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At BCAA, it’s important to us that we help British Columbians stay safe. We want to ensure you and your family are informed to make the best decision, including information on COVID-19 and the implications for out of province travel. The information is up to date when posted. We will continue to make updates as we are made aware.

What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, but only some cause illness in people. COVID-19 disease is a version that had not been previously identified in humans. While outbreaks are occurring around the world, The Public Health Agency of Canada provides information on the current risk assessment for Canada and countries around the globe.

Signs, Symptoms & Prevention

Symptoms of the COVID-19 disease are similar to a cold or flu (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia), and diagnosis is only confirmed through laboratory tests. To prevent infection, wash your hands often, practice physical distancing, wear face coverings and don’t touch your face. It’s also recommended you download the COVID Alert app so you can be alerted of possible exposures before any symptoms appear. Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada for more information.

BCAA Travel Insurance and COVID-19

 The Government of Canada has issued an official global advisory (Level 3) to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada to limit the spread of COVID-19. BCAA Travel Insurance offers both Travel Emergency Medical Insurance and Non-medical Trip Protection Coverage (i.e. Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance, and more) and COVID-19 impacts each coverage differently:

BCAA Emergency Travel Medical Insurance: COVID-19 related illness is covered unless your destination has a Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel) or 4 (avoid all travel) travel advisory in place prior to your departure. The current official global travel advisory means medical coverage for COVID-19 is not available (including cruise ship travel) for trips that departed on or after March 13, 2020. Click here for more information on this and other current travel advisories from the Government of Canada.

BCAA Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption (non-medical coverage):  As of March 5, 2020, COVID-19 is considered a known event worldwide, and no coverage is available for COVID-19 even with the official global advisory in place for policies purchased on or after this date. For policies purchased before March 5th, 2020 coverage for COVID-19 may be available.

 
For more detailed product information see the below FAQs.

COVID-19 and Travelling

Before you go

The Government of Canada has issued an official global advisory stating to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected.  It’s recommended to contact your tour operator or airline to determine options for cancelling or postponing.

While you’re away

If you get sick while you’re away, with BCAA Travel Insurance, you choose your medical provider and obtain treatment in any hospital anywhere in the world. If you are not familiar with the medical providers at your location, we can help you find appropriate medical attention. If you left before March 13, 2020, you may have coverage for COVID-19 related claims. If you left on or after March 13, 2020, you will not have coverage for COVID-19 related claims.

When you return

If you feel sick during travel back to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant, cruise staff or a Canadian border services officer. They will decide whether you need further medical assessment by a quarantine officer. When you return home, the Canadian Government advises you to self-isolate and stay home for 14 days and requires you to have a formalized quarantine plan. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 call 8-1-1. For the latest detailed information see the Canadian Government website.

 

More information

BC Centre for Disease Control
Health Canada has shared useful Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs


Travel Advisories

Travel Advice and Advisories provide Canadians with official information and advice from the Government of Canada on situations that may affect their safety and well-being abroad. They may include an advisory for a country or region where security conditions put Canadians at heightened risk. Travel Advice and Advisories help Canadians make their own informed decisions in order to minimize risk while travelling abroad. The Government of Canada Travel Advisory levels are:

  • Level 1: Exercise normal security precautions.
  • Level 2: Exercise a high degree of caution.
  • Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Level 4: Avoid all travel

Travel warnings are updated regularly and are available on the Global Affairs Canada or Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website.

Refunds

Your eligibility for a refund depends on the type of policy you purchased, how long it’s been in effect and whether you’ve travelled on the policy. Please refer to the following table for more information. Refund rules are also available in your policy wording at bcaa.com/wordings.

Policy Type Policy hasn’t taken effect yet Policy has been in effect for less than 90 days Policy has been in effect for 90 days or more
Single Trip Policy Eligible for a full refund. Eligible for a partial refund, even if you’ve travelled on the policy. Eligible for a partial refund, even if you’ve travelled on the policy.
Annual Policy Eligible for a partial refund, as long as you haven’t travelled on the policy. Not eligible for a refund. Please see "Annual Policy - Return to Travel Discount" below.

Annual Policy – Return to Travel Discount

Unfortunately, Annual travel insurance policies are not eligible for a refund once any travel has taken place on the policy or if the policy has been in effect for more than 90 days. Considering the impact COVID-19 may have had on future travel plans, BCAA is providing customers a savings of up to 25% off a future Travel Insurance policy.

Please call 1.888.268.2222 or visit bcaa.com/returntotravel to learn more.

With the global travel restrictions in place, we know that your travels may be taking you within Canada instead. Your BCAA Annual Multi-trip policy provides tremendous value for travel within Canada. For example, your maximum trip length limitation does not apply to travel within Canada, so if you selected a maximum trip duration of 8 days, you can exceed that and travel longer within Canada. Also, your policy covers COVID-19 related emergency medical expenses within Canada because the global travel advisory does not apply to travel within Canada.

