Ask a Professional: Travel Insurance & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

by Emese Graham
woman writes checklist while packing for a trip

Last Updated: July 20, 2020

Flight Centre has always encouraged our customers to protect their vacations with travel insurance – it’s the smart thing to do! And since the world has been impacted with COVID-19, it’s become clearer than ever that travel insurance is a must for everyone.

There are a few important things you should know about how travel insurance works during and after the coronavirus pandemic. To help answer your burning questions about trip cancellation & re-booking, emergency medical coverage, and more, we chatted with our very own travel insurance professional, Ryan Atwill.

Travel Insurance & Coronavirus FAQ’s

Keep in mind that Allianz Global Assistance administers travel insurance across a range of distribution channels and partners. The coverage clarifications outlined apply only to products offered by Allianz Global Assistance through Flight Centre.

Q: Can I buy travel insurance to cover things that aren’t related to COVID-19?

A: Yes, of course! See your policy for specific details about your coverage.

Q: I’m booking a new trip. Can I buy travel insurance to cover cancellations related to COVID-19 advisories?

A: Although COVID-19 is currently deemed a known event, and therefore not covered under the standard cancellation policy, you can still opt for a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy.

That’s the great value of a CFAR insurance coverage. If you booked your trip after travel advisories became in effect, and they’re still in place when you’re due to travel, your CFAR insurance may cover some eligible expenses. See your policy for details.

Q: Can I get travel insurance to cover COVID-19 related illness?

A: Yes! Flight Centre is now offering a COVID-19 Coverage & Assistance Plan on Flight Centre Holidays to select destinations in Asia, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean through Allianz. The plan is designed to cover medical and quarantine expenses related to COVID-19 while travelling.

For trips that are not eligible for the COVID-19 Coverage & Assistance Plan, your coverage options may vary.

COVID-19 related coverage for Emergency Hospital and Medical policies is dependent on the Canadian government’s advisory level for the destination of travel, at time of departure. If the advisory is to avoid all non-essential (level 3) or avoid all (level 4) travel for the destination on the date of departure, then no COVID-19 coverage will be available.

However, even though COVID-19 is a known risk, our travel insurance partner, Allianz will cover Trip Cancellation claims if you become sick due to COVID-19 in Canada before your departure and need to cancel your trip, if you have purchased an Allianz policy that includes this benefit.

As always, refer to your specific policy to see your coverage details and limitations.

Understanding COVID-19 Travel Advisories

  • The March 9 cruise advisory, issued by the Government of Canada, is being treated as a Level 4 travel advisory.
  • The March 13 global travel advisory for travel outside of Canada, issued by the Government of Canada, is considered a Level 3 travel advisory.

Q: I already bought travel insurance and I’ve rescheduled my trip because of coronavirus. Can I apply my travel insurance to the new travel dates?

A: Yep! Our insurance partner, Allianz, will move your coverage dates to accommodate a rescheduled trip anytime up to the expiration of the supplier offered travel credit.

Q: I already bought travel insurance, but I want to cancel it. Can I get a refund?

A: Yes, with some exceptions.  All policies offer a 10 day free look period to review your policy.  If you feel the policy does not meet your needs, as long as you have not departed on your trip and have not incurred a claim, you have 10 days from the time of policy purchase to return it for a full refund. After the 10 day free look period, Emergency Hospital and Medical single-trip policies can be cancelled for a full refund up until the day before departure.  All-inclusive and non-medical plans are refundable if your travel supplier, such as a tour company or airline, cancels your trip and provide a full refund, no claim has been submitted for the policy and you do not wish to apply it to future travel dates. Refer to the refund section of your policy for full terms and conditions.

Q: I bought my trip cancellation travel insurance before the coronavirus pandemic began. Am I still covered?

A: Yes, with some exceptions. If you booked your trip and bought the corresponding Trip Cancellation travel insurance before a Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisory was issued, then COVID-19 wouldn’t be considered a “known event”. Therefore, you will still be covered for trip cancellations related to COVID-19.

However, if you depart on your trip while travel advisories are still in effect, you will not be covered for Trip Interruption claims or Emergency Hospital and Medical claims. Always check your policy for full details.

Q: I have Multi-Trip Insurance. Will I still be able to use it?

A: Good news! Allianz is automatically extending multi-trip insurance by 90 days for policies active between June 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020. You’ll still get good value from your multi-trip insurance plan.

Q: I am stuck at my destination. Can I extend emergency medical coverage?

A: Yes, with some exceptions. You can purchase a new Emergency Hospital & Medical Plan, however, it will not cover treatments related to COVID-19.

Q: I am rescheduling my trip. Can I add CFAR to my travel insurance policy with the new travel dates?

A: Yes, as long as you bought travel insurance plan that included trip cancellation in the first place. If you originally bought a qualifying insurance policy with your trip, you can easily add CFAR coverage to your new travel dates, provided there are no claims on the original policy and CFAR is purchased on the date the new travel is booked.

However, if you declined trip cancellation travel insurance when you first booked your trip, CFAR will not be available for purchase for your new travel dates (other types of trip cancellation policies are still available).

 

Have a question about your travel insurance that we didn’t answer here? Our Travel Professionals are here to help! Get in touch with us today and book your travel with confidence.

 

Travel insurance does not cover everything. For full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions, refer to the policy booklet. All the words that are bolded and italicized are defined. Definitions can be found in the definition section of your policy. Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of the Co-operators group of companies, and administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

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