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Air Canada to offer free COVID-19 travel insurance to international travellers

There are a few things to keep in mind before you rush to buy a ticket to paradise, however.
Photo: People dragging luggage wearing masks at the airport / Getty Images

Last week, Air Canada announced that it is in including complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance for eligible customers booking round-trip international flights.

In a release, Canada's largest airline writes that the coverage is available for new bookings made in Canada from Sept. 17 until Oct. 31, 2020. It provides emergency medical and quarantine insurance designed to 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.

The Manulife COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance (the "Plan") is available for new international, round-trip bookings for travel completed by April 12, 2021. 

If a customer tests positive for COVID-19 abroad, the coverage includes:

  • Up to CDN $200,000 per insured for COVID-19 treatment medical expenses.
  • Up to CDN $150 per person per day for quarantine costs (meals + accommodation); Up to CDN $300 per family per day up to a maximum of 14 days.
  • Up to CDN $500 for expenses related to returning home if the advisory from the Canadian government goes from Level 3 to Level 4 while at the destination.

The Plan is available to all Canadian residents, subject to eligibility requirements, and is underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company ("Manulife"), Canada's largest provider of travel insurance. It is the most extensive geographical coverage included by a Canadian airline for Canadian residents, covering every international destination Air Canada serves. 

Keep in mind, however, that the insurance will not cover you if you visit a country where a Level-4 “avoid all travel” advisory is in effect. One-way tickets aren't covered, either. 

Customers booking with Air Canada Vacations will also be offered COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan provided by Allianz at no additional cost designed to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses if COVID-19 is contracted while travelling. It is available to all eligible customers who book an Air Canada Vacations package for travel by April 30, 2021, to eligible destinations. For details, visit HERE.

Air Canada also announced a new flight pass last week, which is designed to give travellers greater flexibility and certainly for travel across the country.

For one flat fee, pass holders will be able to book travel without blackout or booking restrictions, make changes or cancellations without penalty, and fly as often as desired for up to three months, depending on the duration of the pass purchased. Find out more information HERE.

Warning: The Canadian government is still advising residents to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments of those destinations that have opened their borders to tourists could impose strict travel restrictions suddenly. International transportation options could be reduced significantly, making it difficult for you to return home. Should you decide to travel despite the advisory, know that you might have to remain abroad longer than you expected.

If you are currently outside Canada or you are returning home, see COVID-19 safety and security advice for Canadians abroad.