Emirates to become first airline to offer global COVID-19 insurance

Jul 23, 2020

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Emirates will now cover coronavirus-related expenses should a customer be diagnosed with the virus while traveling.

The insurance, which is offered free of charge without any separate registration, will be extended to any Emirates passenger planning to fly from July 23 to Oct. 31. The coverage is valid for 31 days from the first leg of the traveler’s journey, regardless of if the journey continues beyond the final Emirates destination.

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Passengers can claim up to 150,000 euros ($174,000) for medical expenses and quarantine costs of 100 euros ($116) per day for 14 days. Funeral costs and repatriation assistance may be covered as well.

Emirates is also offering a dedicated hotline number and a WhatsApp number for the passenger to file claims or to contact for any inquiries regarding the insurance program.

An important exception to some of these expenses is that testing is not covered by insurance. In addition, expenses will only be covered by contacting the hotline — any attempts to pay out-of-pocket will not be reimbursed.

More: Emirates to bring back on-the-ground premium experience

“It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers first, and we believe they will welcome this initiative,” Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a press release.

As Emirates resumes flights to more cities, giving customers the confidence to fly beyond borders is critical to sustaining its hub operations in Dubai. That’s exactly what the airline is trying to do with the new insurance.

Emirates is not alone.

Many airlines have focused on emphasizing health and cleaning initiatives, and some have even established health advisory panels to highlight these health-related commitments to passengers. U.S.-based carriers are now rolling out policies to ban passengers if they choose to not wear masks. Going beyond these actions, Emirates is slating itself to become the first global airline to extend such a comprehensive offering that would cover the medical costs of its passengers.

Related: Lufthansa Group begins to offer ‘return-flight guarantee’ in Europe

Emirates’ new program takes a notch up from what the Lufthansa Group began to offer last month, which is an “all-round carefree package” insurance that guarantees a return flight for customers in case borders shut down again.

While the Lufthansa Group’s insurance package focuses on ticket flexibility and potential quarantine costs to passengers on its inter-European flights, Emirates is extending the scale and depth to include every passenger taking its flights — setting the airline apart from its competitors.

The airline has already established several safety protocols in addition to the new insurance such as mandating face mask usage on board and providing hygiene kits. It also began to require certain passengers (including those from select parts of the U.S.) to undergo coronavirus testing before boarding, a policy that has most often been seen with country reopening plans.

Related: Dubai is reopening, and this is what you have to know

Featured photo by InsectWorld /Shutterstock

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