What Canadians Need To Know About Travel Insurance as COVID-19 Restrictions Lift

August 25, 2021

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Canadian Travel Insurance During and After COVID-19

Planning a trip? Then you’re probably making tons of decisions. And since it’s during COVID-19, you’re probably facing a lot of uncertainty, too. Thankfully, travel insurance is one thing you don’t have to second-guess or figure out on your own.

Keep reading to learn the essential information all Canadians need to know about travel insurance as COVID-19 restrictions lift—and understand exactly what coverage you need.

Why All Canadians Need Travel Insurance

Typically, when Canadians look to purchase travel insurance, what they really want is travel health insurance. We also buy non-medical insurance products like trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption insurance, and baggage protection, to be sure. But the main focus is always on medical coverage.

Why? Because the medical costs you can incur outside of Canada pile up incredibly quickly! If you or someone you know has ever visited a doctor or hospital in another country, you know that even a minor concern when not covered by insurance can come with a major bill. 

Having the right amount of insurance is critically important while away—and the right amount of coverage typically comes from working with an insurance broker.

Is Airline and Credit Card Travel Insurance Good Enough?

We’ve always recommended obtaining separate travel insurance over and above the coverage offered by airlines and credit cards because these options typically have lower limits and more exclusions than personal policies do. Chances are, without a personal policy, you won’t have enough or the right coverage to see you through any medical emergencies.

If you decide just to stick to the airline and/or credit card coverage you already have, be sure to read all the information about what is covered thoroughly. You don’t want to be stuck learning how your insurance works—or that you don’t have enough—when it’s too late!

Canadian Travel Insurance & COVID-19

At the onset of the pandemic and up until recently, many Canadian insurance companies would not cover medical expenses related to COVID-19. This was mainly because the government had issued a restriction suspending any non-essential travel. 

Now that we’re starting to think about travel and our post-pandemic world, it’s good to know that medical expenses related to COVID-19 are being included in travel insurance policies. The policy options are now typically vaccine-based, meaning there are different solutions available depending on your COVID-19 vaccination status. It’s also good to know that because having enough coverage being more important than ever, additional options are now highly recommended.

Needless to say, Canadian travellers still have a lot to think about! Here’s what we recommend:

Get The Right Coverage For Your Situation

Vaccine-based policies cover you whether you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or not. Coverage is available for both scenarios, but policies differ based on the insurance company you buy from, so the costs and coverages associated with each will be different. Working with an Insurance Consultant is your best bet to ensure you’re getting the coverage you need for your unique situation.

Consider Additional Coverage

We also still recommend that you consider opting into a medical emergencies plan as well as non-medical plan, for those other pesky claims that tend to add up and ruin the fun when things don’t go as planned.

If you’ll be traveling during or after COVID, contact your Insurance Consultant for specific details and help securing the plan that best suits your needs and vaccine status.

COVID Travel Insurance FAQs

You asked, we answered. (Don’t see your question answered here? Send us a message and we’ll get you the information you need.)

Q: Can Travel Insurance Cover The Costs Of Quarantining?

A: Yes, some policies will cover COVID quarantining through trip interruption coverage. That said, there are usually parameters that must be met before this coverage will kick in. (For example: a minimum trip duration.)

Q: What Can Quarantine Costs Look Like?

A: Quarantine costs can include:

  • Long hotel stays
  • Food service
  • Delivery services (for medication, personal medical visits, etc.)

Also worth noting: If you’re travelling with others, they’ll likely have to quarantine too, which only adds to the costs.

Q: Is There A Difference Between Travelling Within Canada Versus Internationally In Terms Of Insurance?

A: When travelling within Canada before, during, and after COVID, we’re very lucky to know that most of the medical fees we incur will likely be covered in some way through our provincial or territorial health plans. Unfortunately, the same is not true when we travel internationally— especially during COVID. 

Whether COVID-related or not, provincial and territorial health plans will only cover a small amount, if any, of the costs we incur abroad. And, they never pay bills up front. This can lead to some serious additional costs sure to drive up your credit card or drain your bank account fast.

That’s why as a Canadian, whenever you travel internationally, we highly recommend you purchase a personal travel health insurance policy.

Q: What’s The Best Coverage Option For Travellers Right Now?

A: It depends on what you’re looking for, the country you’re travelling to, and your vaccination status. 

Your best first step? Contacting an Insurance Consultant to review your needs. We’ll be happy to go over the best options for your unique situation.

Q: Are There Specific Considerations For Snowbirds or Canadians With Properties Abroad?

A: Yes! If you plan to spend an extended amount of time in another country, be sure to look into travel health policies that offer longer periods of coverage, so you’re protected for the duration of your time outside of Canada.

Q: What About People With Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?

A: If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you’re likely still eligible for emergency medical travel insurance. Most insurance companies will ask a series of medical questions in advance to determine the level of coverage you’re eligible for. Just be sure to answer the questions accurately so you know you have the right protection in place!

Tips for Traveling During & After COVID-19

Travel today is very different than it was prior to the onset of COVID-19. Here are 3 steps we recommend all Canadian travellers take when planning trips and travelling post-COVID:

#1 Pay Attention to Travel Advisories

Pay very close attention to any Government of Canada travel advisories that pertain to: 

  • Leaving Canada
  • Entering the country you plan to visit
  • Re-entering Canada

#2 Consider The Vaccine Policies of Other Countries

Also, be well aware of the vaccination policies of the countries you plan to travel to. In particular, find out if they’re accepting visitors, what their quarantine protocols look like, and what their vaccine policies include. 

Also, as mentioned above, make sure you understand what the other country’s requirements are for entry, including quarantine and vaccination status.

#3 Understand Your Coverage

Learn the details of your insurance policy well in advance of your trip. You’ll want to know what it protects you against, and what it will not cover, and any limits and exclusions. If you need to use your coverage abroad, you’ll be very glad you took this step!

Questions About Travel Insurance & COVID? We Can Help.

Because travel and decision-making go hand-in-hand, planning a trip can be intimidating at the best of times. Add pandemic-related restrictions and considerations, and things get overwhelming fast. 

If you’d like to speak with someone who can answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you make sure you have all the protection you need as you travel in today’s world, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help.