As COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe we are witnessing many significant changes in the travel insurance industry. At the time of this post, the Government of Canada Travel Advisory has issued A Global Travel Advisory to Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
This has left many Canadians who have purchased travel insurance, reading the fine print of the policy wording of their insurance contracts, trying to figure out what they are covered for and whether they can submit a claim. I hope this post will provide some insights and FAQs as it pertains to this travel advisory. Of course, there will be some variations among the various insurance carriers.
If you have purchased emergency medical insurance and trip cancellation and interruption coverage prior to the travel advisory.
- You can change or cancel your medical emergency coverage for a refund.
- You will need to notify the insurance company of the cancellation and request a cancellation of the emergency medical coverage prior to the effective date of the insurance coverage.
If you are cancelling;
- Your trip cancellation will cover the cost of the non-refundable portion of your airline ticket, cruise, accommodation, etc.
- You will need to contact the travel supplier to see if they offer any refunds or credits.
- You will need to fill out a claim form.
- You will also need to provide proof of purchase and cancellation of your ticket for a trip cancellation refund and either email or fax the claim form to the insurance carrier.
What happens if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 while on your trip, will the emergency medical coverage cover your medical expenses?
- If there was no travel advisory in place for that area before you arrived, you will have coverage for COVID-19-related medical expenses.
- If there was a travel advisory in place for that area and you still decide to travel to that area, you will not have coverage for COVID-19-related medical expenses.
What happens if your trip is interrupted due to COVID-19, will the trip interruption coverage cover the cost of rebooking and for related expenses such as hotel, meals, etc.?
- If there was no travel advisory in place for that area before you arrived, you will have coverage for COVID-19-related expenses.
- If there was a travel advisory in place for that area and you still decide to travel to that area, you will not have coverage for COVID-19-related expenses.
As the travel insurance market continues to adapt to COVID-19, the insurance carriers’ rules and guidelines will continue to adjust. The Government of Canada Travel Advisory warning has some carriers suspending the sale of their travel medical emergency for outside of Canada until further notice.
So, stay safe! There is light at the end of this pandemic.