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As airlines and even some destinations roll out special COVID-19 insurance packages, Virgin Atlantic becomes the latest to join the pack as of Monday. Virgin claims this policy is the most comprehensive of all COVID-19 policies currently offered by other airlines, has zero excess and will be offered at no cost.

The coverage will be applied automatically starting Monday to all existing and new bookings and applies if a customer becomes ill with COVID-19 while on a trip they flew on with Virgin Atlantic.

Related: The ultimate guide to travel insurance

The coverage will be valid for all Virgin Atlantic flights from August 24, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic Holidays customers will benefit from the coverage as long as their flights are with Virgin Atlantic. The coverage extends even further to those passengers flying on partner airline metal like Delta or Air France/KLM, so long as they are traveling on a Virgin Atlantic-issued ticket.

There is a catch though. It’s important to stress that this insurance applies to COVID-19 only and would not replace a traditional travel insurance policy. If for example you were involved in a motor vehicle accident during your trip, this COVID-19 travel insurance policy would not cover your expenses as they are not related to COVID-19.

Related: Does my travel insurance cover COVID-19?

In times when demand for travel is unprecedented lows, airlines are struggling to fill their planes and convince wary customers to book travel. By taking measures like providing extra insurance in the COVID-19 era, Virgin Atlantic hopes its passengers feel reassured that it’s safe to fly with the airline, and that passengersnumbers will start to increase once again.

“Whether it’s to visit friends and relatives or take a well-deserved break, we believe that this complimentary cover will provide some added reassurance for our customers as they start to plan trips further afield,” said Juha Jarvinen, Virgin’s Chief Commercial Officer in a statement.

The comprehensive insurance with Allianz Assistance includes emergency medical costs, associated expenses such as transport, accommodation and repatriation up to £500,000 ($650,000) for all passengers listed on the same booking. Additional coverage includes £3,000 ($3,900) for customers who might get denied boarding whether leaving or returning home as well as being held in quarantine. Passengers will also benefit from 24-hour emergency medical assistance, wherever they are in the world.

Unlike many other regular insurance policies, Virgin’s comes with no excess payable. It includes cover for the whole trip, irrespective of time away, age or passenger or cabin class of the flight. It’s also worth noting that the insurance includes one-way flights and covers passengers up to 12 hours after arriving at their destination.

Virgin is also one of many airlines that have made changes to flight change and cancellation policies in the wake of the pandemic.

Featured image by Zarnett via Twenty20

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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