If you're wondering if it is wise to purchase travel insurance for an upcoming trip, then this article will hopefully help answer that question. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, flying internationally has the ability to increase your risk of getting COVID-19. This is because you will likely be interacting with more people than normal and sitting and standing within close proximity to other travellers. With this in mind, taking out travel insurance that covers COVID-19 is strongly advised and can also be an entry requirement for Canadian tourists in some countries. So if you’re planning an upcoming trip and are thinking about booking a PCR test and taking out travel insurance with COVID-19, here’s everything you need to know about the current situation.
What Is COVID-19 Travel Insurance?
First things first, what is COVID-19 travel insurance? Well, unfortunately, most general travel insurance plans will not cover your health expenses should you become unwell with COVID-19 during an overseas trip. This means should you get COVID-19 while in another country, any treatment and costs associated with self-isolating will be your responsibility. Since most countries require international travellers who get COVID-19 to isolate for around 10 to 15 days, this could become an expensive inconvenience, especially if you need to cancel or reschedule flights and extend your stay in a hotel.
However, should you become very unwell, you might need to cover hospital stays and medical bills which could quickly add up. Foreign hospitals can also require upfront payment that needs to be made immediately to receive care and access medical support. So, rather than take this financial and health risk, it is strongly recommended that you take out COVID-19 travel insurance for your trip.
Put simply, here’s why you should take out COVID-19 travel insurance;
Access medical care and support should you get COVID-19 while outside of Canada.
Protect yourself and your loved ones both financially and in terms of health while away from home.
Cover the cost of self-isolating and cancelling or rescheduling travel plans/ flights.
Top COVID-19 Travel Insurance Providers
Now let’s talk about the top COVID-19 travel insurance providers in Canada.
World Nomads - Popular among thrill-seekers and digital nomads, World Nomads, is a Canadian travel insurance provider that is offering COVID-19 cover on some policies. COVID-19 cover can often protect you if your trip is cancelled or if you need medical help and support while travelling overseas. However, you must check your level of cover within your individual policy details. Your cover will not be valid if Canadians are advised against travel to your destination of choice.
CAA Travel Insurance - A popular insurance provider across Canada, CAA Travel Insurance is prepared and ready to protect customers with the coverage they need to feel assured when it’s safe to travel again. Their emergency medical plan now includes up to $2.5 million CAD if partially vaccinated and up to $5 million CAD if fully vaccinated for COVID-19 related illnesses that may occur when travelling at a time when the Canadian government has issued a related Level 3 travel advisory. The cover is currently provided at no additional cost, as long as you are able to meet the eligibility conditions, such as COVID-19 vaccination.
Manulife CoverMe - As the largest travel insurance provider in Canada, Manulife CoverMe is now offering Canadians still travelling abroad COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Plans. This specialist cover includes worldwide travel and up to $1 million COVID-19 related emergency medical expenses, and up to $5 million if received full course of immunization for COVID-19. Manulife COVID-19 insurance also includes up to $5 million for non-COVID-19 related emergency medical benefits and interruption coverage in the event you need to be quarantined during your trip.
Safe Travels Clinic does not endorse any of the above travel insurance providers. However, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance with COVID-19 cover when travelling internationally.
What Happens If You Get COVID-19 While Travelling?
Should you, unfortunately, get COVID-19 while abroad, you might be required to self-isolate for a period of time and take regular COVID-19 tests to monitor your condition. The COVID-19 requirements for foreign travellers should they become unwell varies from country to country. It is always best to check the requirements in place before leaving Canada to make sure you fully understand what could happen should you get COVID-19 while overseas.
Generally, you will need to alert the health organization in place to monitor international travellers and COVID-19 cases as soon as you suspect that you have COVID-19 and they will be able to offer you support, advice and walk you through the next steps. You should also contact your travel insurance provider who will be able to explain the process should you need to reschedule flights, cancel accommodation or pay for hospital fees.
Which COVID-19 Test Do I Need For Travel?
From October 30, 2021, Canadian travellers will need to be vaccinated in order to travel. This means if you’re flying abroad from November onwards, you will have proof of vaccination which is a common requirement for foreign tourists heading overseas. However, some destinations also require you to provide a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test in order to enter the country. If this is the case, please feel free to contact our team at Safe Travels Clinic. We are based in Windsor, Ontario, and provide highly accurate PCR, rapid antigen and antibody tests with fast results. So if you need a fit-to-fly certificate, we are here to help!
If you want to know where Canadian’s can currently travel to, read our latest article on the top 10 destinations open to Canadian tourists.