The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Canary Islands Government has finalized an agreement with AXA Spain for the subscription of a travel assistance policy applicable to all tourists who travel to the Islands, whether foreign or national, in order to respond to incidents related to Covid-19, including he need to prolong stays due to quarantine.
The deal was signed by the regional Minister of Tourism Yaiza Castilla, on behalf of the public company Promotur Turismo de Islas Canarias of which she is CEO, and the company AXA Seguros, represented by the regional director, Auxiliadora Expósito, and Enrique Fernández, representing EM7 Risk Management and agent of AXA.
As a result of the deal, the Canary Islands becomes the first Spanish Autonomous Community in which tourists will have travel assistance coverage.
In the unfortunate case of a positive test for COVID-19, this agreement guarantees all related medical expenses, health repatriation and extension of stays due to quarantine related regulations.
However, it will not cover cases of Covid-19 known prior to travel, as set out in the insurance policy conditions.
With the subscription of this policy, in the words of Yaiza Castilla, the Canary Islands go even further in their commitment to reinforce and increase the safety and peace of mind of tourists.
In addition, Canary Islands Tourism and AXA Spain agree that this travel assistance insurance constitutes an extra attraction of the destination, which already stands out for its health security, before those people who are currently still deciding where to spend their holidays.
As a result of this agreement, AXA will make an exclusive telephone hotline available to the Canary Islands Government, to attend to any circumstance related to this policy.
The protection of tourists through this insurance policy takes effect as from this week and will be valid for 12 months. It will cover all visitors who did not know they had the virus and do not have personal insurance to cover the costs.
GlobalData’s Ben Carey-Evans observed of the new agreement that: “New temporary travel insurers are emerging as countries and airlines desperately attempt to bring tourism back, despite COVID-19 and travel insurers shying away.”
He pointed out that: “The Canary Islands Department of Tourism is providing this in partnership with one of the leading insurers in the UK, in AXA. GlobalData’s 2019 UK Insurance Consumer Survey found that it was the sixth biggest insurer, with a market share of 4.6%.”
And Carey-Evans continued: “New policies like this and the recent offer from Emirates providing customers with free insurance for certain COVID-19 expenses, show how essential tourists are to so many businesses. Insurers have been reluctant to offer full coverage for COVID-19 risks to consumers, however, sharing the potential claims costs with companies – or even countries who will benefit from tourists feeling more comfortable travelling – is a sensible temporary measure.”
GlobalData’s Carey-Evans concluded: “If Emirates and the Canary Islands see a rise in business with consumers feeling they are now taking on less risk in travelling, then it is likely to be replicated by other destinations and airlines.”