Want to travel despite COVID-19?

Some insurers and tour operators now offer travel insurance with special “COVID 19” coverageCoverage is the combination of types of insurance protection covering a given risk, such as an automobile accident, fire or illness. 
In investment, hedging is a strategy that consists in offsetting possible losses. For example, let’s say that company ABC’s shares trade at $20. An investor who is concerned about a drop in the share’s value could buy an option to sell (put option) at $19. If the share price falls to $7, this strategy limits the loss to $1 per share (plus the cost of the option) rather than $13 per share. 
It is the maximum amount that an insurer would pay a beneficiary if an insured risk occurred.
. This coverage can be added to the travel insurance you normally use when travelling, unless your insurance already covers COVID-19-related expenses.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, take the time to fully understand the details of the COVID-19 coverage that is being offered or that may already be included in your coverage.

Here are some important points to check with the insurer

Coverage amount for emergency medical care expenses

Even before you check if your insurance covers COVID-19, make sure that the basic coverage amount will cover any expenses for emergency medical care that you and your family members may need. This amount can vary considerably from one insurer to another. Normally, insurance products for emergency medical care abroad provide a coverage amount that varies between $3 million and $5 million (Canadian dollars).

Next, it’s important to check if the coverage includes COVID-19. If it doesn’t, special COVID-19 coverage can be offered to you by a tour operator, airline or directly by an insurer. Check the proposed coverage amount. As a general rule, the maximum coverage available under COVID-19 travel insurance can range from $100,000 to $300,000 (Canadian dollars), which can represent relatively limited coverage.


When you are offered specific COVID-19 coverage, make sure you are eligible for it considering such things as your age, state of health and chosen destination. Ask for confirmation that you are, in fact, covered while providing the necessary information.

Limit or aggregate maximum payable

Check if your insurance contract has a limit or aggregate maximum payable for all the persons covered by the insurer. For example, for a pandemic, natural disaster or armed conflict, the insurer may set a maximum payable for all covered persons for such an event, thereby reducing the maximum amount of coverage you would be entitled to.

Check the exclusions

Be careful! Most insurance contracts may not cover you if, for example, you receive a positive COVID-19 test result within 30 days preceding your departure, or if you show symptoms in the days preceding your departure. Take the time to go over the coverage eligibility criteria with your insurer.


Is your trip essential?

Even if an insurer offers coverage, including for COVID-19, you should consider official government and public health recommendations in your travel plans.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for travellers This link will open in a new window and check the instructions for travellers This link will open in a new window published by the Government of Québec.

End of the warning

Are you traveling within Canada?

If you travel in the country, outside Québec, you still need to have travel insurance. Complete all the necessary checks (eligibility, exclusions, duration, etc.) with your insurer before your leave.

End of the insight

Length of stay and duration of your insurance coverage

You’re going away for a week or planning to spend all winter in a sun destination or a warmer area of Canada? Check the duration of the coverage offered and whether you will be able to extend it after starting your trip. For example, would you be covered if you had to delay your return due to a quarantine?


If you contract COVID-19 while travelling or have symptoms such as a fever on your return date, you may not be allowed to board the flight and may be asked to quarantine yourself. Would you be covered for the extra days spent in quarantine outside Québec? Would you be covered for the amount charged to change your return flight? You might also be responsible for finding accommodation for your quarantine period. All these costs, even without hospitalization, can really add up.

Potentially limited access to emergency medical care abroad

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be more difficult to access emergency medical care abroad. Even if your insurance covers the necessary emergency care, you may not be able to get the kind of access to it that you would like. This is something else to think about before you leave.

Also, don’t forget to contact your insurer immediately if you need care or to be hospitalized during your stay outside Québec. You should make sure that any expenses you incur for medical care are covered by your insurance. Insurers usually provide emergency telephone access so you get this information. They usually ask that you contact them even before you go to the hospital so that they can assist you with the process.

Trip cancellation insurance

Ask your insurer what conditions would have to exist for you to be reimbursed for your travel expenses if you had to cancel your trip due to COVID-19.

Given the current situation and the known risk that COVID-19 represents, it is highly unlikely that the reimbursement of cancellation fees would be covered.