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COVID-19 - TOP QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR - INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - VISITORS TO CANADA - CANADIAN TRAVELLERS

COVID-19 Canadian Travellers FAQ’s

Effective Date: March 26, 2020
Please note: This FAQ document replaces any and all previous versions.
Currently Available in English Only.

Can I receive COVID-19 testing even if I have no symptoms?

Since medical benefits are largely limited to expenses related to unforeseen emergencies requiring immediate attention, elective testing for COVID-19 is unfortunately not covered. If you are in Canada, please check with your province’s Ministry of Health for COVID-19 testing details. For example, in Ontario, COVID-19 testing is covered at no charge, regardless of your eligibility under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

Where do I go for COVID-19 testing?

If you are in Canada, please visit the website for your province’s Ministry of Health to view a list of assessment centres in your area.

Are over-the-counter COVID-19 screening kits (such as those available in pharmacies) covered?

Unfortunately, over-the-counter medications, including screening kits, are not covered.

Does my policy cover medical expenses related to COVID-19? 

All policies with effective dates before the Government of Canada’s global travel advisory issued on March 13, 2020 will cover emergency COVID-19 treatment not covered by government insurance, provided the trip destination was not under a travel advisory at the time of departure. It must be noted, however, that governments normally cover pandemic-related treatment costs.

Will my policy provide repatriation coverage if I get COVID-19 and need to be returned to my home country?

Unfortunately, our Assistance service excludes coverage for repatriation that requires transportation in a biohazard isolation unit.

Am I covered by trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance?

Canadian travel insurers determine this on an individual policy basis. Policies purchased after the Government of Canada’s global advisory against non-essential travel issued on March 13, 2020 may not provide coverage for trip cancellations related to COVID-19.

What do I do if I get sick while I am travelling?

If you begin to feel symptoms related to COVID-19, contact Assistance at 1-866-883-9787, toll-free from Canada or the United States, or at 1-416-640-7865 from anywhere in the world.

Assistance will help to assess your symptoms and direct you, as needed, to a hospital or clinic for the appropriate care. Depending on your specific situation, Assistance is also available to:

  • Provide interpretation services to help you better communicate with health care personnel
  • Advance funds to a service provider if you’re required to pay up-front for medical care
  • Monitor your case through to recovery

When consulting with a doctor, be sure to disclose if you visited any high-risk areas or have been in contact with anyone who has shown COVID-19 symptoms.

Will I be covered for self-isolation or quarantine—for example, if I need a hotel room?

Precautionary quarantines imposed on travellers due to government restrictions, including upon arrival at a destination or upon return to their home country, are not covered under our Discover Canada policy. However, if your return to your home country is delayed due to a precautionary quarantine, your coverage can be extended provided you remain eligible. Coverage is automatically extended for up to five days under certain circumstances (ex: delayed return due to flight disruption or hospitalization).

Provided their policy took effect before March 13, 2020, insured individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 infections will be covered the same as with any illness. However, this does not include self-isolation outside of a hospital, as our policies do not cover additional living expenses.

Will my policy limit or end coverage if an official advisory is issued by the Government of Canada?

Most policies exclude expenses incurred in locations for which an advisory was issued before departure. As the Government of Canada advisory against all non-essential travel was issued on March 13, 2020, policies for trips taken after this date would not cover COVID-19 related expenses.

Policies with an effective date up to March 13, 2020 will continue to provide coverage for unforeseen emergency expenses related to COVID-19, as per policy terms. New Canadian government advisories will not affect COVID-19
coverage in these policies. However, expenses related to COVID-19 will not be covered for any travel to, from, or through a country for which the Government of Canada had issued a travel advisory prior to the effective policy date.

Can I still mail information, such as original documents regarding claims, to MSH International?

While our offices are still open and mail continues to be delivered, we kindly ask that claims and supporting information be submitted online or via email.

What if I get sick returning to Canada from abroad?

