Manulife offers higher medical coverage abroad for vaccinated travelers who contract COVID-19
Canada’s largest insurer, Manulife Financial Corp. , has increased overseas medical coverage for COVID-19 for travelers who are fully vaccinated.
The insurer is one of the first travel insurers to make changes to its current pandemic travel plan policy – which was launched last September – by increasing emergency medical coverage for COVID-19 and related complications to $ 5 million, compared to $ 1 million for people who received a full course of immunization authorized by Health Canada.
The changes went into effect last Friday and were announced in a note sent to travel agents.
Additionally, on the same date, fully vaccinated travelers will continue to receive quarantine fees of up to $ 150 per day for up to 14 days if they test positive for COVID-19 abroad. For people who are not fully vaccinated, the quarantine service will no longer be available.
“Manulife understands that some Canadians have family, business and other important reasons for traveling,” Manulife spokesperson Sean Pasternak wrote in an email. “Today, more than ever, travelers need specialized coverage that protects them in the event of illness due to COVID-19.”
Martin Firestone, president of Travel Secure Inc. and travel medical coverage insurance broker, said the coverage is a breakthrough for a travel industry that has stalled since the pandemic began more than 14 years ago. month.
“No one has recognized, including our government, at any level, that double vaccination will open the door for travelers and governments to feel safer in international travel,” Firestone said.
At the same time, Manulife updated its policy on cruise bookings to provide $ 5 million in coverage, including expenses, related to COVID-19 for customers who are fully vaccinated as long as level 4. the federal government’s advice to “avoid all cruise line travel” is deleted.
Cruise travel coverage for medical emergencies, including COVID-19, will be excluded as long as the Level 4 advisory is in place.
The update means that while the Land Vacation will still include $ 1 million in COVID-19 coverage for unvaccinated travelers, there is no COVID-19 coverage for cruise travelers who have not been. fully vaccinated.
“It’s going to be huge for the cruise industry to know that there is a product that will cover you – and at significant levels of coverage,” said Firestone.
Proof of vaccination will be required at the time of a claim, which Mr Firestone says unfortunately leaves a lot of uncertainty when the government has yet to develop a universal vaccination certificate.
“Telling a customer they have $ 5 million in coverage only to find out during a claim that they can’t provide proof that they’re fully vaccinated would take them to a limit of 1 million dollars – that needs to be communicated very clearly to customers. before they leave, ”said Firestone. “It would be best to be approved for coverage at the time of purchase.”
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