Brazilian travelers who tested positive for Covid are surprised by insurance companies’ denial of coverage. Loss reaches R$ 25 thousand

Hiring travel insurance for Covid may not be the guarantee for a peaceful stay in the midst of the pandemic. Brazilian travelers who tested positive abroad and now need to comply with quarantine are being surprised by the denial of coverage by insurance companies for expenses related to the extension of stay.

Engineer Ananda Justino, 26, was preparing to return to Brazil when her fiance tested positive. The two are in the Maldives and the initial forecast of 14 days of quarantine represents an extra expense of more than R$ 25 thousand, since they will have to pay for two rooms, as she tested negative.

Dream trip: Ananda was proposed, but couple is now in quarantine.  The loss of R$ 25 thousand
Dream trip: Ananda was proposed, but couple is now in quarantine. The loss of R$ 25 thousand Photo: Personal archive

“I don’t even know how I’m going to pay. We contracted specific insurance with Covid coverage from Vital Card because we had this concern. But when we called, they said that they only cover in cases of hospital expenses and in a situation of body transfer. The policy, however, includes an extension of stay, extension and cancellation of the ticket. It does not cite restrictions,” says Ananda.

In the Maldives alone, counting on Ananda, there are currently ten Brazilians in quarantine. Among them are also public servant Ana Paula Toríbio, 44, and her husband João Paulo, 42, both positive for Covid, who also had their stay extension coverage denied when activating the Assist Card.

The insurer claimed that it was a pandemic declared by the competent body, which would be an exclusion criterion. However, the couple took out specific coverage for Covid. According to Ana Paula, this information is not even on the policy, but the insurer claimed that it would be on the pages of the general conditions of the contract:

— I made a spreadsheet with all the insurance available, and I only bought the Assist Card because it was right up front, very large, which covered Covid situations. It is untrue advertising. I noted exactly the question of extending the stay at the time of the contract. I just want my rights respected.

conflicting clauses

Excluding coverage due to an epidemic or pandemic is legal, according to a rule by Susep, the sector’s regulator. However, what cannot be are conflicting conditions in the contract, highlights Renata Reis, service coordinator at Procon-SP:

– It’s no use playing for the standard clause that existed before the pandemic. The advertising induces the consumer to hire the service thinking it is protected against cases related to Covid. Consumers need to report it.

Travel agent Heloisa Martinelli, from the company HypeTur, was also surprised by the reports of negative coverage from her clientele:

— This information of “while Covid is declared as a pandemic, it is an event of exclusion in the general conditions”, should be explicit, in my issuance system or in the policy.

In the case of lawyer Carina Ardito, 48, insurance company Travel Ace reported that she could not even claim the insurance because her test was negative, although local authorities have imposed quarantine on her for direct contact with her husband who tested positive:

— I hired a travel insurance called Covid + and the insurance company denied coverage and claims that the extension of stay, which is included in the policy, is not valid for Covid, only for sudden events, such as breaking the foot. But that’s not in the policy.

Lawyer Carolina Vesentini, from the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection (Idec), points out that it is an obligation for the company to be clear:

— The contract must be clear, objective and leave no doubt. There can be no abusive clause or one that makes pranks, and that misleads the consumer. That is, implying that it covers a certain item and then denying the same coverage.

The Consumer Defense Code (CDC) also establishes that the consumer can demand compliance with the obligation, under the terms of the offer, with the presentation of material or advertising that led him to contract the service.

Company says coverage is optional

Assist Card claims to have sent the insurance policy to customers in which it claims to contain “the contracted coverage and its exclusions”. And informs that it signals with an asterisk

coverages that offer assistance for Covid-19 and have included a text warning of coverage and exclusions for “any other Epidemic(s) and Pandemic(s) that may be declared by the competent body”. the negative, say experts, because it is a conflicting clause.

In a note, the National Federation of Private Pensions and Life (FenaPrevi) stated that the companies associated with it comply with all current regulations. And it advised consumers to inform themselves in advance about the health protocols of the place of destination in order to better choose the coverage.

When contacted, insurers Vital Card and Travel Ace and Susep did not respond.

avoid pranks make a checklist

everything you may need, observing the local health requirements of the destinations, such as entry and exit tests, minimum quarantine time, and rules for companions. Anticipate the situations

that may occur and seek insurance offers in the market that meet the need. In the case of Covid, in addition to medical and hospital expenses, transfer of the body, check if the stay coverage in case of quarantine is contracted. Require all coverage
you need is described in the policy, specifying case by case.

Check and ask for the contact number in case of an emergency. Make sure the service is in Portuguese.See the insurance trigger conditions

. Question whether the insurance can be triggered even in the case of a negative Covid test since in some countries people who have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive are also required to comply with quarantine.In the case of coverage for a companion

, check that there are no restrictions, as some insurers say they only cover expenses for a companion when he is a minor.Check the insurance payment method

. Some insurers, in the case of Covid coverage, pay only through reimbursement. That is, extraordinary expenses must be paid by the insured, on the spot, and then he will have to file a claim for reimbursement through the insurer’s website or application, presenting some documents. Also note the coverage conditions

in case of regret, cancellation of airfare and accommodation and rebooking.

About Yadunandan Singh

Born in 1992, Yadunandan approaches the world of video games thanks to two sacred monsters like Diablo and above all Sonic, strictly in the Sega Saturn version. Ranging between consoles and PCs, he is particularly fond of platform titles and RPGs, not disdaining all other genres and moving in the constant search for the perfect balance between narration and interactivity.

Check Also

Amazon to close bookstores and other physical stores | Technology

Amazon said on Wednesday it plans to close all 68 brick-and-mortar bookstores, kiosks and toy …