Travel Insurance & Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

For more information, we’ve answered the top questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact on World Nomads travel insurance coverage.  The following FAQs are provided for general information only. All policyholders should read the policy wording carefully for applicable terms and conditions.  

What you need to know about travel insurance and COVID-19:

  1. Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance? 
  2. Will I be covered if I cancel my trip because of the COVID-19?
  3. I had booked travel to a country that has now closed its borders. Am I covered?
  4. I'm travelling overseas, and the Canadian government just issued a 'defer travel advisory' for all international destinations. Am I covered?
  5. What should I do if I need to cancel my trip because I get sick? 
  6. If travel insurance won't cover me, what can I do?
  7. I'm currently travelling and have a World Nomads policy. How can travel insurance help people in case of an emergency? 
  8. I’m in an area experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases. How do I get out?
  9. I’m travelling and think I have caught COVID-19. What do I do? 
  10. Will my policy cover the cost of a COVID-19 test?
  11. How do I cancel my policy?
  12. Can I extend my policy?
  13. How do I create a membership?
  14. How do I make a claim?
  15. How do I check on the status of my claim?
  16. Why can't I see my policy in my membership? 

You can also read general information on COVID-19

1. Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance?

World Nomads travel insurance may provide reimbursement for claims arising from Coronavirus (COVID-19).

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. For policies purchased prior to March 11, 2020, policyholders may be eligible for benefits under the Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Trip Delay section of the policy. However, for policies purchased on or after March 11, 2020 or for existing policyholders who extend their policy on or after March 11, 2020, there may be no coverage for any losses for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption or Trip Delay caused by or due to COVID-19.

One scenario where there may be coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Trip Delay caused by or due to COVID-19 is where the policyholder contracts COVID-19. Specifically, if at any time after the policy effective date, or during the trip, a policyholder receives a confirmed and document diagnosis of COVID-19, the policyholder may be eligible for benefits under the Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Trip Delay sections of the policy.

Depending on the circumstances, policyholders who contract COVID-19 during their trip may also be eligible for benefits under the emergency medical coverage section of the policy.

Published June 24, 2021

2.  Will I be covered if I cancel my trip because of COVID-19?

If you cancel your trip due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eligibility for Trip Cancellation benefits depends on when you purchased your policy and the circumstances of your claim. Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for reimbursement of your insured non-refundable, prepaid travel arrangements when cancelling due to a medical condition, death or government-issued travel advisories. COVID-19-related circumstances may be covered under these categories.

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. For policies purchased on or after March 11, 2020 there is no coverage for trip cancellation losses caused by or due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, you may be eligible for Trip Cancellation benefits if, after your policy effective date, you develop a medical condition or die or you, your travel companion, your immediate family member or business partner receives a confirmed and documented diagnosis of COVID-19, as certified by a physician, and your trip must be cancelled. Please refer to the Trip Cancellation section of your policy for more information.

As a requirement for eligibility, you must cancel your trip booking immediately and notify us within 48 hours of when you know you’re going to cancel.

You should also contact your travel provider to see if your trip cost can be refunded or used for another trip.

Published March 15, 2020 - Updated June 24, 2021

3. I had booked travel to a country that has now closed its borders.  Am I covered?

World Nomads travel insurance does not provide cover for border closures. However, if the country that has closed its borders is subject to a Government of Canada travel advisory, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for benefits under the Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption section of your policy. 

Eligibility for coverage will depend on the date when you purchased your policy. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. For policies purchased on or after March 11, 2020 or for existing policyholders who extend their policy on or after March 11, 2020, there may be no coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption or trip delay losses caused by or due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

If you purchased your policy prior to March 11, 2020, your policy may provide coverage if a 'defer travel' recommendation or a written formal notice is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government or Health Canada advising travellers not to travel to a country, region or city specifically listed as a destination on the itinerary of your insured trip and such recommendation or written formal notice is issued after both your effective date and the date you pay for prepaid travel arrangements, or in the case of trip interruption, after your start date.

You should also contact your travel provider for assistance; they may be able to offer you alternate dates or waive change fees. If you cancel your trip and receive a full refund without penalty from your travel providers, you may qualify for a refund on your policy. Read 'How do I cancel my policy?' for more information.

Published June 24, 2021 - Updated August 12, 2021

4.  
I’m travelling overseas, and the Canadian government has issued a 'defer travel' advisory for all international destinations. Am I covered?

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. If you purchased your policy prior to March 11, 2020 and a 'defer travel' recommendation or a written formal notice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government or Health Canada is issued after your policy start date, depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for benefits under the Trip Interruption section of the policy if your trip is interrupted due to Covered Risk 8: Travel Advisory. You may be eligible for the following benefits:

  1. The non-refundable, unused trip arrangements for which you have already paid and additional travel transportation expenses via the most cost-effective itinerary to return You to Your home province or departure point, less Your prepaid unused return transportation; or Your economy class transportation via the most cost-effective itinerary to Your next destination (in or outbound); and
  2. A subsistence allowance as set out in the Schedule of Benefits (original receipts must be submitted for all eligible expenses).
Published March 10, 2020 - Updated August 12, 2021

5. What should I do if I need to cancel my trip because I get sick? 

World Nomads travel insurance policies include trip cancellation coverage that provides benefits if you develop a medical condition and must cancel your trip. This means that if prior to your departure, you develop a medical condition, including contracting COVID-19, depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for reimbursement of your insured, pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses under the trip cancellation section of your policy. Your medical condition must be certified by your physician, who advises you not to travel.

Read over your policy carefully to determine whether there are any other conditions that you need to satisfy in order to be eligible to receive benefits. Please note that your policy may not provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and/or symptoms.

