Covid treatment abroad presents burden for local insurance providers

Czech insurance companies have already paid dozens of millions of crowns for the treatment of complicated Covid cases in exotic countries as well as for repatriation flights to the Czech Republic.

Despite that, local health insurance providers are not planning to increase the prices of travel insurance, Czech Television reported on Tuesday.

“So far the most costly assistance was associated with hospitalization involving artificial lung ventilation with air ambulance transport. In that case, the costs exceeded CZK 3 million,” Marie Petrovová, a spokeswoman for the Alianz insurance company, told Czech Television.

An increase in the number of clients with Covid was also recorded in destinations such as Mongolia, Namibia or Cambodia.

According to Petrovová, Allianz Partners assisted with 27 positive cases abroad last year, most often in Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and the UK.

The insurer Uniqa registered around 100 foreign quarantines last year. It also recorded the highest cost for a complicated coronavirus case.

"We had cases in Dubai which cost around CZK 4 million and cases in Brazil that cost CZK 7 million," spokeswoman Eva Svobodová told Czech Television.

As a rule, insurance companies cover the costs associated with Covid-19 under basic travel insurance. The insurance usually also covers the quarantine.

However, insurance companies only reimburse expenses up to a certain amount. In some cases, tourists can pay considerable sums for staying in quarantine abroad.

So far the highest amount a client had to pay for accommodation was CZK 54,000 in Spain. In many cases, clients are accommodated in quarantine facilities where they don’t have to pay for accommodation and food,” Mrs. Petrovová said.

According to Czech Television, the coronavirus pandemic has increased the costs for domestic insurers by around 2.5 percent. Despite that, local insurers are not currently planning to increase the price of travel insurance.