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How Coronavirus Affects Out-Of-Country Coverage

In light of all that is going on with the Coronavirus, we want to make sure that plan members are up to date on how their Out-of-Country coverage might be affected.

General Statement

The Government of Canada’s Travel and Tourism page (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories) provides the list of destinations and the type of advisories for each location (ex: level 3 – avoid non-essential travel, level 4 – avoid all travel).

As of March 15, the Government of Canada has now listed all countries a Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel). All previous travel advisories that have been in place prior to March 15 are still in effect.

Covered with Cooperators? Here’s what they have to say.

 If there is an active travel advisory of Level 3 (Avoid non-essential travel) or Level 4 (Avoid all travel), there is no coverage. Those travelling must check the Government of Canada website to verify the level of their destination, up to the moment of their flight, as levels can change at any time.

Please note: if the country you are travelling to becomes a Level 3 or 4, as per the Government of Canada (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.), after the time of departure, out-of-country coverage will remain in effect as this will be considered an unforeseen event.

What about Green Shield Canada?

Green Shield also references https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for travel advisories.

Those who travel to any destination still have valid travel insurance.  While they would not have coverage for anything related to the reason for the advisory, they still have insurance coverage generally for unrelated items.  For instance, an injury as a result of an accident would be covered but treatment or quarantine for COVID-19 in these locations would be an excluded condition. Some Assistance Services may not be able to be provided in areas with travel advisories and as such these services are not guaranteed. 

The exclusion applies if the travel advisory is issued “before your departure date”.  If a person is already in destination the coverage limitations or exclusions related to an advisory do not apply and they would be covered per the plan provisions for virus related claims.  The plan does not require members leave such locations though there may be local requirements/restrictions in place, travellers are encouraged to check the recommendation of Global Affairs Canada and register themselves as visitors to the country under advisory and use their own good judgement to be safe.  Repeating that Assistance Services may be limited. 

Exclusion applies to advisories issued “before your departure date”.  A person enroute has no choice at that point and would be subject to the decision made by regional health authorities or the airline to accept entry or turn away.  Green Shield’s goal is to ensure that members are not disadvantaged or negatively impacted in situations where they have no choice, that is why situations will be reviewed on a case by case basis.