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We’re here to help you online or by phone at 1.888.268.2222, Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Our service locations are open for pre-booked appointments. Learn more about our COVID-19 safety measures.

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, avoid shaking hands and don’t touch your face. Visit Public Health Services 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 in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.   BCAA Travel Insurance offers both Emergency Medical Insurance and Non-medical 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 travel advisory (avoid all travel) 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 depart 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 even with the official global advisory in place for policies purchased 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.  Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. 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. Emergency Travel Medical Coverage for COVID-19 is a covered risk, unless a level 3 or 4 travel advisory is in place prior to when you leave Canada. Trips departing on or after March 13, 2020 will not have coverage in place 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. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 you should contact your doctor, local public health office, or call 8-1-1. For the latest detailed information see the Canadian Government website.

 

More information

BC Centre for Disease Control
News Release from Health Minister and Provincial Health Officer
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 partial refund if your trip is cancelled before the policy takes effect. Eligible for a partial refund if 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

The government of Canada has asked for all Canadian travelers to return to Canada as soon as possible and we are doing everything possible to help customers comply with this government directive. We will renew your coverage on an 8-day trip length to allow you to book the next available flight home. Extenuating circumstances, such as flight unavailability will be looked at on a case by case basis.

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 while a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory for COVID-19 is in place will not have coverage for COVID-19.

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) your coverage will not be impacted.

The government of Canada has asked for all Canadian travelers to return to Canada as soon as possible and we are doing everything possible to help customers comply with this government directive. We will extend your coverage for 10-days to allow you to book the next available flight home. Extenuating circumstances, such as flight unavailability will be looked at on a case by case basis.

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

No. COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic does not change how our travel insurance responds. Coverage is only affected by travel advisories issued by the Government of Canada. If you have a BCAA Emergency Medical Insurance policy, BCAA will continue to cover COVID-19 related sickness or injuries, provided a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory (avoid non-essential or avoid all travel) wasn’t in place for your destination when you departed. Due to the official global advisory, currently no medical coverage would be in place for trips departing on or after March 13, 2020.

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 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.

Yes, and no. If you have a BCAA Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy, BCAA will continue to cover COVID-19 related sickness or injuries, provided a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory (avoid non-essential or avoid all travel) wasn’t in place for your destination when you departed. Due to the official global advisory, currently no Medical coverage would be in place for trips departing on or after March 13, 2020. 

No, if there is a travel advisory to avoid non-essential or avoid all travel for your destination and you travel anyway, illness related to COVID-19 will not be covered. 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.

If you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel 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. 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 on or after March 5, 2020 you will not have coverage for Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption for COVID-19, as it’s now been 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 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 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 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 a official global advisory to avoid all non-essential travel. 

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 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 travel, 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 upon return. 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 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 on or after Mar 5, 2020, you do not have coverage for COVID-19-related claims, including quarantine. If you purchased or renewed your Non-medical Travel Package before March 5, 2020, you 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 (level 4 advisory). If you decide to depart on or after March 9th you would not be covered for COVID-19 Emergency Medical related claims, but you would be covered for other, completely unrelated risks, such as a broken leg.

For Non-Medical Travel 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 Apr 3, 2020 do not have coverage for COVID-19-related claims.

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