What is the best Covid travel insurance in Canada for 2023?
A few years have passed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and although not as alarming as it used to be, the virus still exists. As a result, many countries still make it mandatory for travellers to show proof of Covid insurance upon arrival.
You're planning to travel soon and want to know more about Covid travel insurance? You'd like to know which Covid travel insurer is best, what is covered exactly, and for how much?
No worries, you'll find all this information and more in the article below!
Covid Travel Insurance: 5 Key Takeaways
- About 40 countries accross the world make Covid insurance mandatory for travellers.
- Depending on your plan, Covid travel insurance can cover Covid-related medical emergencies, repatriation and booking cancellations.
- Predictable events, like a mandatory quarantine on arrival, are not covered.
- Depending on your profile and needs, Covid travel insurance can cost you an addition $10 to $80 a month.
- Some credit cards can cover Covid-related expenses (a cancelled flight ticket for instance).
What is Covid insurance for travel?
Covid-19 travel insurance covers you from the direct consequences of the pandemic on your travel. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the conditions of entry have been tightened for many countries.
A traditional insurance package which covered travel abroad was mainly concerned with the coverage of emergency medical care, repatriation in case of illness or accident, hospitalization and death. It is now necessary to add a specific contract, which indicates precisely the guarantees that can be implemented in case of Covid-19 contamination, in the event of quarantine or if one encounters organizational difficulties due to Covid-19, such as flight cancellations, interruption or extension of stay.
What does Covid-19 travel insurance cover?
The benefits included in Covid-19 travel insurance may differ slightly depending on your chosen company. The coverage offered may cover the following:
- Emergency medical care following Covid-19-related health problems up to $10 million: Be aware that some companies require the insured person to be vaccinated to receive these benefits. In addition, in some countries, such as Canada, most insurers offer this coverage only if you are staying in a country where the warning level is less than or equal to 3. In other words, if you are going to a country considered risky by your country of origin, it is wise to check whether or not your coverage will apply.
- Repatriation in case of illness: This decision must be approved in advance by the insurer. It is only accepted in serious cases when it is not possible to provide the necessary care in the country where the patient is staying. The amount covered can reach $80,000.
- Trip cancellation if you contract Covid-19 before your departure: Coverage is subject to a positive PCR test and can amount to approximately $25,000.
- Trip cancellation if a family member has a severe form of Covid-19: Coverage is up to $25,000.
- Coverage for mandatory quarantine: Coverage is generally limited to $6,000.
- Early return: If a family member contracts a severe form of Covid-19 during your stay.
- Coverage for a companion: if you need to be hospitalized during your trip due to Covid-19-related health problems.
Isn't Covid-19 already covered by your medical insurance?
The "Covid-19 Coverage" section on your medical insurance policy indicates whether your policy covers you for this type of risk. You can also read and check the terms and conditions of your policy. To be sure that your travel medical insurance covers Covid-19, you can also contact your insurance company directly. A written request, by post or email, makes it easier to keep track of responses and guarantees.
Is quarantine covered by your Covid travel insurance?
Quarantine may be covered by your Covid-19 travel insurance, under certain conditions. It's important to differentiate between predictable and unexpected quarantine to understand your Covid-19 travel insurance coverage.
- Predictable quarantine: Some countries require quarantine upon arrival. This is a quarantine that is indicated before the trip is booked and therefore known at the time of departure. No insurance company insures the costs related to this type of event.
- Unexpected quarantine: You may be quarantined during your stay after having contracted Covid-19 or being considered a contact case. This is sudden and unforeseeable. Depending on the date and duration of your mandatory isolation, this event may extend your stay and make it impossible for you to return under the conditions initially planned. In this case, if you benefit from this coverage in your Covid-19 travel insurance, you can benefit from the coverage of expenses related to accommodation and the purchase of a new plane ticket for example.
Is Covid-19 travel insurance mandatory?
