Now that the World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 pandemic at a point where we know the virus will remain the foreseeable future, but the infection is not as interrelated to severe disease as before.
While most of us have “pandemic fatigue” and many perceive that COVID-19 isn’t as much of a risk as it once was, there are still stated health measures like mask-wearing and physical distancing recommended for health safety.
Travel is back on the agenda for many, and the truth is, COVID can still throw uncertainty into your plans. Because the virus is still prevalent around the world, shopping for travel insurance that best meets your COVID-19 protection needs is vital.
Covid-19 coverage differs from travel policy to travel policy
Most Emergency Medical Travel Insurance policies will cover you for the medical emergency of needing COVID-19 treatment while you are away from home, there are some differences. Here is what to check on your policy:
What is the maximum coverage for COVID-19?
Some policies limit coverage. While you may expect full protection of up to $5,000,000 ensure that your policy isn’t restrictive. Some providers limit coverage to only $100,000 which may not be enough for emergency care in another country’s countries hospital.
Is there a coverage limit if you are unvaccinated?
Coverage can be different for those that are vaccinated against COVID-19 and those that aren’t because they may have a greater risk of contracting the virus or becoming ill from it.
What if you are quarantined while you are out of country?
Some travel insurance plans include a per-day amount if you are quarantined, but others do not.
COVID-19 travel insurance is here to stay
Travel insurance providers in Canada continue to offer you protection, which is a relief. Regardless of the features of the travel insurance you choose, it is important to purchase your coverage early – as soon as you book your trip.
Why? Many companies have a purchase window on a COVID-19 claim because everyone now knows about the risk of the virus. If you book your trip, but wait to book your travel insurance until just before you are ready to go, you wouldn’t be covered if you unexpectedly feel unwell and need to cancel.
You have COVID-19 travel insurance options from SBIS
Here is a quick overview of how some SBIS travel insurance options will protect you
TuGo Emergency Medical Insurance
This policy will cover you regardless of travel advisory levels issued by the Canadian government provided you have met the applicable vaccine requirements outlined by the Government of Canada’s entry and return to Canada.
Since there are no requirements currently, you can get coverage regardless of your vaccination status.
But what if the government reinstates vaccine requirements while you are away? TuGo will provide you with coverage under the COVID-19 benefit (that’s why your policy still has this benefit).
Manulife COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Plan
Manulife provides emergency medical benefits up to $5,000,000 for non COVID-19 related claims or up to $1,000,000 for COVID-19 related expenses.
You are eligible for the full $5,000,000 in coverage if you have received the full course of immunization for Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is authorized by Health Canada, before the effective date of your coverage, and it must be fully effective before your departure date.
You can apply for coverage up to 180 days prior to the effective date, and you single-trip plan must be purchased for the entire duration of your trip.
Here are three things to remember if you are ready to travel (again)
If you are travelling, one thing that has stayed the same is the need for Emergency Medical Travel insurance when you are out of province or out of the country.
Another thing that has stayed the same is that travel insurance providers will continue to evolve their plans to continue to meet your needs.
The third thing that remains the same? SBIS is here to help you put in place travel insurance that best meet your needs. You can conveniently go online to choose coverage, and if you require any assistance at any time in the travel insurance purchase process, you may call us at 1-800-667-0429 during our regular business hours or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for prompt service at any time.