Worried About COVID-19 and your Travel Insurance?

March 5, 2020

Many people are rightfully concerned about the possibility of getting sick with the COVID-19 virus. As a result, we’re getting lots of questions about how the virus is covered under travel insurance policies. Unfortunately, there are no simple answers. The situation is very fluid and each insurer is handling things differently. Today’s answer could well be different tomorrow. There are a few common elements to most insurers’ positions that we’d like to point out.

1. Prior to your departure date, if the Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory for the region you’re planning to visit that recommends you avoid all non-essential travel (or all travel) due to COVID-19, you will NOT be covered for any direct or indirect virus related medical treatments you may need.

2. If a travel advisory is issued AFTER your departure date, you may be covered for medical COVID-19 treatments. This is not a universal position and you should check with your insurer to confirm what applies to your policy.

3. If your insurer IS covering you for COVID-19 and you become quarantined, some insurers are automatically extending coverage for varying periods of time, beyond the original termination date of your policy. This is not a universal position and you should check with your insurer to confirm what applies to your policy.

4. If you purchased trip cancellation insurance PRIOR TO the release of a travel advisory, you will usually be covered. If you purchased trip cancellation AFTER the issuance of a travel advisory, you generally will NOT be covered for cancellation due to the virus, as the COVID-19 risk was known prior to purchase.

5. As COVID-19 spreads, each insurer will adapt, modify or clarify its position regarding the virus. Two Canadian travel insurance company has stated that it will not cover COVID-19 for policies issued after March 5, 2020, as it is now a known risk. That applies to both medical policies and trip cancellation policies.

For further clarification, we suggest you contact the company that has issued your travel insurance policy(s) or the advisor from whom you purchased it.

For more information on travel advisories issued by the Canadian government, go to

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories .  Travel advisories are issued for many more reasons, in addition to COVID-19. You should always be aware of conditions at your intended destination.

Feel free to contact us directly with any insurance or investment questions.

Insurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc.

This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see a professional advisor for individual financial advice based on your personal circumstances.