Recently a survey was commissioned by Pacific Blue Cross that caught my attention. It focused on British Columbians’ attitude and feelings towards travel in a pandemic environment. The survey showed that people are still planning for travel despite COVID-19 with many people here in BC yearning for safe travel abroad to reunite with friends and family.
The survey showed that the top destinations outside North America are Europe, The Caribbean, Asia, Australia & New Zealand.
It also showed that COVID-19 has changed the way people travel. Pre-COVID, travel insurance was more of a ‘grudge’ purchase. Now it appears to be a very important aspect of travelling with 73% of people surveyed considering Covid-19 coverage their top priority when buying travel insurance. The survey also showed that the intention to purchase travel insurance is up 50% for both international and domestic travel.
It is also important to know that travel insurance is not just a ‘recommendation’ — many countries now require travelers to have travel insurance to enter which must include coverage for COVID-19. Some of these destinations include many Caribbean Islands, French Polynesia, Costa Rica, Thailand, Singapore & Israel…just to name a few. So be sure to research the destination you want to visit to find out if you require travel insurance.
As well there are companies like Carnival and Royal Caribbean which require passengers provide proof of insurance that covers COVID-19. Carnival guests who are unvaccinated and don’t show proof of the insurance will not be allowed on board and no refunds will be provided. On top of providing proof of insurance, Carnival’s unvaccinated guests must also undergo additional COVID-19 tests and pay a $150 USD surcharge to cover those costs.
Whether you have coverage through your credit card, company policy or you are shopping for a travel insurance policy be sure to read through the fine print so you know exactly what emergency and trip cancellation benefits you are covered for. Find a policy that will cover you if you get sick prior to your trip, as well as offer trip interruption coverage, so you’re prepared for the worst. And consider a health company like Pacific Blue Cross that is now giving BC residents who are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 coverage up to $10 million at no extra cost and a Travel Health Check for peace of mind when they purchase travel insurance.