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WestJet Enhances Insurance Coverage for US Travel

Canadian Airline Seeks to Remove “Barrier” to Travel By Adding Enhanced Protections for Flyers

September 28, 2020

Canadian carrier WestJet has announced that it is increasing its coverage limit to $200,000 CAD for travel to or from the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe including the UK for COVID-19 medical and quarantine costs.

The airline says that enhanced coverage through new partner TuGo will retroactively include all bookings made as of Sept. 18, and will increase by $100,000 CAD to include up to a maximum of $200,000 CAD at no additional charge to eligible guests.

WestJet air-only reservation, including WestJet Vacations bookings for travel to and from the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe (including UK) and inbound to Canada, will be eligible for coverage up to 21 days for travel through Aug. 31, 2021. For one-way travel reservations, coverage is available for up to seven days.

WestJet’s chief commercial officer, Arved von zur Muehlen said in a statement that the move was due to research that found a lack of COVID-19 insurance was “a considerable barrier to travel.” He also said that passengers were seeking US destinations on their travel insurance offering.

WestJet’s COVID-19 coverage for emergency medical-related expenses covers eligible guests with COVID-19 while outside of Canada (or for visitors traveling to Canada) for up to a maximum limit of $200,000 CAD per insured person if they have tested positive or have been diagnosed for COVID-19 while on a trip.

The insurance also includes trip interruption coverage if the Canadian Government’s travel advisory changes to “Avoid All Travel” (level 4) while at any of the travel destinations.

Currently, the Canadian Government is recommending travelers from that country to “avoid all unnecessary travel.” The recommendation is from March 20 and has not yet been changed.

For US travelers hoping to fly to or through Canada, there is still a temporary ban on all non-essential travel to Canada from US citizens. That ban was most recently extended to Oct. 21, and it is likely the ban will continue to be renewed until COVID-19 numbers go down in the US.

The insurance includes medical expenses if a guest tests positive for or is diagnosed with Covid-19 during their trip; emergency transport back to Canada or home country; quarantine meals and commercial accommodation expenses up to 14 days; $500 for a one-way economy flight home including meals and accommodations.

Travel insurance is automatically included at time of purchase on WestJet flights or vacation packages on or after Sept. 18, for travel between Sept. 18, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2021.