Travel insurer Seven Corners has released two new products designed for holidays at the age of coronavirus: one insurance policy specifically covers medical expenses incurred due to Covid-19 infection when traveling abroad, and the other helps motorists as car trips replace flights and cruises as a preferred agent. summer and autumn travel.
“Traveling trends have generally changed,” said Jeremy Merchland, president of an Indian company that sells both full insurance policies and health insurance-only plans.
“Many people prefer to travel in the summer rather than on airplanes,” he added. “We also took the opportunity [of the pandemic] develop a plus travel insurance line that provides specific coverage for Covid-19. ”
When pandemics blocked trips around the world this spring, many travelers who purchased travel insurance — whether it’s cancellation coverage, a health plan, or a policy, including both options — were unable to get paid for Covid’s claims -nineteen.
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“Some people bought insurance, thinking that they knew what it was, but then they went to file a lawsuit and realized that they did not have insurance,” Merchland said.
In fact, Squaremouth.com, an online insurance policy store, found that many providers stopped covering coronavirus losses as early as January 21, when the Centers for Disease Control issued their first warning, according to a spokesman for Kasara Barto. (Squaremouth.com offers policies from 31 providers, including Seven Corners.)
Seven Corners, for their part, continued to sell overseas health insurance plans and comprehensive cancellation insurance policies, the latter with some restrictions as the pandemic developed. In fact, according to Barto, a total of seven Squaremouth.com service providers are still offering at least some of the medical benefits for Covid-19 when acquiring new insurance policies.
However, according to the Murchland plan, the new Seven Corners Liaison Travel Plus plan is the only policy specifically designed to protect travelers from coronavirus-related problems.
“We are the only ones I have seen at the moment that have the“ named ”Covid-19 coating,” he said, noting that competitors can hedge, for example, including or not specifically excluding coronavirus disease. Coverage – unless national, state, or local governments issue a travel warning.
This, essentially, Murchland said, means that such claims are not being covered right now.
“This can confuse consumers,” he said. “We are doing our best to present to consumers something simple to understand and very concrete, and I believe that we are the first in the market with this.”
Barto of Squaremouth.com said she also “is unaware of any other providers that offer Covid-19 specific medical plans.”
Liaison Travel Plus includes a benefit that covers medical expenses if the policyholder falls ill with Covid-19 while traveling outside their home country.
“In fact, if you happen to get Covid-19 abroad – after resuming trips abroad – this will provide coverage for any medical care you need up to $ 100,000,” Merchland said. The benefit covers medical expenses for Covid-19, SARS-Cov-2 and any mutations or changes to SARS-CoV-2, according to Seven Corners.
If necessary, an additional $ 500,000 is provided for medical reasons to cover the costs of emergency evacuation and repatriation.
“There are no other exceptions for other pandemics or travel warnings,” Merchland said. “For a small extra charge, someone can make sure they have insurance, and such things are not excluded when they travel.”
In January 2021, an online price request for Liaison Travel Plus insurance coverage for a 45-year-old traveler was posted to Sevencorners.com for $ 33.10.
Meanwhile, Seven Corners’ new insurance plan for road trips within North America, called ARMOR, does not include coronavirus coverage at all. This is because most of the Covid-19 treatment is done on an outpatient basis, and most home travelers who become infected with this virus will be able to return home relatively easily for such help, according to Murland.
“This is more about serious accidents or medical events, for example, when someone has a heart attack, they have a broken leg or other serious injury that prevents them from returning home,” he said.
ARMOR, valid for trips of up to 30 days more than 100 miles from the insurer’s home in the United States, Canada and Mexico, does provide emergency medical evacuation from remote locations such as national parks. Another important benefit is the return home of passengers, pets and / or vehicles in the event of a driver injury. An on-line search for a quote on an August trip to the United States by a single driver aged 45 showed a premium of $ 50.
The product will debut with increasing interest in road trips. A recent “mood survey” conducted by Seven Corners showed that road trips are currently the highest in comfort among travelers, more than half of whom say they plan to use cars for their next trip.
To go home
According to Squaremouth.com, this trip, which is not surprising, is likely to be internal. The site found that 40% of its customers plan to travel domestically after Covid-19, compared with 11% in previous years. AAA Northeast, meanwhile, reports that 68% of its members say that American car trips and “opening new destinations will be their first raids” starting this summer.
The initial sales of both products are encouraging, said Merchland, who said that “everything indicates a very reasonable increase in people considering travel insurance.”
“It was hairy, but we feel like we see light at the end of the tunnel,” he added. “Some people seem to be starting to book travel again – no matter what they can travel.”