In these turbulent Covid days, many are worried about travelling to Madeira. Their usual travel Insurance seems to not cover travel to countries with negative advice on all but necessary travel. Now, one could question if a holiday to someplace safe and relax isn’t very necessary indeed in these stressful times. But the fact is that many travel insurances refuse to cover your trip anywhere if there is negative travel advice. That is when you could use a special Madeira travel Insurance. Or for Porto Santo, of course.
Turismo de Portugal
The official Portuguese Tourist Office ‘Turismo de Portugal’ has stepped up. It has tackled the problem caused by travel insurers who exclude covid-19 related stuff from their policy. They endorse and promote the new Portugal Travel Insurance. This has been launched by the Funchal Insurance agency Bónus Mediação. It was created in collaboration with the Insurance company RNA Assistência. The policy they created has been adapted to the covid-19 pandemic. It eliminates a number of problems created by the regular travel insurers refusal to cover travel to ‘orange’ or ‘red’ countries.
Regular health insurance for residents of the UK
For any UK resident travelling within the European Union, regular health issues that need immediate attention are covered by your regular health insurance. You are in possession of the European Health Insurance Card EHIC, that is issued by the NHS. Unfortunately, any UK EHIC will lose its validity on December 31st, 2020.
What happens after that is anyone’s guess. All thanks to the pigheaded UK government that seems to think the EU should wait on them hand and foot. You can take offence if you like, but it’s my website and I don’t hide my opinion. But here is some good news for any UK visitor who plans a stay for Christmas and New Year. If you arrive in Madeira before the EHIC expires, it will remain valid until your return to the UK. Again, what happens after that nobody knows. But the Portugal Travel Insurance may help you out here. Keep reading.
Travellers from the European Union
For citizens of countries other than the UK, it will probably not be very different. However, I have no easy access to all national rules of every country within or outside the European Union. You have to check if your regular health insurance continues to cover your medical expenses abroad. If the country you are travelling to is on the list of countries which carry negative travel advice (only necessary travel), that is. But I suspect it does cover, and you will need your EHIC to get free treatment. Mind, the treatment will never exceed the treatment you would get in your country of residence. Should your own health insurance not cover travel to Portugal the new Portugal Travel Insurance may be a solution. We are talking about a situation where Portugal and Madeira are taken off the list of safe countries.
Travellers from outside the EU
Travellers from outside the EU must also check if their regular health Insurance covers issues that need attention while abroad. As you are not in possession of an EHIC you are not automatically entitled to free treatment. You have to check your Health Insurance policy. Exactly like you would be doing if there would not be a covid-19 pandemic. Whatever it does or does not cover, the ‘Portugal Travel Insurance’ could solve your problem.
Portugal Travel Insurance: which problems does it solve?
The policy was created with an eye on the covid-19 pandemic, paralyzing a lot of travel. And robbing Portugal and therefore Madeira and the Azores from a substantial chunk of their much-needed tourism income. Where regular travel insurers no longer cover cancellations due to covid related stuff, they cover your complete trip including transfers. Also, booked excursions are included. All this only if you PCR-test positive on covid-19 withing 30 days before your trip.
There are some exceptions (there would be, wouldn’t there) like border closures or flight cancellations. In practice, this would mean that you would have to go to your airline to get your flights refunded. And maybe get a refund from the accommodation you booked. Better even: only book if you know you are refunded in case of a ‘force Majeure’ situation like this. If you are quarantined in Madeira upon arrival, it would be because you get a positive result on your PCR test. In that case, you are covered by the Insurance for your accommodation. Even if you have to stay longer because you are not allowed to travel. On top of that, if you are quarantined in a dedicated hotel unit, the Madeiran government picks up the bill.
You are told to leave the country? Or you have to stay longer because you tested positive and needed to await your complete recovery? The expenses of your trip back home are covered.
Non-covid health issues
You have an accident while in Madeira? Or you catch another illness that needs treatment? Your treatment is also covered by Portugal Travel Insurance. However, if you miss your plane back home because of this, Insurance does not cover your repatriation. Repatriation expenses are only covered in a covid-19 related situation.
Portugal Travel Insurance does not offer unlimited coverage of your expenses. There is a maximum amount you are insured for. You can choose between two limits: €7,500, the basic coverage, or a substantial € 25,000 the premium coverage. Much will depend on what your regular Insurance covers when choosing between the two. The prices range from € 37,20 (10 days Insurance) to €106,20 (90 days) for the basic coverage of €7,500. For the premium coverage of €25,000, it ranges from € 80,90 (10 days insurance) to €308,60 (90 days Insurance).
You can access the Portugal Travel Insurance only online. Here is the link.
I have to stress that I am in no way affiliated to Bónus Mediação or RNA Assistência. Nor did I try and give a complete set of terms and conditions. I just tried to roughly outline the possibilities this Insurance offers. So don’t consider any of this the small print you can sue me for. I just think this is useful information that you’d want to be aware of. If there are other insurers I have not heard of, who offer this kind of packages, please tell me. I will gladly highlight their possibilities as well.
I must say I admire Portugal’s diligence trying to convince travellers and holidaymakers of the safety of the Portuguese territory. Of course, we know that it’s not all well on the mainland. But Madeira continues to do an exemplary job trying to keep the situation under control – which it still is – going through a lot of effort to protect both the Madeirans and the visitors.
Madeira: Safe destination
I can and will only speak for myself if I tell you Madeira is a very safe destination, considering. People who arrive covid-19 positive are isolated. Over the three and a half months the tourists have been allowed back to Madeira, there was only a tiny amount of local transmissions of the virus. They have all been found and isolated. The vast majority of new corona cases come from abroad or from the Portuguese mainland.
There have been no deaths caused by corona. Since July 1st, 2020, only one patient had to be admitted to the covid-ward of the general hospital in Funchal. The island population as a whole respects the covid measures that are in place. Putting on your mask where you should has become as automatic as zipping up when you leave the loo. Madeira continues to feel welcoming, safe and relaxed. Just what you need in these stressful times, and certainly made more accessible with this dedicated travel Insurance scheme.
I am by no means an expert on insurances. But if you have any questions the website of Portugal Travel Insurance does not answer, please ask in the comments below. I have made the director of Bónus Mediação aware of this article. I will ask him to monitor the questions and answer them, so anyone can benefit. Often, the questions and answers my articles trigger shed more light on the matter than the article itself. And if you think others could find this article interesting? use the share buttons below.