February 15, 2022

Emergency Travel FAQs

On February 15, 2022, the Government of Canada announced that as of February 28, 2022, several changes were being implemented for fully vaccinated travellers, including the ability to satisfy the pre-entry requirement by using a rapid antigen test result instead of a molecular test (unvaccinated travellers will continue to require to test upon arrival, on day 8, and quarantine for 14 days).

In addition, the worldwide travel advisory will be reduced from Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel) to Level 2 (practice special precautions). More information is available here.

As of February 1, 2022, ARTA’s Emergency Travel Insurance covers medical emergency expenses related to COVID-19, regardless of any COVID-19 travel advisories in effect.

What do I need to do to access this updated COVID-19 Emergency Travel Coverage?
Nothing. If you are planning a trip that will commence after February 1, 2022, your current emergency travel coverage will include the updates. No action is required from you.

Will this update to ARTA’s Emergency Travel Insurance lead to higher premiums?
No, there will be no change to current ARTA monthly premiums as a result of this update.

Does this change impact all travel advisories?
In the future, if a travel advisory for a region is issued (for example: civil unrest in a particular country), and an ARTA member is already travelling in that region, they will retain their coverage. It removes the ten-day window to return home.

Does this update include coverage for trip cancellation related to COVID-19?
Trip cancellation or interruption due to COVID-19 remains exempt from coverage as COVID-19 is a “known event,” except in the case where a member contracts COVID-19 prior to the trip taking place and cannot travel.

Can I claim travel expenses that result from a prolonged stay abroad due to contracting COVID-19?
No, expenses such as quarantine meals and extra accommodation that result from testing positive for COVID-19 are not considered emergency medical expenses and are not covered. If these benefits are important to you, you may wish to keep your top-up policy through Allianz rather than requesting a partial refund.

Can I request a refund for COVID-19 top-up insurance that I purchased prior to this update in ARTA’s coverage?
Yes. ARTA members who purchased an individual COVID-19 top-up policy through Allianz after the December 15, 2021, Global Travel Advisory re-instatement are entitled to a partial refund (where there are no claims) for the days February 1, 2022, and forward.

As Allianz and ARTA both continue to experience extremely high call volume, ARTA will be managing the refund process for ARTA members, and we ask that you submit a refund request by following the steps below:

  1. Download a copy of the Allianz Refund Request Form
  2. Complete and return the form along with a copy of your Individual COVID-19 insurance plan confirmation to covidrefund@arta.net

Please allow four to six weeks for a refund to be processed. Your refund will be processed in the same manner you paid for your policy.

ARTA is only able to assist in refunds for COVID-19 top-up insurance that has been purchased through Allianz. If you purchased top-up insurance elsewhere, You will need to contact that insurance provider to find out if you are eligible for a partial refund.

If you have booked a trip and have not yet departed:

  • COVID-19 remains a known event for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. Therefore, any Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption claims related to Government of Canada travel advisories connected to COVID-19 will continue to not be payable. There are two exceptions:
    1. Trip Cancellation coverage will remain eligible if a member with Trip Cancellation benefits becomes ill due to COVID-19 in Canada before their departure from their province or territory of residence and needs to cancel their trip as a result.
    2. Trip Interruption coverage is eligible if a member with Trip Interruption benefits becomes ill due to COVID-19 while on their trip, and needs to interrupt their trip, as a result, provided a COVID-19 travel advisory to avoid non-essential (Level 3) or avoid all travel (Level 4) was not in place on the effective date of their coverage.
  • If you need to submit a claim for trip interruption, please visit the Allianz Global Assistance secure Claims Portal for faster claims processing.

Regardless of your travel plans, ARTA recommends that all members exercise caution this holiday season and take appropriate measures to protect themselves and their loved ones against the threats posed by COVID-19. This includes getting vaccinated and accessing booster shots for those who are eligible.

As of February 1, 2022, ARTA’s Emergency Travel Insurance covers medical emergency expenses related to COVID-19, regardless of any COVID-19 travel advisories in effect.

What are the Global Affairs travel advisory levels?

Level 1 – Practice usual precautions

Travel health notices advise practising usual travel health precautions. For example, notices at this level may remind travellers about routine vaccinations, highlight the importance of hand washing, or recommend protective measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Level 2 – Practice special precautions

Travel health notices recommend that travellers practise special health precautions, such as receiving additional vaccinations. A notice at this level would be issued if there is an outbreak in a limited geographic location, a newly identified disease in the region or a change in the existing pattern of disease.

