Finnair announced this morning that, starting today, it would be offering its passenger free COVID-19 insurance. Travelers from Finland will be entitled to €50,000 in medical and repatriation expenses, as well as €100 per day to cover quarantine costs, should they fall ill from coronavirus during their time away.
Response to new kinds of challenges
The latest in the row of airlines hoping to encourage passengers back onboard by offering complimentary corona-cover is Finnair. The carrier announced Tuesday that it is now providing travelers departing from Finland with free-of-charge COVID-19 insurance; the Finnair Corona Cover.
“It is important that Finnair customers feel they can travel safely as we recognise that travelling during the pandemic comes with new kinds of concerns and challenges,” Tiina Tissari, Vice President of Finnair, said in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
“Now Finnair customers can enjoy the peace of mind and additional security which comes from Finnair Corona Cover, including cover for medical and quarantine expenses should those insured with us become sick with coronavirus while travelling,” she continued.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
The cover includes medical expenses and medical repatriation for up to €50,000 ($58,500). It also pays for additional quarantine costs for a maximum of €100 ($117) for 14 days and a new return flight back to Finland. It also covers, which may seem like a minor expense under the circumstances, but still, the cost for a COVID-19 test, should it turn out to be positive.
The insurance is valid for all existing and new bookings for international departures from Finland between November 3rd, 2020, and March 31st, 2021. It is complimentary for all tickets booked through Finnair sales channels, such as Finnair.com, the mobile app, or the airline’s customer service.
An evolving trend
Finnair, which recently turned 97, is not the only airline to offer complimentary in-case-of-corona coverage. The first out of the gate was Emirates, which launched the concept as early as July. While the quarantine expenses are the same, the Gulf carrier is ready to pay €150,000 ($175,500) for medical expenses. Compatriot flag-carrier Etihad offers the same amount, valid for 31 days after the flight.
However, one airline takes it even a step further. Virgin Atlantic offers to foot the bill for up to £500,000 ($650,000) for medical expenses. The carrier is also providing coverage for the entire duration of the trip, with no upper limit on the length of time away. Or, well, the cover ends on March 31st, 2021, so there is that.
Air Canada also provides COVID-19 coverage to its passengers – provided that they are Canadian residents traveling to an international destination. The amount offered for medical expenses is up to CA$200,000 ($152,000), and CA$150 ($114) per day per person for costs associated with quarantine. Fellow Canadian carrier WestJet also offers a similar set-up.
How many will actually use it?
Of course, the airlines are not picking up the tab themselves. The coverage is provided through collaborations with major insurance companies. There are no statistics on how many times, if ever, claims have been made under the new coverage schemes. How many more airlines will launch similar initiatives before the pandemic passes?
Does COVID-coverage make you more inclined to travel internationally at this time? Would it make you choose one airline over another? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.