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Triple-I Blog | Travel risk: It's not just about COVID-19



The expectation that a COVID-19 vaccine – in combination with social distancing, masking and other protective measures – may soon lead to increased travel revives our need to think about travel insurance.

Even before COVID-1

9, travel insurance purchases increased, but mainly for travel cancellation coverage – just the product that settled a disappointment for many who had their vacation plans disrupted by the virus. Most policy areas rule out pandemics or fear of travel, making them virtually useless after the outbreak.

The pandemic risk was not present on the radar screens of many travelers before the coronavirus struck – more than the many common diseases, injuries or causes of death that should have caused them to add medical and medical evacuation to their travel coverage. A report from the US Travel Insurance Association (USTIA) last year showed that Americans spent almost 41 percent more on travel insurance in 2018 than in 2016. However, trip cancellation / interruption coverage accounted for nearly 90 percent of the benefits purchased. Evacuation of medical and medical accounted for just over 6 percent.

People do not want to think about illness, injury or death when planning a pleasure trip – even less reward for an unlikely (at the time) threat as a global pandemic

Travelers who wanted to cover all their bases could have bought cancellation of any reason (CFAR) coverage, which provides some compensation (usually 50 to 75 percent) if you cancel, for whatever reason. Before the pandemic, CFAR would have cost 40 to 60 percent more than a standard travel insurance. It can be even more expensive now.

Airlines offering COVID-19 coverage

Some airlines have started offering COVID-19 coverage. This week, Cathay Pacific announced that they are offering free coverage to all passengers.

"Customers flying Cathay Pacific from December 7 to February 28, 2021 will be reimbursed for medical expenses related to a COVID-19 diagnosis made abroad," says the Insurance Journal. "The free cover will be automatically applied when customers book. their flights. "

Air Canada recently announced that members of the Aeroplan Affinity Program who make qualified new bookings originating in Canada will receive COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance.Emirates introduced a similar program in July that is said to be free and covers all passengers who flies to all destinations in all airlines.The airline recently announced that it has expanded coverage and added new features from December 1.

It is not surprising to see airlines incorporating a COVID-19 "value increase" to increase bookings from an anxious audience, and it will be interesting to see this new business system play out, but so that avid travelers do not forget more routine risks that you probably did not insure themselves against before the pandemic persists.

Falls, crashes and drownings

"Globally, an estimated 37 million unintended cases requiring medical treatment occur each year," writes f researchers in the journal Injury Epidemiology, referring to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2018. And falls are not the most common cause of injury and death on vacation. Research shows that the two main causes of death are car accidents and drownings.

Of the one billion tourists who travel globally each year, it is estimated that 30 to 50 percent are either injured or become ill when traveling abroad.

Do not be dazzled by dangers that can be easily avoided or mitigated. Understand the risks that your travel plans may entail and insure them appropriately.

Are you going to buy travel insurance?

INFECTIOUS DISEASE: GOOD REASONS TO BUY MEDICAL INSURANCE – BUT CHECK THE CONDITIONS

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