How does the coronavirus affect my travel insurance?

The coronavirus (COVID-19), first detected in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China, has now spread to at least 50 countries, including Canada. The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the global threat level to “very high,” as new outbreaks appear.

The Canadian Government has also issued a “Avoid all travel” advisory to the Hubei province and “Avoid non-essential travel” to China as a whole. The Government has also issued several other travel health notices for other countries.

Your policy provides trip cancellation coverage if a “defer travel” recommendation or written formal notice is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the International Trade of the Canadian Government or Health Canada advising travelers not to travel to a country, region or city specifically listed as a destination on your itinerary. The notice must be issued after the effective date of your policy and the date you pay for travel arrangements.

For trip interruption coverage, the “defer travel” recommendation or written formal notice must have been issued after your start date.

If the “defer travel” recommendation was issued before either your policy effective date or your trip purchase date, you will not have coverage. 

You may also have coverage for trip cancellation and trip interruption if you develop a Medical Condition as a result of COVID-19.

Travellers who purchased their policy before  an advisory was issued and who are already on their trip and become sick from the virus may qualify for emergency medical coverage.

For both the Standard and Explorer World Nomads plans, fear of travel and/or fear of illness are not covered.

For the latest information on travel advisories and to find out if your destination is affected by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) go to the Government of Canada’s web site.

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 about your coverage, just ask us.

If your travel plans are affected:

  1. Contact your airline, cruise or tour operator to check if tourist services are affected.
  2. If you need to change your travel arrangements, contact your airline, cruise company or travel agent for assistance in the first instance. Refer to your policy wording for more detail or contact the Customer Service team to discuss your plans before making any changes.
  3. Injured or ill? Contact the Emergency Assistance team as soon as possible. Their details are listed on your Certificate of Insurance.
  4. In the event of a claim covered by your policy, you must do everything you can keep your costs to a minimum and provide all supporting documentation of the event and expenses incurred. If you intend to submit a claim, please complete the claim form. If you need help, contact us.

If you’re caught up in this event, please read here for some general safety information.

Related Articles

View more

Can't find the answer you are looking for?

Contact us

Our contact details

We’re here to help if you have a question about travel insurance. We’re available:

  • Monday to Friday 7:00am - 7:00pm (CST)

Contact us


Within Canada & continental USA, toll free:
1 877 328 2528

International collect:
+1 416 646 3723