Travelers Should Check Insurance Coverage Twice Amid Changing Rules, Experts Say

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Travel industry experts are warning Canadians to check their insurance coverage before embarking on a trip this holiday season amid tighter travel restrictions.

Travel industry experts are warning Canadians to check their insurance coverage before embarking on a trip this holiday season amid tighter travel restrictions.

Vacation travel has been shaken up by the latest variant of COVID-19 that has swept the world, prompting some travelers to postpone or cancel their trips.

For those determined to travel, experts say renewed travel advisories may have changed their insurance coverage.

“Travelers who don’t check with their insurance provider before leaving the country can find themselves stranded,” said Martin Firestone, president of Travel Secure Inc. Don’t have coverage.

Some plans specifically exclude some coverage as a result of the notice, he said.

“You need to check and see if the travel advisory cancels potential COVID-19 coverage,” he said. “If so, you have to run fast to find a runner to cover COVID-19 or find a new supplier.”

Some policies may offer a so-called rider, an insurance plan supplement that provides optional additional coverage for medical and quarantine expenses related to COVID-19, Firestone said.

Omar Kaywan, co-founder of Vancouver-based Goose Insurance, has so far said most of the company’s clients are pursuing their travel plans.

“Our customers always want to go,” he said. “There is pent-up demand and revenge journeys are still happening.”

The main concern of travelers today is whether their insurance could be canceled if the federal government continues to increase the level of travel advisories, Kaywan said.

The answer to this question depends on their policy, he said.

“If you buy with us, we have a specific COVID-19 policy,” Kaywan said. “It’s a great addition to some of those legacy policies that wouldn’t give you COVID-19 coverage. “

For travelers who are reluctant to purchase travel insurance, Kaywan said it is a fraction of the overall cost of travel and a critical investment during a pandemic.

“Travel insurance is not that expensive. I think this is a misconception.

The federal government warns travelers to check the terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and requirements of an insurance policy before leaving Canada.

“If you must travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, be aware that your ability to purchase individual travel health insurance where we advise against non-essential travel may be limited,” the government says on its website.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 17, 2021.

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press


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