March 17, 2020

Travel Advisory for ARTA Members – UPDATE

Further to our March 13, 2020, email message, please find additional clarification on your coverage as it relates to the March 13 Government of Canada travel advisory against non-essential travel outside of Canada due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Related article: Travel Advisory for ARTA Members

Related Article: CoronaVirus disease (COVID-19) Advice for Members

As communicated on March 13, existing ARTA coverage requires that if a level 3 or 4 Canadian government advisory is issued for the member’s destination after they have left on their trip, coverage for medical emergencies related to the advisory (in this case, COVID-19) is limited to a period of 10 days from the date the advisory was issued, or the time reasonably required to leave the region or area and return home.

This condition of coverage is in place to encourage members to return home in a safe and timely manner when a Government of Canada advisory has identified health and safety concerns in a member’s travel destination.

With many travellers impacted by the March 13 travel advisory, as well as the Canadian government’s additional recommendation that Canadians abroad return home as soon as possible due to possible border restrictions, we understand that arrangements to return home may be more difficult.

Your well-being is our top priority. As a result, we wish to confirm that Allianz Global Assistance (Allianz), our administrator, will be extending the time provided for covered ARTA members to return home to April 5, 2020, or the end date of your coverage period, whichever is earliest. Members will continue to be covered for emergency medical treatment related to COVID-19 during this period.

Despite this extension, the federal government confirmed again today that all Canadians abroad should return home immediately. We strongly recommend that arrangements be made to return home as soon as possible.

As a reminder, coverage for ARTA members also includes trip interruption benefits to help with costs associated with returning home early due to a Canadian government advisory being issued.

Allianz is experiencing much higher call volumes than usual, resulting in long wait times. As such, Allianz will be waiving the coverage requirement that they be notified of trip interruption claims related to the travel advisory before you return home. We recommend that members proceed with making the necessary arrangements to return home early and file for their out-of-pocket trip interruption expenses (resulting from a return trip that is earlier than your original planned return date) once back home in Canada.

In the meantime, we recommend that all members abroad continue to monitor any Canadian government announcements or advisories on travel restrictions and arrange their plans for returning home accordingly.

We hope this update provides some clarifications and alleviates concerns about coverage for COVID-19 while you make arrangements to safely return home.