Effective August 1, 2021, the Costa Rican government will require inbound unvaccinated tourists to have $50,000 in travel insurance coverage for medical expenses, including for COVID-related issues, as well as $2,000 in coverage for quarantine lodging expenses due to COVID. Right now, Costa Rica is the only country with this kind of specific requirement, but the pandemic continues to shape how the travel industry moves forward, so we wondered: Could this mean more more coverage-based requirements? We reached out to Sarah Dandashy, host of MarketScale’s Say Yes to Travel and founder of AskAConcierge, to find out if we might see volatility in trip security and an uptick in trip cancellations due to impending vaccine mandate deadlines in air travel.
Now what we’ve seen with some of the big airlines like American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, is they are now requiring their employees to be vaccinated and there has been a bit of pushback with this. The result for consumers like us is there isn’t enough crew to fly the planes or work on the planes that are scheduled. So for those that may have been traveling in the past couple of weeks, you might have seen, or hopefully not, but you might have experienced a lot of canceled flights. The big question is, are we seeing an uptick in travel insurance? And I would say that we were seeing an increased number of people purchasing travel insurance prior to the current situation and for two reasons. A, for those that got burned already in their trips that they had planned in March of 2020 when everything came to a screeching halt. And secondly, travel insurance companies have now made changes because, for those that might have had insurance prior to the pandemic, these travel insurance companies didn’t really have the appropriate pandemic insurance. Now they have gone ahead and changed many of their policies and their plans, and those that aren’t interested in buying travel insurance are able to purchase very specific insurance that applies to their trip and their circumstances. So in the world of travel insurance, we have definitely seen a lot of positive changes, certainly for consumers as well. Two is that you can actually purchase what applies to you. And as far as flights continuing to be canceled and maybe not having enough crew, it certainly is going to be a little bit of this tug of war as we kind of go through this. Time will certainly tell as far as how we will maybe navigate out of this time and travel. But I would say that if you do have trips planned in the near future, be sure to add in buffer time just in case your trip might get canceled.