Two major travel insurers have reinstated medical coverage for COVID-19 despite the Canadian government’s ongoing ban on non-essential travel.
This month, Medipac Travel Insurance and the Canadian Association of Blue Cross restored emergency coverage for the coronavirus in their insurance policies.
“Early Bird Travel Insurance is now available and includes coverage for COVID-19,” reads a statement on Medipac’s website.
The company is urging customers to apply for the coverage by August 31 to “lock-in rates” for travel up to June 30, 2021.
Blue Cross suspended its sales last March in Ontario and Quebec, but reopened individual sales for travel insurance on Wednesday (July 22), reports the Globe and Mail.
According to the Globe, a memo was sent to insurance brokers stating that some insurance policies will cover COVID-19 even with “high-level” travel restrictions in place and as long as customers do not show symptoms of the virus prior to their contract date.
Medipac updated its policy last week and will now allow customers to book single-trip insurance policies for out-of-country emergency medical coverage that includes COVID-related claims.
Speaking to the Globe, Christopher Davidge, vice-president of marketing for Medipac, said that many Canadian snowbirds travel south and own homes in the U.S., and are able to practice physical distancing “just as effectively abroad as they are here in Canada.”
While aware of the high numbers of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., “...We do not think the risks will impact the particular demographic of our clients,” Davidge told the Globe. “These individuals tend to be more mature, are more aware of the virus and the preventive measures that should be taken while travelling.”
Medipac, notably, sells travel medical insurance to the Canadian Snowbird Association and Royal Canadian Legion.
Meanwhile, other insurance companies, such as Manulife Financial Corp., Allianz Global Assistance Canada and TuGo, sent notifications to clients stating that coverage for COVID-19 will be restored once travel advisories are lifted in Canada, the Globe also reported.
These companies, like many others, began excluding medical claims for COVID-19 in March when the Canadian federal government ordered a ban on non-essential travel.
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