The Real-Life Travel Insurance COVID-19 Claim Stories You Need To Know

The Real-Life Travel Insurance COVID-19 Claim Stories You Need To Know
No traveller ever sets out to get sick or run into a medical emergency while on vacation. But the unexpected can happen at any time or any place. That’s why it’s important to understand how emergency medical travel insurance covers you in those cases.

These days, the number one concern on most travellers’ minds is, “Will I be covered for COVID-19?” Travelling anywhere comes with a set of unprecedented risks that, as a traveller, require you to stay more aware of your travel protection. 

Understanding your travel insurance policy will go a long way in helping you to ensure coverage in the event you have to make a claim.

Learn how TuGo covers COVID-19 with a helpful infographic, and read these real-life COVID claim experience stories you need to know.

Colin contracts COVID while in the U.S.

Colin coughing

After a brief trip overseas, 64-year-old Colin* went to visit some of his extended family in the town of Mount Kisco, about an hour’s drive north of New York City. During his stay, he began experiencing a dry cough, high fever, and shortness of breath, shortly after a relative he was staying with was diagnosed with COVID-19. As Colin’s symptoms worsened, he was admitted to the local hospital and also tested positive for COVID-19. Then things got even more complicated.

Paid to Colin

Colin was placed in isolation and was put on a ventilator for over 2 weeks, due to respiratory failure. While he was intubated, Colin suffered an irregular heartbeat and a blood infection from a wound. Colin was hospitalized for 44 days, before he was taken back to Canada by air ambulance to his local hospital to complete his recovery.

If Colin hadn’t purchased Emergency Medical Insurance, he would’ve faced a staggering financial burden—over half a million dollars in US hospital and medical costs! The claim amount paid by TuGo was $544,675.49.

Colin’s provincial healthcare plan covered under $1,800—less than 1% of the costs. Luckily, Colin and his family took the right steps throughout the entire ordeal, which ensured that their travel insurance claim went smoothly.

Colin is just one of many travellers who benefited from COVID-19 coverage from TuGo’s Emergency Medical Insurance.

Dennis would have been financially devasted


Dennis* is a 72-year-old long haul truck driver. Being an essential service worker, he’d been driving regularly across the Canada-US border throughout the pandemic. During one of his trips south of the border—and despite receiving his first COVID-19 vaccination 2 weeks earlier—Dennis started to feel unwell. 

He felt the familiar symptoms of fatigue, muscle aches, chills and had a dry cough—but it was when he started coughing up blood and experienced shortness of breath, that Dennis drove himself to the nearest ER, while passing through Idaho. He not only tested positive for COVID-19, but doctors there also found that Dennis was suffering from complications related to pneumonia.

While in the US, Dennis was admitted to the hospital’s COVID-19 ward and given oxygen therapy for a total of 4 days. He was then taken by air ambulance back to his home province for further care, while his truck was returned to Canada by his company.

Paid to Dennis

If Dennis hadn’t bought Multi Trip Emergency Medical Insurance due to the nature of his work, he would’ve had a $75,000+ financial burden to deal with after his recovery. Relying solely on his provincial healthcare would’ve been a mistake, since it only covered $370—less than 1% of the total medical costs he incurred!

Travel insurance basics you should know

Whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure, unexpected travel and health problems can occur. Help protect your trip and keep disruptions to a minimum with travel insurance — it’s simple, affordable coverage for emergency medical expenses, baggage loss, trip cancellations and more.

  • Benefit from comprehensive coverage for trips as short as a few days or as long as 365 days, provided your Canadian government health insurance plan remains in effect during your entire trip 
  • Choose from single-trip or multi-trip plans, depending on your lifestyle and travel frequency
  • If you have children, they can benefit from the same protection as you when you all travel together
  • If you are under 60, no medical questionnaire is required when you apply and answer a few short questions
  • With some insurers, you can save 50% when you travel entirely within Canada
  • Get affordable coverage for the entire family — up to three generations
  • Access worldwide multi-lingual travel assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Don’t let an unfortunate experience while you are away from home become a financial nightmare. 

Travel insurance does more than protect you from out-of-pocket costs — it makes facing the most difficult circumstances a lot easier.

Get help covering unexpected medical expenses when you travel. Thinking about getting travel insurance now? Click to go online or call to us today at 1-800-667-0429. We’re open from Monday to Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET. At SBIS, we are always here to help.

* Based on actual claim with specific traveller details changed to protect privacy. 


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