COVID-19 and Travel Insurance
With the introduction and success of the COVID-19 vaccines, some countries are loosening or removing their restrictions, including those related to travel.
Many people, including some of our Team members, had to cancel planned trips or vacations over the last year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the removal of restrictions, it is expected that we will see a large number of people traveling again, both within and outside of Canada.
The coverage and exclusions provided by travel insurance companies has continued to evolve throughout the pandemic. With the most recent changes, many insurers are now providing coverage for COVID-19 related illnesses under specific circumstances.
For the purpose of this post, we will look at the underwriting guidelines from one of our travel insurance partners, TUGO.
Those traveling within Canada will NOT require additional coverage, since COVID-19 related illnesses are covered by provincial healthcare. However, a regular Emergency Hospital and Medical Coverage plan is recommended, as the limits and types of coverage can vary from province to province.
For those travelers who have received at least one vaccination at least fourteen (14) days prior to departure, who have received or scheduled any subsequent doses of the vaccine if available to them, and who are following provincial or territorial recommendations will have coverage for COVID-19 related illnesses under their $5,000,000 Emergency Hospital and Medical policy. Those individuals who are unable to obtain a vaccination due to their age would also be covered.
For those travelers who are unvaccinated, or who do not follow provincial or territorial recommendations, they would not be covered for COVID-19 related illnesses under the Emergency Hospital and Medical plan. If coverage is desired, they would be required to purchase the additional coverage which is subject to a limit of $1,000,000.
The COVID-19 unvaccinated policy is available as a single trip plan only and is only available to TUGO policyholders that have Emergency Hospital and Medical coverage in place. It cannot be purchased after departure and a refund is only available if no travel takes place. The additional policy is also available for worldwide and worldwide excluding USA coverage.
Visitors to Canada and International Student policies automatically provide coverage for COVID-19 related illnesses.
Coverage will not be provided for any claim incurred if the traveler had any COVID-19 symptoms on or within the 14 days prior to the date of departure, or for any claim incurred if the traveler was diagnosed with COVID-19 on or within the 30 days prior to the date of departure.
As COVID-19 is considered a “known event”, it is no longer considered to be sudden and unexpected. Therefore, it would not be covered under trip cancellation or interruption insurance.
Whether you have already booked your next vacation, or you are holding off for a little bit longer, you may be curious about your travel insurance options. For more information on the types of travel insurance policies and coverage available to you, please contact our Office and one of our Brokers would be happy to assist you.
The Costen Insurance Team