Last week, WestJet announced free COVID-19 travel insurance coverage for eligible guests booking travel to Mexico, the Caribbean and European destinations including the United Kingdom.
In a release, the Canadian airline notes, "For reservations made on or after Sept.18, 2020, any WestJet air-only reservation including WestJet Vacations bookings for travel to and from Mexico, the Caribbean (excluding the U.S.), Europe (including U.K.) and inbound to Canada will provide eligible guests no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance through new partner TuGo®. "
Coverage will be automatically applied at no additional charge to eligible guests at the time of purchase for travel until Aug. 31, 2021 for up to 21 days. One-way travel reservations will also be eligible for coverage for up to seven days.
"We know Canadians are seeking reassurance and our guests can now have confidence knowing they are protected against unforeseen medical costs related to the pandemic when choosing to book with WestJet," said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer.
"Safety measures have been implemented across our entire travel journey and providing our guests peace of mind during their travels is worth the investment we are making to ensure the safest travel experience for our guests."
TuGo® Travel Insurance COVID-19 coverage for WestJet guests includes:
- Emergency medical and hospital costs for outbound travellers if diagnosed with COVID-19 while outside of Canada (excluding U.S) for up to a maximum limit of $100,000 CAD per insured person.
- Emergency medical and hospital costs for inbound travellers visiting Canada diagnosed with COVID-19 while in Canada up to the maximum limit of $100,000 CAD per insured person.
- Quarantine accommodation costs when the traveller tests positive for COVID-19 on the trip up to $150 CAD per insured person, per day to a maximum of 14 days for inbound and outbound reservations.
- Ambulance transportation and air evacuation costs related to COVID-19, up to the maximum limit of $100,000 CAD per insured person for inbound and outbound guests.
- COVID-19 repatriation costs in case of death of up to $5,000 CAD per insured person for inbound and outbound guests.
- One-way economy airfare for the return of one travelling companion and dependent children when air evacuated back home for treatment.
"TuGo is excited to partner with WestJet to offer Canadians an opportunity to travel again," said Patrick Robinson, TuGo's CEO. "With our shared focus on the health, wellness and safety of travellers, it's a natural fit for our two Canadian-owned and operated companies to come together to equip and support Canadians in this 'next normal'."
The complimentary coverage is not available to residents of Saskatchewan or for travel including cruises.
Air Canada has also stated that it will provide complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance for eligible customers booking round-trip international flights. Unlike WestJet, however, the carrier will provide coverage to the United States.
Both Air Canada and WestJet note that their respective insurances will not cover you if you visit a country where a Level-4 “avoid all travel” advisory is in effect.
Earlier this year, both carriers came under fire for ending their onboard seat distancing policies, raising health concerns amid a pandemic that has devastated the travel industry.
Warning: The Canadian government is still advising residents to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice (Level-3). 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.