Travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic

Buying travel insurance during the Covid-19 Pandemic

We are as excited to get back to travelling as you are. Things have changed since the world is now in the middle of a pandemic. And there are things you need to know if you plan to travel far and wide despite the challenges, risks and warnings.

Vaccinations

As COVID vaccinations begin to roll out at home and across the world, there are some things to know regarding how your travel insurance is affected should you get the COVID vaccine during your trip.

  • If you decide to get the vaccine during your trip, some insurance companies have advised they will not cover adverse reactions caused by the vaccine.
  • If you should get the vaccine, and then later contract COVID, most insurance companies have advised they wouldn’t relate one to the other, and therefore if you have purchased additional COVID coverage, you would be covered for any treatment you might need.
  • If you are travelling for the sole purpose of getting your vaccine, this may be construed as medical tourism which can invalidate many policies.  Please ask us if you are unsure.

Since these are unprecedented times, any questions more specific than this are difficult to predict at this time.

Travelling

While at the moment the borders are officially closed, it seems you can catch an airplane to anywhere you might want to go. While that is good news to those of us who are anxious to get out of dodge to someplace warm…or interesting…or just far away for a break from the day to day, there are some rapidly evolving things that you will need to know.

Masks and Social Distancing
Expect to be required to wear a mask while you are on the plane and in the airport. Masks are now mandatory for public places in many jurisdictions, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this precaution is mandatory for air travel. Social distancing is excepted when possible, and there will also be plenty of hand sanitizer stations throughout the airport.

Contact Tracing
Airlines are being required by the Public Health Agency of Canada to have passengers check-in with their contact information, so that they can conduct contact tracing in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case is known to have travelled on a flight.

Self-Isolation After Travelling
Many provinces and states require travellers to self-isolate for 14 days once you arrive at your destination. The same rules may apply when you return to your home province. Have a plan for how you will self-isolate and how you will acquire groceries and take care of other needs while in isolation.

Keep an Eye on Your Destination
The situation in your destination could change quickly, so it is best to stay abreast of what is going on by searching it on the web.

We found a smartphone app that you can download on your phone and enter your trip destination and travel dates, and it will send you alerts and information about requirements at your destination.

More information can be found at https://www.sitata.com/en/.

Travel Certificates

Effective January 7, 2021, the government of Canada will require anyone travelling outside of the country to provide a negative test result to the airline before boarding your flight.  The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada.

This means you will need a test, likely from a private clinic so you can ensure you get your results in time for your flight, as well as a certificate indicating the results of the test.

https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/12/pre-departure-covid-19-testing-and-negative-results-for-air-travellers-coming-to-canada.html

If you are flying from Canada to another country that requires a negative COVID test, you can get a certificate confirming your negative status from this company:

https://travelhealthnow.ca/pages/covid-19-travel-certificates

Medi-Quote clients get a discount by entering the code “MQ5OFF”.

Things are rapidly evolving, so it is best to stay abreast of what is going on by searching it on the web.

Please keep in mind that these tests would not be covered by travel insurance, as only expenses related to an emergency are covered by travel insurance.

Travel Insurance

It is extremely important to understand what level of coverage you will have if you come down with COVID-19 when you are not in your home province. Some policies will only cover you if you are travelling to a country, city or region that is not banned due to a governmental travel advisory. So if you plan to travel anyway, you will need to read and understand your policy to ensure that you have the coverage that you believe you have. The only way to truly understand the provisions of a policy document is by reading your policy.

Canadian individual travel insurance providers are stepping up to the plate with coverage for COVID, but some plans are definitely better and provide better coverage than others. Again, it is all in the wording of the policy.

A policy that merely doesn’t exclude COVID, will provide coverage for COVID, but a policy that includes additional benefits designed to assist you in the event that you do contract COVID is better yet. What level of coverage are you comfortable with? How much do these things cost? We can help you figure that out.