Your eligibility for a refund depends on the type of policy you purchased. Please refer to the following table for more information. Refund rules are also available in your policy wording at bcaa.com/wordings.

Policy Type Policy hasn’t taken effect yet Policy has been in effect for less than 90 days Policy has been in effect for 90 days or more
Single Trip Policy Eligible for a refund (less a cancellation fee) if:

•  you cancel your trip and no cancellation penalties are applied.
•  the tour operator cancels the trip or changes the date (and you aren’t able to travel on the new dates) and no cancellation penalties are applied.
Annual Policy Eligible for full refund as long as you haven’t travelled on the policy and no cancellation penalties are applied. Eligible for a partial refund, as long as you haven’t travelled on the policy and no cancellation penalties are applied. Not eligible for a refund.

Refunds are not available if you intend on making a claim on your Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance Coverage.

Purchasing a Policy

No. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, BCAA is not currently able to provide coverage for travelers who have already left the country.

Renewing or Extending Your Policy

Yes, you can renew your policy mid-trip. Please note that if you left on your trip on or after Mar 13, 2020, your policy does not cover you for COVID-19 related medical expenses and neither will your renewal. If you departed for your trip prior to Mar 13, 2020, please give us a call to discuss your policy.

If you are renewing while in Canada, you can proceed as usual, but keep in mind that any trips that you take outside of Canada will not have coverage for COVID-19.

Yes, you can extend your policy. Depending on when you departed and purchased your policy, there may be certain limitations on how long you can extend your policy for, so please give us a call to discuss your particular circumstances.

Emergency Medical and Non-medical (Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption) Insurance Coverage

Coverage through BCAA Travel Insurance is impacted by Level 3 and 4 travel advisories issued by the Government of Canada, not declarations of pandemics issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). On March 13, 2020, the Canadian government issued a Level 3 travel advisory to “avoid all non-essential travel” outside of Canada because of COVID-19. Therefore any trips departing on or after March 13, 2020 do not have medical coverage for COVID-19.

As long as you departed for your vacation before a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory was issued for your destination, you can stay for the duration of your trip, or until your policy expires, and still have coverage.

The current Level 3 for all travel outside of Canada was issued on Mar 13, 2020, so as long as you departed before that time, you would have medical coverage for COVID-19 (assuming all other conditions of the policy are met). If you departed after that date, you would no longer have medical coverage for COVID-19. There were Level 3 and 4 advisories in place for specific destinations prior to the Mar 13 global advisory was issued, so your medical coverage will depend on when you traveled with regards to when these advisories were issued.

If you develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 (or any illness) before your vacation, it would be wise to avoid travelling. If you are sick before your departure, that illness may not be covered by your insurance policy. If you have more questions please contact BCAA to discuss pre-existing conditions and their impact on available coverage.

If you have purchased the Non-medical Travel or Trip Protection Package and would like to cancel your trip due to illness, coverage may be available provided you purchased the insurance before contracting the illness and your physician advised you in writing against travelling. If your policy was purchased on or after March 5, 2020, you would not have coverage for COVID-19.

No, if there is a travel advisory to “avoid non-essential travel” (Level 3) or to “avoid all travel” (Level 4) for your destination and you travel anyway, medical claims related to the reason of that advisory will not be covered. There has been a Level 3 “avoid non-essential travel” COVID-19 advisory in place for all travel outside of Canada since March 13, 2020. If you departed on a trip prior to that date, you would have medical coverage for COVID-19 for that trip (assuming all other conditions of the policy are met). You would not have medical COVID-19 coverage for any trips with a departure date of March 13, 2020 or later. There were Level 3 and 4 advisories in place for specific destinations prior to the March 13 global advisory, so if you traveled to those destinations, your medical coverage will also depend on when you traveled with regards to when these advisories were issued.

It is important to monitor travel advisories and know which countries and regions have Level 3 or higher travel advisories and what they are related to. If there is a Level 1 (Exercise normal security precautions) or a Level 2 (Exercise a high degree of caution) when you depart you will have coverage for the reason of that advisory (assuming all other terms of the policy are met).

If you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel or Trip Protection Package before March 5, 2020, your policy remains unchanged and you may have coverage for Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption for COVID-19-related claims. Please also keep in mind that a travel advisory must still be in effect on your scheduled departure date or at any time within the 7 days before your departure date for coverage to apply. If your destination had a Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel) or Level 4 advisory (avoid all travel) in place when you purchased the trip or the policy you would not have coverage for COVID-19 related claims.

