The Coronavirus: Will I be covered by my travel insurance?

As news reports continue about the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we’ve seen a lot of questions from travellers who have travel plans and are concerned about how this may affect their travel insurance. Kellee Irwin, VP, Orion Travel Insurance Company, helps provide clarity on the situation as it relates to travel insurance in this Q & A.

How the Coronavirus affects travel insurance for travellers, if you are travelling or planning to travel to China in the next few months.

Q: Is it too late to buy trip cancellation & interruption insurance for my upcoming trip?

A: If you’re buying trip cancellation & interruption insurance now because of the possibility that you may need to cancel your trip due to an outbreak of the virus at your destination, your coverage may be affected. It’s always best to consider travel insurance when you’re making your travel plans to protect yourself and your travel investment.

Q: I’m supposed to leave next week for my trip. Can I cancel my trip and be reimbursed for non-refundable travel expenses?

A: If Global Affairs Canada issues a travel advisory to "Avoid all travel" or "Avoid non-essential travel" to your destination, you may cancel your trip before departure and use your insurance for reimbursement of non-refundable, pre-paid travel arrangements provided your coverage was in place before the advisory was issued. Check your policy for “New and unexpected travel advisory from Global Affairs Canada” for more details.

Q: I’m in a country that now has reports of people getting sick with the Coronavirus and I want to come home early to avoid catching this? Is there a benefit to cover my early return?

A: If Global Affairs Canada issues a travel advisory to "Avoid all travel" or "Avoid non-essential travel" for your destination, call your insurance company to discuss your options.

Q: I’m at destination/have been to an affected area and cannot fly home on my return date. Does my travel insurance cover any of the extra expenses?

A: In many cases your travel insurance may offer coverage for any extra hotel and transportation costs you incur if you aren’t able to travel home on your scheduled return date. Make sure to call your insurance company to confirm all your benefits and make appropriate arrangements.

Looking for accurate and reliable updates regarding COVID19? Follow:

The Government of Canada

Twitter: @TravelGoC




Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Travel advice:

World Health Organization

Twitter: @WHO





Call your travel insurance provider if you have any other questions about travel insurance and always consider travel insurance when you’re trip planning to ensure you and your trip investment are protected. Travel safe wherever you decide to go this year.