Airlines not offering COVID-19 insurance in Saskatchewan and the province doesn’t know why

Two of the country’s major airlines are adding special COVID-19 travel insurance on certain flights and vacation packages —  and it’s being made available to Canadian residents, except in Saskatchewan.

The province says it doesn’t know why.

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The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA), Saskatchewan’s marketplace regulator, is “gathering information on this issue to get to the root of the reason why this is not being offered here,” says a statement from a government spokesperson.

Air Canada added coronavirus coverage on its vacation packages to Mexico and the Caribbean booked as of Aug. 31. It’s being provided by the U.K.-based Allianz Global Assistance.

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Air Canada asks for help to minimize losses caused by COVID-19 pandemic
Air Canada asks for help to minimize losses caused by COVID-19 pandemic

WestJet‘s coverage, effective as of Friday and from a British Columbia company called TuGo, will cover its vacation packages as well as new round-trip bookings up to 21 days and new one-way bookings up to seven days (excluding flights to the United States).

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Both airlines’ third-party products, according to their websites, are intended to help with emergency medical needs, quarantining and other associated costs for passengers who contract the virus.

Both airlines say they’re working to be able to extend the coverage to residents of Saskatchewan.

“At this point, the new policy is not available in Saskatchewan due to the province’s regulatory requirements,” states an email from Air Canada’s media relations team.

“We are working to meet these so we can include Saskatchewan in this program.”

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WestJet had a similar response to Global News when asked why residents of Saskatchewan were ineligible, explaining, “We are working with TuGo in regards to our Saskatchewan resident exclusion and will have an update to provide prior to our effective date.”

A spokesperson for the provincial government says the FCAA “is working with the Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan and the airlines to promptly get to the bottom of this issue and work towards a resolution.”

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