Level 3 – Avoid non-essential travel

Travel health notices include a warning to avoid non-essential travel in order to protect the health of Canadian travellers and the Canadian public. The notice outlines specific precautions to take when visiting the region and what to do if you become ill during or after travel. A notice at this level would be issued during a large-scale outbreak in a large geographic area, or if there is increased risk to the traveller and an increased risk of spreading disease to other groups including the Canadian public.

Level 4 – Avoid all travel

Advises travellers to avoid all travel in order to protect the health of the Canadian public. A notice at this level would be issued if there is a high risk of spread of disease to the general public regardless of measures taken while travelling. Avoiding travel will limit the spread of the disease in Canada and internationally.

Refer to the travel advice provided by Global Affairs Canada prior to leaving on your trip.

If I test positive for COVID-19 prior to flying home and I need to extend my trip to quarantine at my destination, will the ARTA Emergency Travel plan cover costs associated with the quarantine, such as hotel expenses, meals, and concierge services?

No, the costs associated with being quarantined due to testing positive for COVID-19 are not covered by the Emergency Travel plan. You may want to secure this coverage from another provider prior to leaving on your trip (contact information for Allianz is provided below). The costs associated with changing your flights if you test positive are eligible via the Trip Interruption coverage.

For insurance coverage purposes what might constitute “essential” (as opposed to non-essential) travel?

Regardless of the reason for travel, essential or otherwise, if there are any active Risk Level 3 or Risk Level 4 advisories in place at the time of departure, any claims resulting from the reason for the advisory (i.e. COVID-19) will not be covered.

How is my Trip Cancellation coverage impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

It is important to note that travel insurance is intended to cover the unexpected. Any claims resulting from events or circumstances known to you when purchasing insurance are not covered.

As COVID-19 is an ongoing, global pandemic, effective August 1st, 2020, Allianz have determined COVID-19 to be a known event for Trip Cancellation benefits.

  • As a result, for trips purchased on or after August 1st, 2020, Trip Cancellation claims related to a Government of Canada travel advisory being issued due to COVID-19 for your destination will not be payable.
  • Trip Cancellation benefits will still be eligible if you contract COVID-19 in your home province prior to your departure date and need to cancel your trip as a result, regardless of when your trip is purchased.
  • For trips that were purchased before August 1st, 2020, you will still be eligible to claim for Trip Cancellation if the Government of Canada issued a travel advisory related to COVID-19 after the date of purchase and prior to your departure date, that advised against non-essential travel (Level 3) or all travel (Level 4) to your destination.

Can I claim the full amount of my trip via emergency travel insurance in the event I received a travel voucher instead of a refund from my travel provider?

Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage are designed to cover costs for cancelled trips that are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Amounts that are reimbursed via a refund, voucher, or credit are not eligible for a claim.

Covered members who are unable to use their voucher or credit before its expiry, who require more time to use their voucher or credit, or who have other disputes regarding refunds and credits, should contact their travel supplier. Emergency travel coverage does not extend to reimbursements for expired travel vouchers or credits.

There are a number of travel companies offering coverage for claims specifically related to COVID-19. Does the ARTA 92-day base emergency travel plan cover me for all other medical emergencies not related to COVID-19?

Yes, the ARTA emergency travel plan continues to cover you for sudden and unexpected medical illnesses or injuries sustained while you are outside of your province of residence for trips lasting up to 92 days. Please note that many of the COVID-19 specific coverage offered by travel companies are for trips up to 21 days duration only.

I have recently received the COVID-19 vaccination. Does being vaccinated have any effect on my ARTA Emergency Travel insurance?

No, being vaccinated against COVID-19 has no effect on your Emergency Travel coverage. Claims related to COVID-19 continue to not be covered by the plan while any “Avoid non-essential travel advisory for any affected country, region, or area subject to a Level 3 or higher” travel advisory remains in place. Coverage remains in place for all other sudden and unforeseen illnesses and injuries in accordance with the terms of the policy.

What other resources are available for more information on COVID-19 and how it is affecting travel?

Information on COVID-19 is available below:

ARTA strongly encourages its members to follow all travel guidelines put in place by the Government of Canada. Members need to weigh the importance of travelling against the risks associated with COVID-19. ARTA is supporting our travel partners through this difficult time by sharing information, travel opportunities within Canada, and contests with our membership.

This individual top-up insurance plan is provided by The Co-operators and underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance, a partner company. To get a quote please call 1-800-984-0429.