Covid-19 travel insurance is required in some countries, but not in all. Some countries require proof of travel insurance to cover Covid-19-related health expenses while abroad before entering the country. However, not all governments require the same maximum coverage. The certificate is most often delivered upon subscription online and notifies exactly :
- the amounts covered by guarantees
- the conditions of reimbursement
- the dates of coverage
- the geographical scope of coverage, etc.
Here's a list of countries for which Covid-19 travel coverage is mandatory upon arrival:
|Continent||Countries requiring Covid-19 travel insurance|
|Africa||Algeria, Benin, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Togo, Maurice Island|
|Americas||Anguilla, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador (Galapagos), Fiji, Guatemala, St. Martin (Netherlands' part), Paraguay, El Salvador, Turks and Caicos Islands|
|Asia||Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam|
What travel insurances cover Covid-19 in Canada?
Who offers travel insurance with Covid Coverage? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced travel insurance companies to modify their policies to offer additional, specific guarantees. Some airlines are also offering special coverage to handle Covid-19 related issues.
In our list below, find out which of these reknown insurers cover Covid-19-related expenses:
|Covid Travel Insurers||Covid Coverage|
|SoNomad travel insurance||SoNomad offers COVID-19 coverage on all its travel insurance plans at no additional cost. |
You will be covered for any variant of COVID-19 without any hassle.
|Manulife covid travel insurance||Manulife offers a specific travel insurance plan just for Covid-19. It covers COVID-19 related emergency medical expenses and trip interruption coverage in the event you need to self-isolate or quarantine during your trip.|
|RBC covid travel insurance||RBC's Emergency Medical coverage does not cover Covid-19 related illness and expenses for policyholders travelling to countries under a level 3 or 4 travel advisory. Trip cancellation and trip interruption is not eligible for travel coverage in the event of Covid-19.|
|CAA covid travel insurance||CAA COVID-19 policy has been updated to cover COVID-19 related emergencies and interruptions. COVID-19 updates are regularly passed to clients to ensure safe travel.|
|TD covid travel insurance||Covid-19 related medical claims are eligible for coverage if they are not already covered under your provincial health insurance.|
|BMO covid travel insurance||Contracting illness from Covid-19 may be eligible for Trip Cancellation insurance benefits. However, if the Government of Canada institutes a Covid-19 related travel advisory for your destination neither emergency medical related to Covid-19 nor trip cancellation are eligible for benefits.|
|AMA covid travel insurance||AMA travel insurance covers COVID-19 related emergency medical care. Fully vaccinated travellers are eligible for up to $5 million in coverage, while partialy vaccinated travellers are eigble for up to $2.5 million. Note that this does not include cruise passangers or visitors to Level 4 goverment advisories. Cancellation due to Covid-19 is not covered.|
|CIBC covid travel insurance||If you purchased your CIBC travel insurance on or after March 13, 2020, your trip cancellation and interuption coverage does not cover COVID-19 related claims. Emergency medical claims are covered as long as the destination travel country is not under an "avoid non-essential travel" or "avoid all travel" advisory before your travel date.|
|Green Shield covid travel insurance||If a traveller contracts COVID-19 in an area without an active travel advisory in place, treatment is covered. If a traveller contracts COVID-19 in an area with an active level three or level four COVID-19 travel advisory, treatment is not covered – regardless of vaccination status.|
|Canada Life covid travel insurance||Canada Life's travel insurance plans do not not cover Covid-19 issues.|
|Desjardins covid travel insurance||Desjardins offers COVID-19 travel coverage for medical emergencies and travel interruptions.|
To get a free quote from some of the best Covid insurers currently on the market, you can also check out our comparison tool at the top of this page.
How much is travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage?
