Travel advisory lifted: What it means for Canadians

We were as excited as you were when we heard the news!  The Canadian Government has lifted the worldwide travel advisory against non-essential travel after more than a year and a half. This move comes after the government lifted the ban on non-essential crossings at the US-Canada land border. Despite the fact that both policies affect travel, they are not the same, but both are good for Canadian snowbirds and visitors to the United States. As of November 8th, when the US border opens, vaccinated Canadians can travel south without any barriers! 

In the days of the COVID-19 travel advisory, travel insurance providers required specific provisions in your policy to cover illnesses caused by the virus. Following the lifting of the travel advisory, most policies will treat COVID-19 claims like other emergency medical claims. Although there is still a benefit to having a COVID-specific rider on a policy, regardless of an active travel advisory. 

How do you benefit from a COVID rider on your policy? 

There are now various types of insurance policies that can provide additional benefits for those who contract COVID at their destination. Benefits of such policies include payment for quarantine expenses and automatic policy extensions if a COVID-related mandatory quarantine prevents you from travelling home. 

Additionally, a COVID rider provides coverage in the event that a new COVID travel advisory is issued. You will not be covered for COVID if you do not have a COVID rider in your policy, and you will likely lose all coverage within ten days after a new travel advisory. The result of a new travel advisory would be being forced to return home or being without travel insurance coverage for the duration of that trip. 

It is important to check the wording of your travel insurance policy to determine how an advisory will affect your coverage. Travel advisories are addressed in the exclusions section of your policy wording.   

Some travel advisories are still active 

In spite of the fact that there is no longer a blanket travel advisory for all travel, or to the United States, there are still advisories for many other countries. In addition, there is still an advisory against travelling by cruise ship. Consult the Government of Canada’s travel advisories site to understand any restrictions at your destination at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories. And government recommendations for travel insurance can be found at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/documents/travel-insurance.