Canadian insurer Manulife Financial Corp. will restore some coverage for coronavirus-related trip interruptions in a new travel insurance policy that also includes COVID-19 in its emergency medical coverage.
The policy will launch in October for Canadians traveling domestically and internationally, including to countries subject to a Level 3 travel advisory, Canada’s biggest life and travel insurance company said on Wednesday.
Canada has a Level 3 advisory, which urges avoidance of non-essential travel, for all countries.
Manulife, as well as some other insurers, said in March they would stop covering trip cancellations or interruptions related to the pandemic as the disease was deemed a “known event.”
Manulife’s Canadian core earnings in the three months through March declined primarily owing to higher travel insurance claims at the start of the pandemic.
Manulife shares are down 27 per cent this year, compared with a 3.6-per-cent decline in the Toronto stock benchmark.
Manulife joins smaller rivals, including Medipac Travel Insurance and the Ontario and Quebec plans of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross, which began offering medical travel insurance including COVID-19 coverage in July. Neither offers pandemic-related trip interruption coverage.
Manulife’s policy has a $5-million non-COVID-19 emergency medical coverage limit, and a COVID-19 limit of $200,000.
It will also cover daily quarantine-related expenses of $150 a person or $300 a family for up to 14 days, Manulife said.
If a Level 3 advisory is upgraded to Level 4, Manulife said it will pay a combined $500 a person for return airfare, meals and accommodation.
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