The price of your Covid-19 travel insurance in Canada depends on several criteria such as:
- The level of coverage desired
- The duration of the trip
- The age of the insured
- The number of travellers
- The type of trip
- The insurance company you choose
It is thus hard to say how much your Covid insurance will be. Here's a few examples of Covid travel insurance's prices for different Canadian insurers:
|Travel insurance company||Covid-19 cover||Monthly price|
Is it really worth it to pay for a Covid-19 coverage when the country you're visiting doesn't require it? According to us, yes. Even if your destination does not require you to have insurance with Covid-19 coverage, your trip may be affected by Covid-19. It is important to be insured against this risk.
Expenses related to hospitalization or quarantine in certain countries can quickly spiral out of control. Let's take the example of a trip to the United States:
|Medical expenses||Average cost|
|Cost of a 6-day hospitalization due to Covid-19||$73,300|
|Cost of a room in intensive care||$9,736 per day|
|Cost of an artificial respirator||$2,800 per day|
|Cost of an ambulance||$800|
Is Covid travel insurance available through your credit card?
Banks offer certain insurance and assistance services related to travel. To benefit from them, you must pay for your stay with your card. It is often wise to top-up these guarantees with a travel insurance contract to cover anything they miss, especially concerning the problems linked to Covid-19. Let's take a closer look at the Covid-19 coverages offered by different banks.
|Bank Card||Covid-19-specific coverage|
|Mastercard World Elite|
Good to know
Please note that you will not have any Covid-19 travel insurance with the Visa Classic or Mastercard Classic.
Even if the bank cards provide certain guarantees in the context of a trip, the following cases are not covered by this type of contract:
- Trip cancellation due to a quarantine risk
- Trip cancellation due to a lockdown
- Trip cancellations due to border closures due to the Covid-19 epidemic
- Cancellation of travel to an area advised against by the country of departure
- Costs associated with quarantine
- Cost of PCR tests required abroad.
How to make a Covid-19 travel cancellation insurance work?
There are several ways in which Covid-19 could force you to cancel a trip.
- If you contract the disease before your departure, it is essential to report this event to the insurance company as soon as possible. A positive PCR test result and, in some cases, medical proof of your condition is required.
- If one of your loved ones becomes ill with a severe form of Covid-19, you must remember to notify your insurer as soon as you become aware of it. You must then send a medical certificate justifying the state of health of the person concerned. In certain situations, you must also provide evidence of how you are related, like a birth certificate.
- If you are hospitalized due to Covid-19 and must cancel your trip, it is necessary to inform the insurance company as soon as possible and to accompany your request with a certificate from the hospital treating you.
Good to know
In all cases, the insurance company will request your transportation ticket(s) and the corresponding invoice and proof of payment. You will be reimbursed up to the maximum limits outlined in your policy's terms and conditions.
5 tips for choosing your Covid-19 travel insurance
Are you still hesitating before choosing the right Covid-19 travel insurance for you? Which company should you choose? Beyond the price, what guarantees make a difference? Discover our tips to help you make a decision that meets your needs and expectations:
- Check the insurance requirements of your destination country: Your travel insurance must comply with Covid-19 coverage requirements. These may differ from state to state. It is important to be aware of the minimum Covid-19 coverage required in the jurisdiction where you plan to travel.
- Compare several offers: Don't limit yourself to one quote. It's a good idea to compare several quotes and rates to choose the Covid-19 travel insurance that best suits your needs. Use a simulator or comparator to make your selection.
Compare offers on our free tool at the top of this page or use our (also free) comparison tool below:
Compare the best travel insurance plans on the market!
- Read the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 travel insurance before you buy: It is important to check the levels of coverage and the conditions of coverage before you sign up. Don't hesitate to ask questions about the company if there are any unclear points.
- Look for generous coverage of health expenses: This is the most important benefit. The amount provided for emergency medical care should be appropriate to the costs of healthcare in your country of destination. Depending on the country, this type of cost can be very expensive without insurance.
- Check the warning levels announced by the Canadian government for the destination you choose: Most Covid-19 travel insurance will only cover you if the country you are visiting is at levels 1, 2 or 3.