COVID-19 travel insurance becoming a vacation staple

COVID-19 insurance policies are increasingly joining passports as vacation staples, creating opportunities for insurers, as more countries require mandatory coverage in case visitors fall ill from the Corona Virus. As the organizers of an emergency services plan said, more than a dozen countries from Aruba to Thailand now compulsorily require COVID-19 coverage for visitors, with Jordan being the latest to consider such protections.

According to travel insurance consultant Robyn Ingle, the market for all types of COVID-19 travel coverage is estimated to be between $30 billion to $40 billion a year with companies like AXA and AIG underwriting protection. But a surge in demand for COVID-19 coverage also means insurers could be on the hook for big payouts should another wave of infections lead to large numbers of cancellations or tourists getting sick.

Dan Richards, Chief Executive for travel risk and crisis management firm Global Rescue said, “Travel insurance and protection services are taking off at pace with travel as it resumes”.

COVID-19 insurance benefits typically cover treatment up to $100,000, and could include Corona Virus testing costs and services like evacuation or local burial or cremation. These benefits, introduced by insurers in mid-2020, are sold either as add-ons or as separate policies with coverage for illness or quarantine.

Some countries have mandated travel insurance for incoming visitors – either by including it in their entry or visa fees or by requiring proof of coverage, said insurer World Nomads.

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