Oct 2020

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Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Oct 2020

UAE: AXA Gulf offers COVID-19 cover for all travel policies
In response to a growing demand from travellers, AXA Gulf has introduced a cover for COVID-19 to all its travel insurance policies.
AXA Gulf’s travel policies now include the cost of COVID-19 emergency medical expenses and also cover expenses associated with the rescheduling of a return flight caused as a result of the coronavirus.
The insurer has moved quickly to adapt its travel cover after research from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that 44% of travellers would increase their likelihood to start flying again if COVID-19 insurance was made available.
As travel restrictions are relaxed, customers are looking to get away and an increasing number of destinations are opening up to them, the insurer said. It has identified the top 10 countries where visitors are not required to quarantine, and the destinations are: Seychelles, Greece, Tanzania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia, Kenya, Indonesia and Austria.
“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on global travel and with many people in the region spending time in isolation over the last few months, it’s no surprise that they are eager to travel and seek a change of scenery. Vacations and travel are clearly a top priority post-lockdown purchase for many people and in line with our purpose to protect what matters, it made sense to provide the necessary peace of mind to those individuals and families looking to travel safely,” said AXA Gulf chief personal lines officer Franck Heimburger.
The insurer will reimburse its travel policyholders for an amount of up to $5,000 for irrecoverable travel costs. Customers who are placed under quarantine whilst overseas will get up to $100 per day for a maximum of 15 days if they cannot isolate themselves safely in their booked accommodation. M 

UAE: Airlines provide free cover for COVID-19 
Etihad Airways and flydubai have offered free insurance to passengers in the event that they contract COVID-19 while flying with the airlines, in their bid to entice passengers back into flying internationally. 
Etihad Airways, in partnership with AXA, has introduced COVID-19 insurance cover as part of Etihad Wellness, the airline’s new health and hygiene programme.
All tickets regardless of date of booking travelling between now and 31 December 2020 will include COVID-19 insurance. Guests with existing bookings are automatically enrolled into the programme. The insurance is valid worldwide for 31 days from the first day of travel.
For passengers diagnosed with COVID-19 while they are away from home, the policy will cover up to EUR150,000 ($177,006) of medical costs and up to EUR100 a day of quarantine costs for 14 days.
“This additional cover will not only instil confidence to travel but also reassure our guests that we are doing all we can to keep them safe and protected. As more countries start opening their borders, we are making it as easy as possible for our guests to plan their next trip, hassle free,” said Etihad Airways senior vice president sales and distribution Duncan Bureau.
Meanwhile, flydubai said it will offer free global cover for COVID-19-related medical and quarantine costs for passengers who travel between now and 30 November 2020. The cover is underwritten by AIG.
The new service will bear the health expenses and quarantine costs if passengers are diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip and is valid for 31 days from the time customers take their first flight on their itinerary. The service enables passengers to benefit from coverage for their medical expenses up to EUR150,000 and quarantine costs up to EUR100 per day for 14 days.
“The new COVID-19 cover we are offering our passengers will encourage more people to travel with ease of mind knowing that they will be looked after at every step of their journey. We see the demand for travel starting to increase as more countries gradually lift restrictions on international travel. Safeguarding the passenger journey with added precautions and enhanced procedures will help to stimulate the flow of trade and tourism globally,” said flydubai chief commercial officer Hamad Obaidalla. M 
EUR1 = $1.18
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