”
Meanwhile, the airline Emirates will now offer free coverage for Covid-19-related expenses for passengers, including medical and quarantine expenses. The Middle-East airline will cover expenses of around US$245,000 and quarantine costs of $160 per day for 14 days for passengers diagnosed with Covid-19 during their travel.
The airline explained in a statement that the cover would be free to passengers regardless of which class they flew in and would be effective immediately for anyone flying up to and including 31 October.
Spanish insurer Caser is also offering Covid-19 cover in its new travel assistance insurance. The product will include medical, surgical and hospital assistance for up to €3,000 in Spain and €5,000 in Europe. It also provides €80 per day for prolongation of stay due to medical quarantine.
These new products will fill a new need in the market for comprehensive travel insurance. In the UK, Compare By Review has surveyed holidaymakers on their insurance buying habits. Before the pandemic, less than 50 per cent of respondents took the time to purchase a bespoke travel insurance policy, while the updated survey post-Covid shows that 85 per cent of travellers will take more care when selecting a travel policy.
However, Global Data has said that there is still a long way to go before policyholders can be completely protected. Its 2019 UK Insurance Consumer Survey indicated that the most common reason for claiming on travel insurance was for costs related to medical expenses. The second most common reason for claims on travel insurance policies prior to the pandemic was trip cancelation, which accounted for 29 per cent of claims made.
GlobalData senior insurance analyst, Daniel Pearce, commented: “Despite these policy changes, there is still a long way to go before policyholders can be afforded the same level of protection against trip cancelations relating to Covid-19.”