If you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel Package or Trip Protection Package on or after March 5, 2020 you will not have coverage for Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption for COVID-19, as it is now considered a worldwide “known circumstance”. Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance policies are designed to cover unexpected issues. Because COVID-19 is now so widely known, it’s no longer considered unexpected. Information specific to BCAA Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance for policies purchased or renewed on or after March 5, 2020 can be found at bcaa.com/COVID-19.

If you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel or Trip Protection Package (which includes Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption) before March 5, 2020, you can make a Trip Cancellation claim as long as a Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel) or Level 4 (avoid all travel) Canadian government travel advisory was issued before your departure date and was in place on your departure date or at any time within the 7-days before your departure date. If you have decided not to travel and there is no Level 3 or 4 advisory in place within that time period, trip cancellation coverage would not provide reimbursement. As of March 13, 2020, there is an official global advisory to avoid all non-essential travel. If your destination had a Level 3 or Level 4 advisory in place when you purchased the trip or the policy you would not have coverage for COVID-19 related claims.

As of March 5, 2020, COVID-19 is considered to be a global “known circumstance”, so if you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel or Trip Protection Package on or after March 5, 2020, you do not have coverage for COVID-19-related claims. Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance policies are designed to cover unexpected issues. Because COVID-19 is now so widely known, it’s no longer considered unexpected.

How our medical coverage responds to being quarantined for COVID-19 depends on whether there was a Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel) or 4 (avoid all travel) Canadian government travel advisory in place for your destination on your departure date. If there is no such advisory in place when you depart on your trip, all COVID-19-related medical claims, including quarantine, may be covered. However, if you are quarantined beyond the expiry date of your medical policy term, the policy will not automatically extend, so you will not be covered for quarantine expenses beyond the expiry of your policy term. You may want to consider purchasing a few extra days of coverage beyond your scheduled return date if you are concerned about being quarantined. If there is a Level 3 or 4 COVID-19 travel advisory in place when you depart, there will be no coverage for COVID-19-related claims, including quarantine. You will be covered for other, completely unrelated risks, such as a broken leg.

How our Non-medical Travel or Trip Protection Package responds to COVID-19-related quarantine depends on when you purchased your policy. As of March 5, 2020, COVID-19 is considered a global “known circumstance”, so if you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel Package or Trip Protection Package on or after March 5, 2020, you do not have coverage for COVID-19-related claims, including quarantine. If you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel or Trip Protection Package before March 5, 2020, COVID-19-related claims may be covered, including quarantine provided there was no Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisory in place at the time the trip or insurance was purchased.

As of March 9, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has a Level 4 advisory in place recommending Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel. There is currently no coverage for COVID-19 related claims for cruise travel.

For Non-Medical Travel or Trip Protection Package coverage (Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption), if you purchased or renewed your policy before March 5, 2020, your policy remains unchanged and we may provide coverage for COVID-19 related claims (the travel advisory must still be in effect on your scheduled departure date or at any time within the 7 days before your departure date). If your destination had a Level 3 or Level 4 advisory in place when you purchased the trip or the policy you would not have coverage for COVID-19 related claims.

If you purchased/renewed your policy on or after March 5, 2020 you do not have coverage for COVID-19, as it’s now considered a worldwide “known circumstance”.

Visitors to Canada Insurance Coverage

BCAA Visitors to Canada Travel Emergency Medical Insurance currently excludes coverage for COVID-19. However, Health Insurance BC (MSP) has stated that all people in British Columbia, including people who would normally not be eligible for any provincially-insured health coverage (like visitors to Canada), “will be provided provincially insured health care coverage for services related to suspected or confirmed cases of infection with COVID-19”. Please check the COVID-19 Health Insurance BC (MSP) website often to have the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 coverage offered by Health Insurance BC.

Please seek treatment for COVID-19 if you suspect or know that you have COVID-19 and ask your attending physician to register you with the Health Insurance BC program covering COVID-19 for visitors to Canada.

  • If a Visitors to Canada policy was purchased prior to arrival and the policy has not yet taken effect (because the insured has not yet travelled to Canada), the policy would be eligible for a refund under the policy refund rules.
  • If a Visitors to Canada policy was purchased prior to arrival for a Super Visa and the policy has not yet taken effect (because the insured has not yet travelled to Canada), the policy would be eligible for a refund under the policy refund rules.
  • If an insured under a Visitor to Canada policy is already in the country and is concerned about coverage for COVID-19, they have coverage for COVID-19 if their policy was purchased prior to April 3, 2020, assuming their claim meets all other terms and conditions of the policy. New Visitors to Canada policies purchased on or after April 3, 2020 do not have coverage for COVID-19-related claims (please see FAQ above).
  • If a Visitors to Canada customer is already in Canada and is not able to find transportation back home to their home country, they can extend their Visitors to Canada policy for as long as their stay is extended in Canada.

All policy terms and conditions still apply. You can view your policy wording at bcaa.com/wordings.