As COVID-19 is alleviated by increased vaccination, insurance companies in Canada also try to provide COVID-19 travel insurance for interested customers.
What is COVID-19 travel insurance?
According to the latest figures by Our World In Data, to date, around 42.6% of the world’s population has been fully vaccinated. Around the world, countries are reopening their borders for tourism, though with restrictions. Wendy Paradis, president of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) shared that there are already travel inquiries for next year’s February and March. Indeed, we all hope that travel can soon be possible.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, there are still chances that you’ll contract the virus. Besides the health risks, there are financial risks that one should consider when traveling around. For example, maybe your destinations are restricted right before the trip, and you have no choice but to cancel the trip. On these accounts comes the need for a new type of travel insurance during this time. In fact, insurance providers are offering further travel insurance coverage specialized for COVID-19.
Why should you buy travel insurance for the COVID-19?
Most insurance policies cover few or no medical fees while you are outside Canada, while the treatment and hospitalization costs in a foreign hospital or clinic can be exorbitant. Most importantly, hospitals and clinics may not treat you if you don’t have enough money or insurance to pay for your medical expenses. Since COVID-19 is such a fatal disease, we’d advise you to buy COVID-19 travel insurance coverage for the sake of your health.
How can COVID-19 travel insurance help you?
Travel insurance is a must for everyone who wants to travel at present. One of the immediate benefits of travel insurance is that you have protection for any medical emergencies. As previously mentioned, being fully vaccinated does not guarantee that you or your travel partners will never contract the virus. Therefore, when you buy the COVID-19 travel insurance, at least you can travel with peace of mind that you are financially protected.
Another perk of the COVID-19 travel insurance is that it allows you to take back your money should you have to cancel your trip due to health reasons or others. Some people test positive just right before their trip and thus are unable to take their flight. In this case, they can claim their travel insurance company to recover some expenses.
One thing to note is that in case of travel interruptions, the travel insurance only covers those after the departure date rather than before the trip’s start. So you may consider getting coverage as soon as you’ve made your booking. Also, please take note that not all plans cover trip cancellation and interruption. Some plans cover medical expenses only. Therefore, you need to think about your needs carefully.
In case the policyholders test positive before returning to Canada, they’ll need to undertake treatment in a hotel or rental facility. Some policies cover part of the bill for these unexpected quarantine expenses.
Where can I find COVID-19 travel insurance?
Many insurance companies, such as TD insurance or Manulife, have started to provide COVID-19 travel insurance for medical expenses, which also includes quarantining after a positive test. You can also buy insurance from your travel agent, your airline, your employer’s insurance provider or an independent insurance broker like us – Best Insurance Online.
For eligibility, any Canadian resident can purchase coverage with very few or no medical questions (for those under age 60). There are options for families and groups to reduce the cost as well. Depending on the number of days you are on vacation and the nation that you travel to, the price will vary accordingly.
Especially, most companies offer coverage for the Coronavirus without additional rider or expenses if the buyers are fully vaccinated. If not, you will have to buy COVID-19 add-ons or riders related to the virus.
To understand how COVID-19 travel insurance works, you can refer to the CoverMe COVID-19 Pandemic Travel plan by Manulife. Fairly speaking, we consider this coverage comprehensive and customer-centric. You can choose between a single-trip plan, trip cancellation and trip interruption plan or multi-trip emergency medical plan.
CoverMe covers almost all emergency medical costs such as health services, transportation or trip interruption. Of course, pre-existing medical conditions that are related to lung and heart are excluded. In addition, Manulife also provides their clients with the TravelAid mobile app so that they can have instructions to the nearest medical center when in need.
Once you’ve decided to travel abroad during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it’s necessary for you to check with your travel insurance provider if:
- You are covered for both COVID-19-related medical expenses AND other non-COVID-19-related expenses;
- You are covered for quarantine stay should you contract the virus during your trip;
- Your insurance covers for your entire trip period;
- You are covered for extended stays outside Canada.
Important: Check for the Travel Advisories
It’s crucial that you check the Travel Advice and Advisories for your destination when you plan your trip and before the day of your departure. If your destination is categorized as “avoid no travel”. If you travel to a place that is banned by the government, any claims related to the virus will not be paid.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
The molecular polymerase chain reaction test – PCR test is a must-have test for anyone traveling to Canada by air or those who arrive in Canada from the US. Since this is a compulsory requirement by the Canadian government, it will not be included in the travel insurance, which is meant for unexpected expenses.