Spanish travel insurer offers COVID-19 PCR tests as providers look to reinvent products, says GlobalData

A handful of travel insurers have started to offer COVID-19 PCR tests as an add-on to their policies as consumers begin to travel again. This enables them to issue Fit to Fly certificates if tests are negative, while also providing peace of mind to customers who are unknowingly infected with the virus and need to cancel their trip, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Spanish travel insurance provider InterMundial is the latest to offer access to COVID-19 PCR antibody tests as an add-on to its policies. According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Tourism Source Market Insight: Spain 2020’, Spain is among the highest-spending countries in Europe for both domestic and international tourism. Spanish tourists spent $75.8bn at home in 2019 and $58.5bn internationally. Yet, holidaymakers wishing to travel abroad are likely to experience disruption as the virus is making air travel and requirements at the place of destination unpredictable.

Beatriz Benito, Senior Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The virus is not only sweeping away tourism in Spain, but it has brought the country into the spotlight given its per capita rate of confirmed coronavirus infections – which is one of the highest in Europe.

“Facilitating access to COVID-19 PCR tests as part of a wider range of travel insurance benefits is the right move towards restoring consumer confidence. Those with a positive test can at least be guaranteed they will be able to recoup their travel costs. Many individuals are likely to stay put if they believe that travelling abroad is not only unsafe but also a hassle. Some countries require a negative PCR test from visitors to grant entry.

“Meanwhile, in other countries, if a visitor has proof of a negative PCR test result then they are no longer required to quarantine on entry. As travel requirements continue to evolve in the wake of COVID-19, so too will travel insurance products. PCR testing as part of the wider range of policy benefits looks like a promising solution.”

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