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WestJet now offering COVID-19 insurance in Saskatchewan

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Saskatchewan's marketplace regulator is "gathering information on this issue to get to the root of the reason why this is not being offered here.". John Li/Getty Images

UPDATE: WestJet said, in a statement provided to Global News on Sept. 17, Saskatchewan residents are now eligible and included in its COVID-19 coverage.

“Working together with our provider TuGo and Saskatchewan insurance regulators we are now able to ensure residents of Saskatchewan are included in our coverage,” read the statement.

“We value the feedback we received from our guests and appreciate their patience as we worked to find a resolution.”

The original story continues below:

Two of the country’s major airlines are adding special COVID-19 travel insurance on certain flights and vacation packages — and it’s being made available to Canadian residents, except in Saskatchewan.

The province says it doesn’t know why.

Read more: Air Canada to revamp Aeroplan program in effort to recover from coronavirus

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The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA), Saskatchewan’s marketplace regulator, is “gathering information on this issue to get to the root of the reason why this is not being offered here,” says a statement from a government spokesperson.

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Air Canada added coronavirus coverage on its vacation packages to Mexico and the Caribbean booked as of Aug. 31. It’s being provided by the U.K.-based Allianz Global Assistance.

Click to play video 'Air Canada asks for help to minimize losses caused by COVID-19 pandemic' Air Canada asks for help to minimize losses caused by COVID-19 pandemic
Air Canada asks for help to minimize losses caused by COVID-19 pandemic

WestJet‘s coverage, effective as of Friday and from a British Columbia company called TuGo, will cover its vacation packages as well as new round-trip bookings up to 21 days and new one-way bookings up to seven days (excluding flights to the United States).

Both airlines’ third-party products, according to their websites, are intended to help with emergency medical needs, quarantining and other associated costs for passengers who contract the virus.

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Both airlines say they’re working to be able to extend the coverage to residents of Saskatchewan.

“At this point, the new policy is not available in Saskatchewan due to the province’s regulatory requirements,” states an email from Air Canada’s media relations team.

“We are working to meet these so we can include Saskatchewan in this program.”

Read more: WestJet offers refunds to passengers with cancelled European flights

WestJet had a similar response to Global News when asked why residents of Saskatchewan were ineligible, explaining, “We are working with TuGo in regards to our Saskatchewan resident exclusion and will have an update to provide prior to our effective date.”

A spokesperson for the provincial government says the FCAA “is working with the Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan and the airlines to promptly get to the bottom of this issue and work towards a resolution.”