WestJet has announced it is now offering free COVID-19 travel insurance for its flyers — but Saskatchewan residents are the only people in Canada who do not qualify.
Similarly, Air Canada is also now providing free COVID-19-related travel insurance, but Saskatchewan residents cannot accept that offer either.
Both airlines cite provincial laws as the reason.
But the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan says it’s puzzled by the situation.
“The issue has been brought to our attention and we are looking into the reason why Air Canada and WestJet are not offering this product to Saskatchewan residents,” said the FCAA in a statement.
The authority says it is not aware of any provision in The Insurance Act that prevents this type of insurance policy from being offered to Saskatchewan residents.
“We are working with the Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan and the airlines to promptly get to the bottom of this issue and work toward a resolution.”
On Sept. 18, WestJet’s insurance will be added at no extra charge for passengers on international flights going to Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, including the U.K., as long as the trips end before Aug. 31, 2021.
If a Canadian traveller from the qualifying provinces gets COVID-19 while on a trip, the insurance covers medical and accommodation costs. WestJet’s insurance will also pay for the guest’s trip home after the 14-day quarantine period ends.
In a statement to CBC, WestJet said it is working on a solution for Saskatchewan travellers.
“At this time we are working with TuGo [the airline’s insurance provider] in regards to our Saskatchewan resident exclusion and will have an update to provide prior to our effective date of Sept. 18,” said the statement.
Air Canada said it is working to meet the province’s requirements so that Saskatchewan residents can also access the insurance offer.