With a Level 2 advisory in place, the Canadian government no longer recommends that vaccinated Canadians avoid travel for non-essential purposes. That’s a green light to travel! And it gives you greater access to more travel insurance options.
Celebrate! Trip cancellation and emergency medical travel insurance is available for most destinations. Here some detail information you should know.
Emergency Travel Medical Coverage under a Level 2 Advisory
Prior to the advisory being lowered, individuals required a specially designed COVID-19 emergency travel medical plan to be covered for COVID-19 related illness while at their destination.
With the advisory level lowered, emergency medical insurance now covers COVID-19 related illness as long as there is no Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisory related to COVID-19 in effect at the destination.
Keep in mind that some carriers like Manulife follow the Government of Canada recommendations that insureds need to be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before departing on their trip in order to be covered for COVID-19 on medical plans.
There have been some carriers like TuGo that have been offering coverage for COVID-19 travel outside of Canada regardless of travel advisory since late 2021. This includes cruise travel.
More package options are available under a Level 2 Advisory
If you are looking for complete travel insurance package coverage, plans that include trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits are now available by meeting standard eligibility requirements.
Trip cancellation covers the non-refundable costs of a trip if something happens before the departure date, causing you to cancel the trip. Trip Interruption covers events that happen after departure, causing you to interrupt your trip, or to return earlier or later than your original return date.
Here are important points to remember:
- trip cancellation or interruption coverage will cover COVID 19 under the same conditions as any other event, namely that it is unforeseeable, beyond the control of the affected individual and serious enough to require you to cancel, interrupt, extend or modify your trip (COVID-19 remains a known event for trip cancellation and trip interruption).
- insure the cost of your trip prior to departure, as 70% of claims traditionally occur prior to departure according to Manulife
- review your policy before you purchase it and again before departure, so you are aware of how the policy covers or excludes travel advisories.
There are carriers with specific features in their plans.
Ontario Blue Cross travel insurance includes a new “Return Delay Expenses – COVID 19 Pandemic” benefit that covers certain expenses if you must postpone their return due to a positive test for COVID 19 or as a result of contact tracing. Reimbursements under this benefit will remain in place even if government advisories were in effect at the time of departure or during their stay.
TuGo offers an add-on option called ‘Cancel For Any Reason.’ This coverage must be purchased within the 5 days of booking or making your initial deposit. With the add-on, you can cancel your trip for any reason (that isn’t already listed as a covered risk in the policy) and be reimbursed up to 50% of pre-paid travel costs that are non-refundable, and non-transferable, if they cancel more than 5 days before the scheduled departure date.
Continue checking for any advisory updates
According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), COVID-19 and its variants should still be treated as a concern for any traveller and they recommend consulting the Government of Canada’s travel website for the latest travel advice and advisories.
Why? It’s important to be prepared for your destination’s situation and restrictions to change at any time. The Canadian Government provides advice to help travellers make informed decisions about whether the destination is safe to travel to or not.
Get your travel insurance now
There will always be some level of risk in travel. As a traveller make certain you do your due diligence to prepare for the unexpected.
With the protection of travel insurance, you can travel knowing you have coverage if/when you need it. Go online to get your travel insurance now.