St. Maarten to introduce mandatory coronavirus insurance for tourists | THE DAILY HERALD

TEATT Minister Ludmila de Weever.

PHILIPSBURG–Tourists who want to come to St. Maarten will soon be required to acquire COVID-19 medical insurance prior to their visit, once a plan being worked on by Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Minister Ludmila de Weever goes into effect.

De Weever said the insurance is similar to the COVID-19 insurance that has been introduced by Aruba and insurance companies in St. Maarten have agreed to participate. She has been engaged in talks with various companies to provide insurance to incoming visitors since May of this year.  One of the requirements on which De Weever insisted was for the insurance to include medical evacuations, which have now been included. It currently costs US $70 for one week in Aruba and coverage is up to US $75,000. Initially the cost was US $135. The cost for the insurance for visitors to St. Maarten will be approximately the same as in Aruba.

“Up until the point of three to four weeks ago, it was not an option to include medivac, which was a primary concern especially for visitors coming from North America,” she said. “And I am happy to announce that the system is absolutely ready to go live and this is based on the programme that Aruba has.  “We are just waiting on a couple of items to streamline it for a presentation to come to the Council of Ministers. I would like the public to be aware that one of the requirements was that every insurance company registered to do business on the Dutch side was included in the pool of insurance companies to add into the programme that Aruba started.”

She explained that the bigger the pool is in terms of visitors, the cheaper the insurance will be. “So, it is significantly cheaper than when it first started in Aruba. I cannot divulge the details of it now until we sign off on it, but we won’t expect it to go live until sometime at the end of October possibly. But it is there and we are looking at a separate requirement for [visitors from – Ed.] North America versus Europe.”

In the meantime, NAGICO Insurances confirmed that it has been involved in discussions with government about the COVID-19 insurance for tourists travelling to the country.

Aruba had introduced the mandatory insurance for tourists as a condition for visitors. Their mandatory insurance policy had been developed with the Aruba insurance sector and serves to cover the cost of isolation, medical and hospital expenses and transport/repatriation in case a visitor has COVID-19. For Aruba, the traveller must purchase the COVID-19 insurance prior to boarding a flight to that destination.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/st-maarten-to-introduce-mandatory-coronavirus-insurance-for-tourists

7 COMMENTS

  1. A bad idea. Most of the Dutch tourist are all ready covered for medical expenses from Covid-19 trough their health insurance in The Netherlands, including medical evacuation. Normally I stay in the winter on the island during six months. Having to take the proposed insurance for my family would cost me a fortune. On top of that I would have to insure my self for something I am all ready insured. This is madness. Government should include exemptions in a case like this. If not than it is impossible to spend the winter in SXM because of the extra costs.

  2. Why should I be forced to buy island insurance when I can get my own travel insurance at a cheaper rate in my home country. The insurance in this article is a money grab from tourists to help a hurting economy. I would much rather spend these funds in the local businesses I have come to know when visiting.

  3. Our two week dream vacation, which we have saved for for years, has been nearly shattered by COVID already. Now for you to add a bogus, money grabbing mandatory insurance on top of it makes it next to impossible to come now. This was going to be a 30th wedding anniversary trip for my husband and I and also a first time ever (for us) group trip with friends. You are punishing not only your much needed tourists, but also your restaurants, small businesses, etc, who are desperate for the money you you will now be getting instead. Another government lining their pockets. How sad 😞

  4. Here is my two cents worth. How about requiring travels to have coverage with their own home health insurance instead of buying yours? You are asking us to spend money on coverage that we would otherwise spend on excursions, food, souvenirs, taxis. Etc…

  5. This is so disappointing to read. I cannot understand for the life of me, how you can impose such a thing. I realize that your island is hurting and you need to boost your economy, but you are also biting the hand that feeds you!!! All of us vacationers are so desperate to come back to your beloved island and help add back to the businesses and friends we have enjoyed and made there, and for that you are going to add a fee for us to do that? AND, since we cannot go without heavy insurance already, you now want us to help you with yours? Should we contract any kind of illness, including COVID, it is on our dime not yours!! It’s not like we are going to be using your health care. We were hanging on to the idea that we would be able to make our January trip, but adding another $420 US on to our 3 week trip is just asinine!! Those are dollars we would have been spending in your restaurants, bars, stores, beach shacks. Do you not see what you are doing? Your island is filled with small business and individuals that are in such need of every single dollar they can make, and instead you are putting them into your government pockets!! Shame on you!!!

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