If you have travelled, or have been in contact with someone who has travelled:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others for 14 days
  • Contact your local public health authority within 24 hours of your arrival in Canada
  • Follow up with your health care professional

Closely monitor your health. If you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing over the 14 days after your return:

  • Call your health care provider or your local public health authority
  • Disclose your symptoms, travel to the outbreak area/area under travel advisory, and/or any contact with individuals with symptoms

If you are sick and need medical attention in Canada:
Notify the medical clinic or hospital in advance. Disclose your symptoms and/or your travel abroad. DO NOT take public transit, an Uber, or a taxi!
– Wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent spreading the illness

If you feel sick before your departure for Canada:
– Do not use any form of public transportation
– Seek medical attention immediately

If you feel sick during travel to or upon your arrival in Canada:
– Inform the flight attendant, cruise staff, or a border services agent. They will decide whether medical assessment by a quarantine officer is needed

What is my coverage for COVID-19 while I am travelling?

While coverage varies among travel medical insurance policies, they typically exclude expenses incurred in locations for which government advisories against non-essential travel have been issued.

For policies that took effect before the Government of Canada’s global travel advisory on March 13, 2020, unforeseen emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19 would be covered the same as with any illness. Policies with an effective date after March 13, 2020 will not cover medical expenses related to COVID-19.

Policies for travel to, from, or through destinations for which there was any specific advisory in place due to COVID-19 at the time of trip departure would not cover expenses related to COVID-19.

Policies issued for travel to destinations not included in any Government of Canada advisory before March 13, 2020 may still provide coverage for unforeseen emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19.

Can medical or quarantine insurance be arranged if my departure from a country is delayed?

We continue to offer our customers a variety of travel medical insurance policies; however, coverage under these policies is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the Government of Canada’s global advisory on March 13, 2020 to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada, these policies are unlikely to cover any expenses related to COVID-19. Travel medical insurance policies purchased for effective dates before March 13, 2020 may continue to cover unforeseen medical expenses related to COVID-19, provided the advisory did not include the country destination to which you were travelling. It’s best to consult your policy wording for specific details.

Quarantines imposed on travellers due to travel restrictions are not typically covered under travel medical insurance policies. While these policies may include trip interruption coverage for unforeseen living expenses such as hotels and meals, the availability of these trip disruption benefits in relation to COVID-19 may be impacted by the Government of Canada’s global advisory.

What is my coverage if I have extended my trip outside of Canada?

Canadian travel medical insurance policies can typically be extended after departure provided certain conditions are met (ex: the traveller remains eligible for coverage, has not required medical attention since departure, and has no claims pending or incurred).

It must be noted that the Government of Canada’s global advisory against non-essential travel due to COVID-19 may affect the coverage available for COVID-19 related expenses during the coverage extension. It’s best to consult your policy wording, or contact us for help in determining the availability of an extension for your policy.

Will I be covered if I cancel my trip, whether or not my destination was a high-risk country?

The Canuck Voyage policy does not include trip cancellation benefits. Full premium refunds are available if the refund request is received before the polcy effective date.

Will a full or partial refund be issued if I return early or cancel my trip?

Full premium refunds are available for requests received before the policy effective date, provided that no claims have been made. Refunds for early returns are available as per your policy terms, provided no claims have been made, less a $25 refund fee. The minimum refund amount is $20.

Will I need to return to Canada after a government-issued advisory?

It’s best to contact the Canadian consular services in your destination country for guidance. Please visit travel.gc.ca to review individual reports for each destination country.

The Canuck Voyage policy excludes expenses related to reasons for which a Government of Canada travel advisory was issued prior to departure. However, if such an advisory is issued after the departure date, this exclusion does not require insured individuals to return to Canada within a certain time frame.

You can also call us at 416-730-8488 (or toll-free at 1-800-360-3234) to speak with a customer service representative or email us at helpline@americas.msh-intl.com