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Emirates will discontinue COVID-19 travel insurance after Dec. 1

Nov. 01, 2021
4 min read
Emirates will discontinue COVID-19 travel insurance after Dec. 1
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Traveling during the pandemic means that travelers have to be prepared for just about anything, including catching COVID-19.

Many airlines have focused on emphasizing health and cleaning initiatives, and several —including Emirates — rolled out COVID-19-related insurance plans to reassure skittish travelers. But now, the airline is discontinuing its multi-risk insurance policy (which included COVID-19 coverage) for tickets purchased after Dec. 1, 2021. The news was first reported by the Dubai-based Khaleej Times and confirmed by Emirates.

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“This decision was made after a review of customer usage and feedback since Emirates first introduced its industry-first complimentary insurance cover,” Emirates told the Khaleej Times.

The policy was eligible for customers who purchased an Emirates ticket on or after Dec. 1, 2020, with a ticket number beginning with 176. Benefits included up to $500,000 for overseas medical expenses and emergency evacuation, up to $7,500 for trip cancellation for nonrefundable costs if the traveler is diagnosed with COVID-19 before the trip and a generous $150 per day per person for travelers required to quarantine. Travelers don’t have to fill out a separate form and are covered whether they booked through the Emirates website, contact centers or travel agent.

The removal of this policy represents a significant change in the travel industry: Travel providers are eager to get back to normal and have begun rolling back pandemic-era perks.

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Still, it’s important to note that this expiration hasn’t gone into effect just yet, so you're still covered under the plan if you have an Emirates flight coming up this month. Additionally, you’d still be protected even after the Dec. 1 cutoff date as long as your ticket was booked before Nov. 30, 2020.

Before the pandemic, tourists might not have thought much about travel insurance, dismissing it as a cash-grab. Now, it’s become a necessity (and a requirement to enter specific destinations). If you don’t have an Emirates flight planned this month and won’t be covered under the expiring policy, there are still ways to safeguard your trip.

My colleague, TPG senior reporter Katie Genter, put together a helpful guide for booking the right policy for COVID-19 coverage. I’ll link to it here, but there are some pretty essential takeaways.

First, if the Emirates news impacts you, you’ll want to make sure to insure your travel plans with a policy that specifically covers COVID-19. This is extremely important as many standard comprehensive insurance policies won’t reimburse insured expenses if you cancel your trip due to COVID-19-related concerns -- and you’ll be on the hook for the costs.

Secondly, if your travel booking is nonrefundable, you may want to consider buying a comprehensive travel insurance policy and adding optional, cancel-for-any-reason protection. (Not all travelers will qualify for this plan, however.)

Finally, it may be beneficial to take a look at insurance marketplace websites, such as InsureMyTrip.Your insurance options will vary depending on your destination, trip duration and many other factors, but this site can help narrow down the many insurance options out there. I’ve used the site several times on trips to Mexico and Thailand and found affordable and comprehensive plans for my travel needs. It has a pretty user-friendly interface, and travelers looking for COVID-specific coverage only have to select “Top Picks for COVID-19” to display your options.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.