Advice for your return
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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Updated: March 23, 2020, 2:00 PM EDT
Section “Other Resources” updated on April 1, 2020, 10:30 AM EDT


Dear Insured,

The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and we understand that you could have questions about your coverage and the benefits of your travel insurance. We invite you to read the following answers to your frequently asked questions. Thank you for taking the time to read this carefully and to help us prevent long waiting times on our phone lines. We are receiving an abnormal number of calls and emails. Your collaboration is much appreciated.

If you are on a trip and require medical assistance, we remind you that you must call Emergency Assistance prior to any consultation. The numbers are available on your wallet cards. Otherwise, thank you for respecting the priority given to insured clients in need of emergency assistance.

Our approach is to stay true to our policy wording.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

Respect travel advisories issued by the Canadian Government.
The Government of Canada has issued a warning to “avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice”. On March 22nd, the Government of Canada has also modified all destinations, including the United States, and now advises to “avoid non-essential travel”. Your coverage is now limited. Also, the Canadian government formally advises all Canadians currently abroad to return to Canada.

We suggest you read the Travel Advice and Advisories (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories) to be aware of the most recent information about your destination.

What must you do if you are currently on a trip?
On March 14th and for over a week now, the Canadian government has been recommending that you come back to Canada as soon as possible. You must take all the necessary measures to guarantee your return home as soon as possible, prior to the expiry date of your policy, since health care and travel options might be very limited at such date (unavailable flights, unavailable lodging on your return trip, accessibility issues at the border, etc.). Although we recommend you to come back as well, we will honour our protection, should you decide to return on your scheduled return date. However, now that the Government of Canada’s website (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories) advises to “avoid all non-essential travel” or to “avoid all travel” for all destinations (since March 22nd), take note that your coverage is now limited for reasons related to the advisory

Following the Government of Canada’s recommendation to come back to Canada, all requests for extensions will be declined. Again, as advised by the Canadian government, we strongly recommend that you come back as soon as possible, prior to the expiry date of your policy.

If I decide to stay at destination, will I be covered if I get sick from the COVID-19?
Since March 22nd, the Government of Canada (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories) advises to “avoid all non-essential travel” or to “avoid all travel” for all destinations. Your coverage is now limited for reasons related to the advisory. Consequently, your policy now provides an exclusion for anything related directly or indirectly to COVID-19:

Benefits are not payable under this policy if losses sustained or expenses incurred are the direct or indirect result of any of the following:
19. Any Medical Condition or death arising from:
g) Exposure to a situation related to a travel warning issued by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (www.travel.gc.ca) while travelling in a country, specific region or city identified in the warning. It is Your responsibility to verify the status of Your destinations; the Insurer reserves the right to deny any coverage and/or claim.

On March 14th and for over a week now, the Canadian government has been recommending that you come back to Canada. The majority of our insured clients have come back already. If this is not your case, you should be considering a return as soon as possible, while return options are still available, although they are becoming more and more limited.

Will I get a refund if I come back earlier than planned?
If you come back earlier than planned, read section “Advice for your return” above; you could be eligible for an Early Return benefit (as long as you have no other claim on this policy). Certain conditions apply. Refer to section XI. Premium refunds of your policy or speak with your broker for more details. Please send all requests by mail or email, making sure to include all of the necessary documents or your request for a refund will be returned to you.

What about upcoming trips?
Take note that due to the general advisory to avoid all non-essential travel, all sales have been suspended temporarily. If you have bought a policy already and decide to travel (which we advise against) regardless of the advisory to avoid all non-essential travel, there will be no coverage for claims or costs related directly or indirectly to COVID-19. Otherwise, should you decide to cancel your trip, your premium will be reimbursed in full (just as we would do for any cancellation made prior to the departure date).

TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION INSURANCE:

To obtain benefits for the cancellation or interruption of your trip, you must have “Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance”.
Our policy provides benefits in the event that an advisory to avoid all non-essential travel has been issued for your destination after the purchase of your insurance, that it is in force on your scheduled trip, and that all other conditions outlined in the policy are respected.

We have no information as to how long this advisory will be in force. It is your responsibility to make the most appropriate decisions, depending on your trip and the impacts of this evolving situation. You are invited to send your claims to our Claims Department for analysis. They can be reached by email at claims@tourmed.ca or by phone at 1-877-344-8398 extension 4.

What if your cruise or flight has been cancelled by the cruise line or airline?
The first thing to do is to contact your travel agent, the cruise line or the airline. Many service providers are offering credits or have modified their procedures following the spread of the COVID-19. Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance covers you for additional losses incurred, if applicable, up to the sum insured.

What if your departure date is scheduled in a few months from now?
We are currently treating cancellation requests for trips that were to begin between now and April 30, 2020. If your departure is on May 1st or later, you can still submit your claim to our Claims Department and it will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances and the presence, or absence thereof, of the advisory to avoid all non-essential travel.

Can you purchase Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance for a cruise or trip planned in a few months? Will you be covered should you need to cancel due to the COVID-19?
Due to the Government of Canada’s advisory to avoid all non-essential travel until further notice, all sales have been suspended temporarily.

For any other questions, please speak with your broker or send us an email to info@tourmed.ca. We will answer it as soon as we can.

OTHER RESOURCES

We have been informed of measures and initiatives to help Canadians who are having difficulty finding commercial means of transportation to return to Canada. Click on the links below for more information:

Registration of Canadians Abroad
The Government of Canada is working with airlines to charter flights for the repatriation of Canadians who are having difficulty finding commercial means of transportation to return to Canada. We strongly recommend that you register yourself in order to inform the government of your location and to help your repatriation by the government if applicable.
https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration

Embassies and consulates by destination
https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates

Financial help for Canadians outside Canada
https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-info/financial-assistance/covid-19-financial-help

Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA)
As members of THiA, we support the recommendations issued by the travel insurance industry.
https://www.thiaonline.com/cgi/page.cgi/whats_new.html

Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA)
Urgent notice for Canadians currently in the USA and abroad (PDF)