NEWS: Virgin Atlantic offers free COVID insurance + which other airlines offer insurance?

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Virgin Atlantic provides complimentary COVID-19 global insurance cover for all bookings

Virgin Atlantic has decided to add free COVID-19 insurance cover on all new and existing bookings. Getting insurance that covers COVID-19 is not always easy, so having this as additional cover for free with Virgin is a great idea. It applies to any Virgin ticket, not just on Virgin but also on Delta, KLM and Air France joint venture flights. It even applies to miles bookings! Given the recent changes to the Virgin Flying Club, it could be a good opportunity to book a trip with Virgin for some winter sun in the Caribbean. (assuming anywhere is actually left on the UK travel corridor list by then!). Be careful with one way tickets though as it only covers up to 12 hours after you arrive. 

The policy, which applies automatically to all flights booked with Virgin Atlantic, is designed to complement existing travel insurance and provide additional peace of mind for upcoming trips, whether customers are already booked or plotting a getaway.

In the event that they or anyone else on their booking becomes ill with COVID-19 while travelling, Virgin Atlantic COVID-19 Cover ensures related costs are covered, no matter how long the trip is or even if they’re visiting another destination on the same overseas trip. The insurance policy is fulfilled by Allianz Assistance and covers emergency medical and associated expenses such as transport and accommodation and repatriation while abroad totalling £500,000 per customer – the highest value of policy offered by any airline to date, with no excess payment required. 

The policy also covers expenses incurred up to £3,000 if a customer is denied boarding, at either departure or in destination, or has to quarantine due to positive or suspected COVID-19 during a trip.

Customers booked to travel from 24 August 2020 up to and including 31 March 2021 will automatically receive the new COVID-19 Cover and Virgin Atlantic Holidays customers will also benefit, where the flights on their holiday booking are with Virgin Atlantic. Providing the customer is travelling on a Virgin Atlantic ticket, if the flight is operated by a partner airline or a Joint Venture carrier – Delta Air Lines or Air France-KLM – the cover will also apply. Tickets can be booked via virginatlantic.com, by phone or through a travel agent, including reward tickets on Virgin Atlantic flights.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic said:
“Our priority is always the health and safety of our people and customers and this industry-leading Virgin Atlantic COVID-19 Cover ensures customers can continue to fly safe and fly well with us.

“Following our return to the skies to much-loved destinations like Barbados, we’re planning more services in the autumn, as travel restrictions continue to ease, including London Heathrow to Montego Bay, Antigua, Lagos and Tel Aviv. Whether it’s to visit friends and relatives or take a well-deserved break, we believe this complimentary cover will provide some added reassurance for our customers as they start to plan trips further afield. It applies in parallel to existing travel insurance policies which may now exclude COVID-19, and provides comprehensive cover for coronavirus, recognising the needs of our customers as we restart services.”

Virgin Atlantic COVID-19 Cover joins the airline’s flexible booking policy to give as much choice as possible to customers as they make their future travel plans. Customers booking with the airline have the option to make two date changes to their flights, with rebooking available up until 30 September 2022. These date changes have the associated change fee waived, though potential fare differences may be incurred if the new travel dates are after 30 November 2020.

 

Key features of the COVID-19 Cover include:

  • 24-hour emergency medical assistance
  • £500,000 of emergency medical expenses if you are taken ill due to Coronavirus during your journey, including treatment, transport and accommodation costs
  • Additional costs should a customer be denied boarding due to suspected or actual COVID-19, or if they are held in quarantine, including accommodation, transport charges, refreshments, booking amendment fees and other travel expenses
  • Repatriation home, including private air ambulance where necessary
  • No excess payable
  • Cover for the whole trip, with no upper limit on the length of customer’s time away
  • Cover for all passengers with no restrictions on age, travel class or length of journey

The cover starts from the point of booking and ends when the customer returns home or to a hospital or nursing home in their home country. One-way trips are also included, with the insurance cover valid until the end of the journey, which is defined as 12 hours after the arrival of the customer’s final flight.

For a full breakdown of Virgin Atlantic COVID-19 Cover and more information on the policy visit the Virgin Atlantic website: https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/news/coronavirus/free-global-cover-for-COVID-19.html

 

Which other airlines offer COVID insurance?

Emirates has a free policy. The airline will cover medical expenses of up to $175,000 (€150,000) and quarantine costs of $115 (€100) per day for 14 days, should passengers be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel, while they are away from home. This cover is provided by the airline, free of cost to its customers when they purchase an airfare to any destination in any class.

Emirates was the first airline to offer this insurance, although Vietnamese airline Vietjet previously offered to pay customers up to $9,400 (200m VND) if they caught coronavirus after flying with them. Although the Emirates offer seems generous, $175,000 would not cover a severe case of COVID-19 in countries such as the US, where medical bills are costly. You can find the details of the policy here. 

British Airways has also partnered with Allianz, but you do have to pay for their insurance. Allianz Assistance covers you in case of epidemics and pandemics, in case you or your family are diagnosed with epidemic/pandemic disease or individually put into quarantine due to exposure to the virus. However, travel must be in accordance with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice. You can find more details here.

If you need to travel to Europe against FCO advice, don’t forget that Staysure are offering this along with a few other tourist destinations.

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