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 level four 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 have fourteen days to leave the region impacted by the travel advisory. Coverage will cease after fourteen days. Please note that level one, two, and three travel advisories do not impact emergency travel insurance coverage. 

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 purchase a top-up policy.

Regardless of your travel plans, ARTA recommends that all members 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. 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 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, 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.

What other resources are available for more information advisories affecting travel?

ARTA strongly encourages its members to follow all travel guidelines put in place by the Government of Canada.