In a desperate bid to get Canadian travelers to go abroad once again, Canada’s biggest airline, Air Canada, is offering passengers free Covid-19 medical insurance, even as the Canadian government continues to advise against non-essential travel.

Air Canada announced that it will now be including complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance for eligible passengers who book round-trip international flights. The coverage will be available for new bookings made in Canada from September 17 until October 31, 2020. The airline hopes that the free insurance will give customers added confidence when booking flights and travelling abroad.

“At Air Canada, we know people have personal, family and business reasons to travel. To give them greater confidence as they do so, we have engaged Manulife to offer all Canadian residents complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical & quarantine insurance when they book round-trip flights for travel outside of Canada. Combined with our industry leading airport and onboard biosafety protocols, including Air Canada CleanCare+, and our flexible rebooking policies, customers can be assured that when they book and travel with Air Canada their safety and well-being is our top priority,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada in the press release.

The plan (called the Manulife COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance) is available only for new international, round-trip bookings made in Canada between September 17 and October 31, 2020, for travel completed by April 12, 2021. 

When abroad, if customers test positive for COVID-19, the Plan coverage includes:

  • Up to CDN $200,000 per insured for COVID-19 treatment medical expenses.
  • Up

On any normal year as Dasara and Deepavali come calling, people tick off items from their shopping lists and start making travel times. But 2020 is unlike any year in recent memory, with a pandemic bringing normal life to a halt. That said, as restrictions ease and families acclimatise themselves to a life where social distancing and face masks are the norm, many have started making travel plans for the holidays.

As the tourism sector is seeing signs of recovery, some companies – travel and insurance – have started offering COVID-19 insurance to encourage travellers to venture out despite the pandemic.

MakeMyTrip, for instance, has started offering a COVID-19 specific insurance for travellers. “People are putting their trust back in travel, one step at a time. The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour in many ways and when it comes to travel, safety naturally tops the priority chart. The uncertainty of these times has pushed travellers to opt for the insurance options more than before. Mapping this trend, MakeMyTrip rolled out an option for COVID-19 insurance, which benefits travellers with coverage of ₹2 lakh per customer, while air insurances typically have lower cover for health issues,” a spokesperson of MakeMyTrip told The Hindu.

The insurance covers hospitalisation for 16 days post-travel in case of COVID-19 infection as it usually takes around 14 days for the virus to surface, unlike air insurances which cover illness for the day of travel or up to 72 hours, the spokesperson explained. Other benefits covered under the COVID-19 insurance include zero restrictions on room rent, consumables, post-hospitalisation diagnostics, etc.

“A health crisis like COVID-19 demanded special attention and benefits that extend support beyond the normal. To address this need, the company has introduced special insurance of this nature for the first time. We are seeing a