Published March 10, 2020 - Updated August 12, 2021

6. If travel insurance won't cover me, what can I do?

If you haven’t left home yet, you may be able to discuss a change or the cancellation of your travel arrangements with your airline or other travel provider. In many cases, they are offering refunds, credits or reticketing and waiving change fees.

If you are already travelling, remember to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) and Government of Canada advice regarding health and hygiene practices. In addition to washing your hands regularly with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds, try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth, reduce your contact with other people as much as possible and wear a mask to prevent spreading the infection.

If you do think you have symptoms, seek medical advice and avoid contact with others. For more information, go the Government of Canada and World Health Organization sites for the latest updates.

Published March 10, 2020 - Updated August 12, 2021

7. I'm currently travelling and have a World Nomads policy. How can travel insurance help people in the case of an emergency?

The Emergency Assistance team, available 24/7, can help you in any type of crisis even if you’re travelling in a part of the world with elevated risk. If you’re feeling sick, you can contact them for assistance on finding appropriate medical care.

Published March 10, 2020 - Updated June 24, 2021

8. I’m in an area experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases. How do I get out? 

Follow the local advice and also check the Government of Canadawebsite for more recommendations.

Contact your airline or travel provider to seek assistance on changing your travel plans.

If you have travelled outside Canada, it is important to monitor your health when you return. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after your return. If you have these symptoms, inform the public health authority in your province or territory. They will provide advice on what you should do.

Published March 10, 2020 - Updated June 24, 2021

9. I’m travelling and think I have caught COVID-19. What do I do?

Contact our 24/7 Emergency Medical Assistance team. Our assistance coordinators will provide guidance at any hour of the day should you require emergency medical treatment. Please note that you must notify us prior to any emergency medical treatment and prior to any surgery, invasive procedure or hospitalization.

Remember to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) and Government of Canada advice regarding health and hygiene practices. Reduce your contact with other people as much as possible, wear a mask to prevent spreading the infection, and wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. 

Published March 10, 2020 - Updated August 12, 2021

10. Will my policy cover the cost of a COVID-19 test? 

There is no coverage for the cost of a COVID-19 test prior to your departure, or for a COVID-19 test taken absent of symptoms (e.g. the policy does not cover the cost of a COVID-19 test if one is required to board a flight).

During your trip, if prescribed by a Physician and pre-authorized by us in advance, we may cover the cost of tests that are needed to diagnose your condition. This may include a COVID-19 test. Your policy covers losses arising from sudden, unexpected and unforeseen circumstances only. The Emergency Medical and Dental Coverage section may provide coverage for expenses incurred as a consequence of an Emergency and resulting from Injury, sickness or death occurring on a Trip.

Published June 24, 2021

11. How do I cancel my policy?

If you’re within your 10-day Right-to-Examine period, you can cancel your policy through your membership. If you don’t have a membership, you can sign up for one here.

If you’re past your Right-to-Examine period, contact us. If you cancel your trip and receive a full refund without penalty from your travel providers, you may qualify for a refund on your policy.

Published April 5, 2020 - Updated June 24, 2021

12. Can I extend my policy?

You can extend your policy as long as it hasn’t expired. If you’re a member, you can change the end date of your policy through your account up until 24 hours prior to your policy’s expiry. If you purchased as a guest and not as a member, you’ll have to email the service team for assistance. Please get in touch with us well in advance of your policy’s expiry date to allow plenty of time for the team to process your request.

Please note: On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. For policies purchased on or after March 11, 2020 or, for existing policyholders who have extended their policy on or after March 11, 2020, there is no coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption or Trip Delay losses caused by or due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Published May 13, 2020 - Updated June 24, 2021

13. How do I create a membership?

If you purchased a policy as a guest, you can still create an account with us. Just sign up through this page

Published May 13, 2020 - Updated July 2, 2021

14. How do I make a claim? 

The easiest way to make a claim is online, but you need to have a membership to do so ( Read “How do I create a membership?”) Once signed in,  click on “Make a Claim” on your member dashboard. After selecting the relevant policy, you’ll be prompted to answer questions about your claim, itemize expenses, add bank information and upload documents.

Once submitted, you should get a response within 10 business days. If you don’t have access to a computer,  you can contact the customer service department to send you the paper version of the claims forms so you can complete the process by mail.

Published May 13, 2020

15. How do I check on the status of my claim?

You can email or call the claims team. You should have received a confirmation with a reference number when you submitted your claim. Be sure to have this number handy.

Published May 13, 2020

16. Why can't I see my policy in my membership?

One reason may be that you purchased your policy as a guest, and your policy might not be linked to your membership. You can sign up for a member account here (you’ll need to provide your policy number and the email address associated with your last purchase.) Alternatively, if you've checked out as a guest but already have a membership, you can contact us and request a membership merge. In this case, you’ll need to contact us and request a membership merge. Once your guest policy has been merged into your membership, it should show up in your account.

If your policy is linked to your membership, after logging in, please navigate to the 'Edit My Profile' button at the top left-hand side of the page. When you click on that button, you’ll be taken to a new page. At the top, select 'Member Dashboard,' which should take you to a page where you can see 'Your Policies,' next to the umbrella icon. This is where you can view your policies.


Alternatively, you can also access your policies directly through this link.If you're still having trouble, please get in touch with a screenshot of what’s showing up for you. We’d be happy to sort out the problem.

Published May 28, 2020 - Updated August 12, 2021  

This is only a summary of coverage and does not include the full terms and conditions of the policy.  It is important you read and understand your policy as it contains benefits, conditions, exclusions and pre-existing condition exclusions.  If you do not understand your coverage, or if you have questions, just ask us.


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