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Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 16 years of experience in the industry. ...
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When Travel Warnings & Advisories Impact Travel Insurance


Whether it’s a global pandemic, the devastation of wildfires, menacing hurricanes, civil unrest and protests or unfortunate acts of terrorism, these events have given a new meaning to travel uncertainty, even among the most seasoned travellers. That’s why it’s more important than ever to learn more about the Canadian Government’s travel warnings and advisories, how to understand them, and how they could impact your travel insurance coverage. 

Official travel warning and advisory risk levels

Global Affairs Canada issues travel advisories and warnings to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Canadians travelling abroad. When it deems there is a risk, it will communicate official information and advice for the region and/or country concerned. While it’s still safe to travel under levels 1 and 2, levels 3 and 4 suggest major concerns for Canadians and can have implications to your travel insurance coverage. 

Specific unforeseen events include: 

3 Scenarios: how travel advisories can affect travel insurance 

TuGo® Travel insurance may cover unforeseen circumstances once an official travel advisory has been issued by the Government of Canada.

Here are some examples… 

Emergency Medical Insurance – Pandemic

Randy is fully vaccinated and is unexpectedly hospitalized for COVID-19 during his extended stay in Florida. His medical expenses may  be covered since TuGo covers COVID-19, regardless of travel advisory level.

Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance – Massive Earthquake

2 days before departure, Sally and Peter learn that an earthquake has caused massive destruction in the Italian region they’ve planned to visit. A level 3 travel advisory is issued by the Government of Canada to avoid non-essential travel to their destination and is still in place on their departure date. Coverage may be provided for  their cancellation expenses.

Trip Interruption Insurance – Military Invasion

While Leila is visiting the Ukraine, a military invasion takes place, and a level 4 travel advisory is issued by the Canadian Government Leila’s insurance may cover expenses for her to return home early, since the advisory was issued after she bought the policy. 

Curious about Leila’s Emergency Medical coverage? Since her Emergency Medical policy was in effect before the travel advisory was issued, she has coverage for an emergency or a medical condition, up to a period of 30 days from the date the travel advisory was issued. 

4 more ways to stay informed and prepared

  1. Keep tabs on travel advisories by downloading the Government of Canada’s Travel Smart App 
  2. Set Google Alerts for your destination 
  3. Check TuGo’s Travel Advisories page before booking your trip and again, a few days before leaving.  
  4. Keep the Canadian Consulate contact information with you during your travels in case of emergencies, legal issues, lost or stolen passports and/or contacting friends or relatives back home. 

Remember! Read your policy carefully before your trip, and ask your insurance provider about coverage specific to your destination, in case you need to cancel your trip or return home early. 

Have more questions about how terrorism, unforeseen events or travel advisories impact travel insurance? Feel free to leave a comment below. 

Safe travels, 

Suki

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2022 and has been updated for freshness and/or accuracy.