COVID-19 travel insurance has become a necessity when travelling outside of your home country. Purchasing a policy that covers all possible risks when travelling is more important than ever.
Below are some options for COVID-19 travel insurance as a Canadian traveller.
What Is COVID-19 Travel Insurance?
While COVID-19 travel insurance is optional, it’s a good idea to have.
Unfortunately, when you test positive, you are personally liable to cover all of your additional accommodation and food expenses – that’s where this travel insurance helps.
Standard out-of-country medical insurance, which is mandatory on all Battlefield Tours, covers illness and medical emergencies when abroad, while COVID-19 insurance covers issues directly related to COVID-19.
What Does COVID-19 Travel Insurance Cover?
COVID-19 Travel Insurance is trip interruption insurance directly related to COVID-19. Some items typically covered include:
Return travel home: If you test positive for COVID-19 and are forced to stay in a country for longer than expected due to quarantine requirements, you will need to change your flight plans. While some airlines are somewhat flexible in rebooking your flight, this insurance offers coverage to get you a return flight home.
Accommodation and meal costs: You may be required to quarantine up to 14 days depending on the country you are visiting. The COVID-19 policy covers your expenses related to accommodation and food costs while quarantining.
There may be additional coverage included, especially if your policy also includes out-of-country travel medical. But if you contract COVID-19 while travelling and this is a huge support to pay for your trip home and/or the quarantine you are forced to pay for.
What COVID-19 Travel Insurance doesn't cover
Each policy is different, but some common exclusions are directly related to COVID-19.
**Read your individual policy carefully**
Here are some common exclusions:
Pre-existing conditions: This shouldn't be a surprise but one exclusion is pre-existing health conditions. This is typically an exception directly related to emergency travel medical insurance and not the COVID-19 policy.
Quarantine at home: If you are forced to quarantine while in Canada, expenses are not typically covered.
Travel under “Avoid all travel”: The Government of Canada issues four levels of travel advisories. Countries are moving to Level 2 – Practise special precautions, on February 28, 2022. If the Government of Canada issues a Level 4 – Avoid all travel notice, your policy will not be valid if you choose to travel.
Cruises: Any COVID-19-related expenses that you incur while on or after a cruise are not covered.
There can be more exclusions depending on your policy, so be sure to look over your policy and seek the advice of the insurance company if you have any questions.
Things to Look for
The largest expense you will incur on a trip that is affected by COVID-19 is your quarantine hotel and associated food costs. This is an expense that many people simply cannot afford, so it makes a lot of sense to purchase a policy that provides you with the most coverage possible.
Most policies seem to have become standardized with offering $200/day to cover accommodation and food expenses for a maximum of 14 days. If you are travelling as a family, that stretches to $400/day, assuming that all of your family members are on your policy.
COVID-19 Insurance Providers in Canada
Canadians have three available providers offering this type of insurance - their coverages are as follows:
Manulife Cover Me provides emergency medical and COVID-19 insurance in one policy, but on a per-trip basis. Quote available online.
Goose Insurance is an app-based insurance policy that provides both emergency medical and COVID-19 insurance, but only on an annual basis. This means that if you are taking multiple trips in a year, you can make one purchase to ensure coverage for the entire year. Quotes available through the app.
Allianz provides emergency medical and COVID-19 insurance in one policy, but only on a per-trip basis. You must call in to receive a quote - and warning, call wait times are long!