This story was updated on June 30, 2020 to highlight ongoing travel insurance policy alerts.
COVID-19 is affecting a wide range of travel plans, from flights and cruises to hotel reservations and scheduled transportation (such as ferries and trains). Given these unexpected circumstances, many Canadian travel insurers have issued alerts to explain what they will and won’t cover under your existing travel insurance policy.
This includes what costs they will cover due to trip cancellation for upcoming trips, as well as what is included under travel medical for coronavirus-related issues. Keep reading for up-to-date info about how specific providers are working to protect you against losses due to coronavirus.
Disclaimer: While the information on this page is intended to be as accurate as possible, please keep in mind that conditions for your coverage may change as the current situation evolves. Please refer directly to your travel insurance provider for the most up-to-date information about your coverage.
Coverage validity dates by travel insurance provider
Most insurance companies are only covering coronavirus claims if you purchased your insurance and booked your trip before a specific date. These dates are outlined below for each travel insurance provider. Click on the name of the provider for their travel alert.
|Royal Bank of Canada||13 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. If you purchased a policy prior to 13 March 2020 at 5:30pm (EST), you may be eligible to submit a trip cancellation/trip interruption claim due to a newly issued travel advisory. The same applies if you booked travel on your RBC credit card. You must be travelling prior to 1 September 2020 in order to submit this type of claim. Any trip cancellation/interruption claim related to coronavirus will not be payable if your policy was purchased or trip was booked or paid for on an RBC credit card on or after 13 March 2020 at 5:30pm (EST).
- Emergency medical. You won’t be covered under emergency medical insurance if you travel anywhere outside of Canada after 13 March 2020 at 5:30pm (EST), when the Canadian government issued its global travel advisory. If you’re already at your destination and left Canada before the travel advisory was issued, you may be covered under emergency medical insurance if you get coronavirus, provided you purchased your policy before the global travel advisory was issued.
|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce||13 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. If you purchased your trip and travel insurance on or after 13 March 2020, you won’t be covered for trip cancellation benefits. If you purchased your trip prior to the Canadian government official travel advisory being issued, then you’ll be eligible to have your trip covered.
- Emergency medical. As of 13 March 2020, the Government of Canada issued a travel advisory advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. This advisory applies to all international locations, including the USA. If this travel advisory was issued after your departure date, your emergency medical and trip interruption coverage will be limited to a period of 10 days from 13 March 2020 or to a period that is reasonably necessary for you to safely return to Canada.
|TD Bank||13 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Canadians have been instructed to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada as of 13 March 2020. This means that you won’t be eligible for trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage due to coronavirus if you’re travelling within Canada or book a trip to any destination outside of Canada after this date. You will be covered to cancel your trip if you purchased your policy before this date and want to cancel your upcoming trip due to coronavirus.
- Emergency medical.If you’re travelling to a destination in which the Government of Canada has advised Canadians to “avoid all travel” or “avoid all non-essential travel”, you will not be covered for any claim if you contract coronavirus. As of 13 March 2020, that includes any country outside of Canada.
|Scotiabank||12 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. As a result of the global travel advisory, customers who have booked a trip prior to 13 March 2020 may be eligible to submit a trip cancellation/interruption claim. To qualify, you must have booked your trip prior to 13 March 2020 and you must meet other terms and conditions in your certificate of insurance. Any trip booked on or after 13 March 2020, will not be eligible for this type of insurance while the travel advisory is in effect.
- Emergency medical. Insured persons who started a trip before 13 March 2020 may be eligible to submit a travel emergency medical claim due to coronavirus-related illness, subject to the terms and conditions of their certificate of insurance. Claims will not be eligible for insured persons who proceed with travelling outside of Canada on or after 13 March 2020, while the travel advisory is in effect.
|Bank of Montreal||Unclear|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. If you’ve used BMO Rewards to book your travel, BMO is waiving its change fee and will work with your travel provider to process your change or cancellation request. This could include a travel voucher with the provider or a full points refund. BMO has not issued other travel alerts related to coronavirus.
- Emergency medical. There is no specific alert for coronavirus related to travel medical on the company website.
|World Nomads||13 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. World Nomads travel insurance may provide reimbursement for claims arising from coronavirus. It will cover you for trip cancellation/interruption to countries outside of Canada for any trips you’ve booked prior to 13 March 2020. You’ll also be able to cancel your trip if you or your travel companion develop coronavirus and cannot travel as certified by your physician. Coverage also applies if you or your travel companion’s immediate family member or business partner develops coronavirus or another medical condition.
- Emergency medical. You may be eligible for benefits under the emergency medical section of your policy if you become sick with coronavirus while you’re traveling. If you booked your trip before 13 March 2020, you’ll likely be eligible for medical coverage if you get infected with coronavirus during your trip and need to return home early or re-arrange your travel plans. You may also be eligible if you need emergency medical care in another country.
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Seven Corners requires you to contact your travel provider for a refund before filing a claim with its customer service department. Your insurance will only cover trip interruption if you can’t make your flight due to a doctor-ordered quarantine due to coronavirus. If your airline cancels your flight due to coronavirus, you won’t be covered for your losses. This coverage may be void if you booked your trip after a specified date.
- Emergency medical. If you become sick with coronavirus and see a doctor or go to the hospital during a trip, your medical expenses may be covered. Your expenses will also likely be covered if you require an emergency medical evacuation and repatriation due to coronavirus. This coverage may be void if you booked your trip after a specified date.
|Manulife||5 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Manulife recognizes that coronavirus became a “known” event as of 5 March 2020. For this reason, it won’t cover any costs for trip cancellation due to coronavirus after this date. Those who purchased trip cancellation or interruption insurance before 5 March 2020 can still be covered for losses. There are also provisions for eligible travellers trying to return to Canada due to coronavirus. Manulife will cover the cost of a one-way economy airfare to return home up to the stated limit in your policy or will cover the cost of your unused prepaid land arrangements that were part of your travel booking. You may also qualify for a daily allowance of up to $350/day depending on your policy if you’re delayed beyond your return date.
