What You Should Know About Travel Insurance Before You Travel This Year

Suitcase for travel, a mask and passport. Woman packing her luggage.

It’s no secret that preparing for air travel has changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic. With COVID-19 testing to and from your destination, and choosing the right travel insurance, it’s no wonder that many Canadians have questions about air travel.

To help, our TripMate® Travel Insurance* partner – TuGo® – has put together a list of top 5 questions they’ve received from Canadian travelers and how they’ve answered them.

  • What is considered a subsequent vaccine dose? Does this include booster doses?

According to the Government of Canada, a subsequent vaccine dose means any vaccine dose that is recommended for you by your provincial/territorial health authority after you’ve received your first dose. This can be a second dose, a third dose, any other additional doses and/or a booster dose.

If you aren’t sure if or when a third/additional dose or booster dose is recommended for you, you should check your provincial/territorial health authority’s protocols or consult with your physician.

  • Can I purchase Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption coverage after I’ve already left on my trip?

Coverage for Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption for an existing trip can’t be purchased after departure. Trip Interruption Only coverage is also not available for purchase after departure.

However, you can purchase a policy with Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance after departure, but only for a new side-trip booked while you’re already away. Keep in mind, that in the event of a trip interruption claim where you need to return to your point of departure, it will be to the place you departed from when you began the side-trip.

  • What coverage is available if I have to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test result, which prevents me from returning home as scheduled?

If you purchased a policy with Trip Interruption coverage before you left for your trip, you’ll have access to all the applicable trip interruption benefits, which includes coverage for the cost of a one-way economy airfare to your original point of departure, as well as out-of-pocket expenses up to $350/day to a maximum of $1,500 for commercial accommodation, meals, internet, telephone and taxi expenses.

  • If I’ve previously been diagnosed with COVID-19, can I still have coverage for COVID-19? What requirements do I need to meet?

You’ll be covered for COVID-19 under our TravelMate Emergency Medical Insurance plan if you haven’t been diagnosed with COVID-19 on or within 30 days before departure and aren’t showing symptoms on or within 14 days before departure. Keep in mind that just like any other medical condition, coverage for COVID-19 is also subject to the pre-existing medical condition stability period requirements. Refer to your policy wording for details.

  • Does a doctor need to be consulted before I cancel or interrupt my trip because of a COVID-19 diagnosis?

While TuGo normally requires a doctor to confirm the medical necessity for cancelling or interrupting a trip, in the case of a COVID-19 diagnosis, they will accept proof of a positive COVID-19 test in lieu of a medical certificate or letter from a doctor as follows:

  • For trip cancellation: written confirmation from a doctor is not required when someone tests positive within 14 days before the scheduled departure date.
  • For trip interruption: written confirmation from a doctor is not required for expenses incurred within 14 days from the date a positive COVID-19 test result is received.

The positive COVID-19 test result must include a name and date, as well as the laboratory or medical clinic name. A COVID-19 rapid test can’t be used to substantiate a claim because it doesn’t specify the date the result was received or who took it. Keep in mind that if you can’t book a public PCR test to support your claim, you may need to pay for a private test or get written confirmation from a doctor advising that you cannot travel.

To support a trip cancellation or interruption claim for COVID-19 that was diagnosed outside these 14-day periods, written confirmation from a doctor is needed to confirm the patient is still medically unfit to travel on the scheduled travel date.

To learn more about TuGo’s frequently asked questions, be sure to visit their website.

*Certain exclusions, limitations and conditions may apply and subject to eligibility. The wording of the actual policy and local law will govern. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is not the provider for this insurance. Insurance is administered by North American Air Travel Insurance Agents Ltd. doing business as TuGo®, a licensed insurance broker in all provinces and territories. The issuer of the contract is Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc., Industrial Alliance Pacific General Insurance Corporation and certain Lloyd’s Underwriters, severally and not jointly. TuGo® and TripMate® are registered trademarks

This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.