What Free COVID-19 Travel Insurance Covers

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Want reassurance that you are protected against medical costs related to the pandemic? Now some travel operators provide it for free. But beware. You won’t be covered for everything.

Canadians travelling internationally should always follow government advisories. Travel insurers offer coverage that is aligned with the advisories, whether freedom to travel is restricted or not. As the world adapts and reopens in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more destinations are welcoming travellers back, with new health and safety protocols in place for airlines and resorts.

Insurance gives travellers the confidence to know they are protected against unforeseen costs on their trip, and some travel providers are offering free COVID-19 travel insurance as part of the “next normal.”

Here is what you need to know about what it does and doesn’t cover.

Free COVID-19 Travel Insurance Only Helps Cover Medical and Quarantine Expenses

The free insurance is automatically applied when you purchase your flight or resort arrangements, and covers a range of potential expenses for inbound and outbound travellers. It may differ from provider to provider, but here is what eligible guests are protected for:

  • Emergency medical and hospital costs up to a maximum (typically $200,000 CAD) if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 when you are outside of Canada (and may exclude the U.S.) or are a visitor to Canada
  • Accommodation costs when you are quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19 on your trip, typically up to $150 CAD per day for up to 14 days
  • Costs for ambulance transportation and air evacuation back home for treatment, plus one-way airfare for a travelling companion or your dependent children
  • Should you die, repatriation costs are covered up to a maximum (typically $5,000 CAD)

These plans cover a limited number of days outside of Canada, and you are ineligible for coverage if you plan on staying longer. Be sure to understand coverage time period restrictions, which range from one week to three weeks.

And remember, expenses related to COVID-19 aren’t the only unforeseen costs you’ll face when you travel — and that’s why you need full travel insurance protection, too.

Be sure to have full travel insurance protection in place

Travel Insurance lets you travel with confidence, protecting you against the out-of-pocket costs of medical emergencies, delays, theft, and last-minute plan changes.

You rely on your provincial or territorial health insurance plans to cover healthcare expenses. But if you’re heading to a sun-filled destination or visiting those you love in another country — your government healthcare plan won’t provide you with that same protection, leaving you to deal with out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

Here are the other travel insurance products you need:

  • Emergency Medical Insurance (single trip and annual multi-trip)

No one ever plans to need medical care while away, but if you do experience a misadventure on your trip, Emergency Medical Insurance covers hospital and doctors’ fees, prescriptions, emergency dental care, and even the return of an accompanying pet.

Your travel insurer will deal with the details so you don’t have to, and they’ll coordinate the best possible medical care so you can travel confidently. Choose worldwide coverage or a plan for travelling within Canada, for a single trip or annual coverage.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition coverage, options are available.

  • Visitors to Canada or Returning Canadians

Are you taking a quick tour, visiting family or friends, or waiting for your provincial healthcare plan to take effect? You won’t be able to depend on the fantastic healthcare system Canada has because you are not a resident — and medical costs can be expensive. The Canadian government recommends all visitors buy emergency health coverage before exploring Canada.

  • Student Emergency Medical Travel Insurance (Inbound or Outbound)

Are you a Canadian student planning to study abroad or an international student studying in Canada? Getting sick or injured away from the comforts of home can be especially stressful, so you’ll want to know you’re taken care of with specialized coverage for your needs.

  • Trip Cancellation, Interruption & Baggage Loss (single and annual multi-trip)

Life is full of surprises and so is travel! You can’t predict a natural disaster, job loss or the death of a family member or friend. When an unexpected event prevents you from travelling, Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption plans reimburse travel costs if your trip is cancelled before you leave, or disrupted after it has begun. Perfect for Canadian residents or visitors to Canada who want to feel confident that their trip is covered despite life’s surprises, trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption is available as a single or multi-trip policy. It can be purchased as a stand-alone plan or as part of a package, or choose the Trip Interruption only plan. Renting a car? You can add Car Rental protection in case your rented or leased vehicle is damaged. Worried about losing your baggage? You can add coverage in case your personal effects are damaged or stolen while you are on your trip.

  • High-Risk Sports Coverage

Love living life to the limit? Coverage is available for sports enthusiasts like you, who live for a thrill! Get protected for expenses related to sickness or accidents when you travel and participate or compete in a wide range of contact, adventure and extreme sports.

If You Are Ready To Go, Be Fully Protected

Special Benefits Insurance Services works with the insurance providers to offer a broad range of travel insurance products to bring you peace of mind if you are thinking about your next travel adventure. Contact us to get started on a no-obligation quote for travel insurance, or discover more on at SBIS Travel Insurance.


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