- Emergency medical. You’ll be covered for emergency medical expenses related to coronavirus if you purchased your travel medical on or before 5 March 2020.
|CAA||13 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. You’ll be covered for trip cancellation as long as your trip was purchased before 13 March 2020. If you need to leave a country due to a nation-wide quarantine, you may be eligible to submit expenses related to returning home early. You may also be able to submit a claim if you need to return home after your departure date due to being diagnosed with coronavirus. You can also submit a claim for your trip expenses if you want to cancel due to the global travel advisory put in place by Global Affairs Canada on 13 March 2020.
- Emergency medical. You’ll be covered for coronavirus-related medical expenses as long as you left Canada prior to the Global Affairs Canada travel advisory (13 March) and prior to any Level 4 (avoid all travel) or Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel) travel advisories being issued for your destination.
|Blue Cross||11 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Blue Cross considers coronavirus to be a known event as of 12 March 2020. This means that if you purchased your travel insurance policy before this date, you can cancel your trip due to coronavirus and get a refund according to the terms of your specific policy. If you chose to book a policy or purchase a flight after this date, any insurance you purchased will not cover coronavirus-related expenses.
- Emergency medical. You’ll be able to get coverage for coronavirus-related illness if you left Canada for your trip before 13 March 2020. If you left after this date, you won’t get coverage for any coronavirus-related expenses since choosing to travel against a Government of Canada Level 3 or 4 advisory will invalidate your coverage.
|TuGo||4 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. If you bought this type of insurance on 4 March 2020 or later, you won’t be covered for trip cancellation or interruption as a result of coronavirus. If you bought insurance before this date and you’d like to cancel your trip, coverage will still apply, provided that there was no travel advisory to avoid all or non-essential travel to your destination at the time your trip was booked or the insurance was purchased.
- Emergency medical. You’ll be covered for medical emergencies related to coronavirus provided you left your home province before 13 March 2020 and travelled to a destination that did not have a government-issued travel advisory (avoid all non-essential travel) in place prior to 13 March 2020. If you left on your trip on or after 13 March 2020, you will not have emergency medical coverage for any coronavirus-related expenses. You will have coverage for any other medical emergency subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.
|Allianz Canada||10 March 2020|
- Trip cancellation/interruption. Allianz Canada recognizes that coronavirus became a “known” event as of 11 March 2020. If you purchased trip cancellation/interruption before 11 March 2020, you’ll still be eligible to claim expenses if you need to cancel your trip due to the global travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada on 13 March 2020. If you purchased your insurance on or after 11 March 2020, you won’t be eligible to cover these expenses.
- Emergency medical. If you left for your trip prior to 13 March 2020 and you contract coronavirus at your destination, you’ll continue to be eligible for emergency medical treatment coverage with Allianz Canada. The only way you won’t be eligible is if you left for your trip after the Government of Canada issued a coronavirus-related travel advisory for your destination.
*Emergency medical coverage for all plans will likely only be valid if you left for your trip before the global travel advisory was issued by Global Affairs Canada on 13 March 2020. If you left for your trip after this date, you will not be covered by most insurers for emergency medical expenses or repatriation related to coronavirus.
How do changing travel advisories affect my coverage?
The Government of Canada has issued a Level 3 travel advisory urging everyone to avoid unnecessary travel. Additionally, the Canadian and US governments have agreed to continue the border closure to January 21, 2021 as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Limited border exemptions are being made to allow immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to enter the country.
These recent developments could affect your ability to get coverage while overseas. Your best bet is to check in with your credit company for more information and to keep an eye on government travel advisories, which are updated regularly.
What do to if your travel insurance company hasn’t issued an alert
There are a few things you can do to to find out if you have coverage for coronavirus on your current policy:
- Read your policy documents. You can check your policy for an exclusion related to epidemics and pandemics. If your policy has an exclusion, it likely won’t pay out for this type of claim. That said, it may pay out if you purchased your policy before coronavirus was labelled a pandemic on 13 March 2020. If you’ve already left for your trip, you can also check to see if your policy has medical evacuation coverage that could help you get medical assistance if you contract coronavirus while traveling.
- Contact your travel insurance company. Call the number listed on your policy documents or head to your insurer’s site to find its contact details. Since the news about coronavirus is still evolving, you may experience longer wait times than usual. That said, you should be able to get more detailed information once you speak to an agent about your specific policy.
- Contact your travel provider. Before you cancel your trip overseas and try to make a claim with your travel insurance, you could try to reach out to your travel provider. Many airlines, cruise companies and hotels are offering extremely flexible cancellation policies for upcoming trips due to coronavirus concerns. You may also be able to reschedule your trip to another time of the year if you’re having trouble cancelling your travel plans outright.
Why it’s important to read the fine print of your policy
You may be able to get reimbursed by your travel insurance provider if you need to cancel your trip due to coronavirus, depending on what type of coverage you have and when you purchased your coverage. You may also be able to qualify for travel medical insurance if you left for your trip prior to 13 March 2020 and contracted coronavirus while overseas.
That said, every provider is different and coverage isn’t guaranteed. You should contact your travel insurance provider directly for more detailed information about your specific policy.
Keep up-to-date on all things related to COVID-19