COVID-19 insurance is becoming a part of many airline tickets these days, offering a bit more safety while traveling. Most carriers offer this insurance free of charge, covering medical expenses, quarantines, and any related costs. Let’s find out which carriers are offering COVID-19 insurance.
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In Asia, Emirates is the pioneer of airline COVID-19 insurance. The carrier officially announced the scheme in late July, offering €150,000 ($182,300) for medical costs and up to €100 ($121) per day for quarantines up to 14 days. The policy lasts 31 days after departure and is in effect until 31st December (but could be extended further).
Etihad also offers a similar COVID-19 for anyone traveling with the airline until 31st March 2021 and has the same benefits as Emirates.
The most recent airline to offer COVID-19 cover is Japan Airlines (JAL). The carrier offering free insurance to all passengers flying from December 23rd to June 30th, 2021. The benefits include $182,000 in medical coverage and $121 a day for quarantine (up to 14 days), along with $1,820 available for repatriation.
Cathay Pacific also offers a COVID-19 insurance policy to all passengers flying until 28th February 2021. The carrier will cover up to $200,000 in medical costs if you contract COVID-19 and $100 per day for up to 14 days of quarantine. Notably, Cathay will also cover the cost of two RT-PCR tests in certain cases where medically required (this won’t include routine or pre-departure tests).
European carriers haven’t been as excited as Asia to offer COVID-19 insurance, some major airlines offer the policy. Virgin Atlantic began offering its insurance policy in late August and offers a huge £550,000 ($671,000) to cover any medical expenses. For anyone who is denied boarding or must quarantine during a trip, the airline offers £3,000 ($4,030). In terms of monetary value, Virgin offers the largest benefits.
Lufthansa Group, one of the biggest in Europe, is also offering limited COVID-19 cover to passengers flying on one of its many airlines. Unlike other airlines on the list, Lufthansa’s policy is optional and requires an upgrade to cover medical costs (the basic plan only includes quarantine costs).
Finnair also offers COVID-19 insurance, albeit with a lower financial cover. The airline will cover medical costs of up to €50,000 ($60,700) and €100 ($121) in quarantine costs for 14 days. Tests can also be covered if they turn out to be positive.
Airlines in North America haven’t been as keen to offer COVID-19 insurance as their colleagues across the oceans. No US airlines are offering automatic insurance, but both Air Canada and WestJet do so.
WestJet’s policy includes travel to many of its destinations (excluding the US) and offers C$100,000 ($78,500) in medical coverage, quarantine costs of C$150 ($118) per day for up to 14 days, emergency air or ambulance evacuation cover of C$100,000 ($78,500), and repatriation cover of C$5,000 ($3,900).
While airline COVID-19 cover can give passengers peace of mind while traveling, buying personal insurance is still extremely important. For airlines, the policy is a relatively small price to pay to stimulate travel demand and get people flying again.
Do you know any other carriers offering COVID-19 cover? Would you choose an airline because of its insurance policy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!