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Feb 15, 2022

5 min. read

With ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic, rules and restrictions are constantly changing—often with little warning—and can derail your travel plans. But they can also affect your insurance coverage. Here’s what to consider before booking your trip.

What’s the risk?

Before you book, check the risk level associated with your travel destination on the Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories website. A Level 2 travel advisory means that you should exercise a high degree of caution as the destination has some safety and security concerns.

It’s important to check before your departure because places with a Level 2 advisory can quickly change to Level 3, which means to avoid all non-essential travel. Due to Omicron, the Canadian federal government has issued a global Level 3 advisory, overriding other advisories.

How does a travel advisory affect my insurance?

Depending on the level, you may not be able to get travel insurance at all. Cruise travel currently falls under a Level 4 travel advisory, which advises Canadians to avoid all travel, so most insurers won’t provide coverage for cruise travel related to the advisory cause.

If you have to travel suddenly, to attend a family member’s funeral for example, you may still be able to purchase travel insurance under a Level 4 advisory, but it will cost you a lot more.

What if I need to cancel?

If you have a Cancel For Any Reason benefit as part of your travel insurance coverage, you can cancel your trip for any reason up to or on the day of departure. You’ll receive a refund of 50 percent from your provider, or up to 75 percent if you booked your trip with CAA Travel for any pre-paid, non-refundable payments. But keep in mind some benefits may not be applicable under a Level 3 or Level 4 advisory.

Is my medical care covered while I’m away?

Some emergency medical plans, though not all, include coverage for Covid-19 when a Level 3 travel advisory is in place.

For any Covid-related illnesses that occur while travelling, CAA’s emergency medical plans, for example, will include coverage up to $2.5 million for a Health Canada-approved, partially vaccinated travellers or up to $5 million for those fully vaccinated with a Health Canada-approved vaccine. Currently, fully vaccinated refers to two doses and doesn’t include a third booster shot.

However, if your travel destination experiences a rise in Covid-19 cases and healthcare services are strained, local authorities may prioritize citizens over tourists. So, even if you have medical insurance, you may not be able to receive immediate care.

You should also check to see if your insurance covers denied border entry, should you test positive for Covid-19. They can also inform you if isolation costs are covered if you need to quarantine.

Be prepared

A CAA Travel Advisor can help you navigate the latest regulations and restrictions and make sure your travel insurance policy is up-to-date to ensure you’re protected if you need to suddenly cancel or fall ill during your trip. Visit CAA Travel Insurance for more information.

Image credit: leares/iStock

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