Travel Insurance & Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQs

For more information, we’ve answered the top questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact on World Nomads travel insurance coverage.

What you need to know about travel insurance and the COVID-19 outbreak:

  1. Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance? 
  2. Can I cancel my trip because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  3. I’m currently travelling and have a World Nomads policy. What’s covered? 
  4. If I book and pay for a trip now, am I covered for COVID-19 if I buy travel insurance? 
  5. I had booked travel to a country that has now closed its borders. Am I covered?
  6. I'm travelling overseas, and the Canadian government just issued a "defer travel advisory" for all international destinations. Am I covered?
  7. Can I cancel my trip if advised by a doctor not to travel
  8. Is coverage available if the WHO or government says not to travel to a destination? 
  9. If your policy won't cover me, what can I do?
  10. I'm currently travelling and have a World Nomads policy. How can travel insurance help people traveling to Asia, Italy or other parts of the world with heightened risk? 
  11. If I have travel insurance and I'm diagnosed with COVID-19, could I be covered for trip cancellation? 
  12. I’m in an area where the COVID-19 outbreak has deteriorated. How do I get out? 
  13. I’m traveling and think I have caught COVID-19 ... What do I do? 
  14. How do I cancel my policy?
  15. Can I extend my policy?
  16. How do I create a membership?
  17. How do I make a claim?
  18. How do I check on the status of my claim?
  19. Why can't I see my policy in my membership? 

You can also read general information on COVID-19.

1. Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance? 

World Nomads travel insurance may provide reimbursement for claims arising from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

You may be eligible for benefits under the Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption sections of your policy. Your policy includes coverage due to medical conditions, death and government-issued travel advisories. COVID-19-related issues may be covered under these categories.

You may also be eligible for benefits under the Emergency Medical section of the policy if while you are out of the country, you become sick from COVID-19.

Published March 10, 2020

 2.  Can I cancel my trip because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Yes, under certain circumstances you may be eligible for trip cancellation benefits, which reimburses you for non-refundable, prepaid travel arrangements, namely when:

• A 'defer travel' travel advisory or a written formal notice is issued by the Government of Canada advising travellers to 'Avoid all travel' or 'Avoid non-essential travel' to a country, region or city specifically listed as a destination on the itinerary for your trip. The travel advisory must have been issued after the effective date (or original purchase date) of your policy.
• You or your travel companion develop COVID-19 and cannot travel as certified by your physician. Coverage also applies if your or your travel companion’s immediate family member or business partner develops COVID-19 or another medical condition.

As a requirement for eligibility, you must cancel your trip booking immediately and notify us within 48 hours of when you know you’re going to cancel.

You should also contact your travel provider to see if your trip costs can be refunded or used for another trip.

Published March 15, 2020

3. I’m currently travelling and have a World Nomads policy. What’s covered? 

Should COVID-19 impact you during your travels, World Nomads includes coverage in the following areas, provided you meet the eligibility requirements:

Trip Interruption: Your non-refundable, prepaid travel arrangements, as well as additional transportation expenses for you to return home, may be covered if:

• COVID-19 disrupts your trip as a result of a 'defer travel' advisory or a written formal notice issued by the Canadian government for a destination where you’re currently travelling or another destination on your itinerary. 
• You or your travel companion develops COVID-19 (or another medical condition) as certified by your physician. Coverage also applies if your or your travel companion’s immediate family member or business partner catches the virus (or another medical condition.)

You must notify us within 24 hours of when you become aware of the situation that may interrupt your trip.

Emergency Medical: If you become sick due to COVID-19 while on your trip, Emergency Medical benefits that may be covered include doctor’s visits, hospital stays and diagnostic tests. Your coverage also includes Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation, if the Emergency Assistance team or your treating physician recommends that you return to your province.

Be sure to call the 24/7 Emergency Assistance team for the proper approvals.

Published March 10, 2020

4. If I book and pay for a trip now, am I covered for COVID-19 if I buy travel insurance? 

If the Canadian Government has already issued an 'Avoid all travel' or 'Avoid non-essential travel' advisory for the country, region or city you’re travelling to, you won’t be covered by World Nomads’ travel insurance policies. If you are planning to travel outside somewhere where there are no 'defer travel' advisories, you’ll be able to be covered as per the terms of your policy wording. For more information, read 'Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance?'.  

Published April 5, 2020

5. 
I had booked travel to a country that has now closed its borders.  Am I covered?

Many countries have been refusing entry to tourists as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  While we understand this has impacted many people’s upcoming trips, unfortunately, our travel insurance plans don’t cover trip cancellation due to border closings or travel bans unless a 'defer travel' travel advisory was issued by the Canadian government (your policy must have been purchased before the travel advisory was issued.) Contact your travel provider for assistance; they may be able to offer you alternate dates or waive change fees. If you cancel your trip and receive a full refund without penalty from your travel providers, you may qualify for a refund on your policy. Read 'How do I cancel my policy?' for more information. 

Published March 10, 2020

6.  
I’m travelling overseas, and the Canadian government has issued a “defer travel” advisory for all international destinations. Am I covered?

If you purchased your policy before the government issued the travel advisory, then you may be eligible for benefits under our trip interruption coverage. This could include cover for the reimbursement of the pre-paid travel expenses that you had to forfeit because of the disruption to your travel plans; one-way transportation through the most cost-effective route to your home; and an allowance for basic needs up to the amount shown on your policy.  

Published March 10, 2020


7. Can I cancel my trip if advised by a doctor not to travel? 

Yes, you can cancel your trip for a medical condition (including the COVID-19) — and get covered — if your doctor has advised you not to travel before your scheduled departure date. Read over your policy carefully to see if there are any other conditions that you need to meet. 

Published March 10, 2020


8. Is coverage available if the WHO or government says not to travel to a destination? '
That depends on when the advisory was issued. You won’t be able to buy a policy that covers you if the 'Avoid all travel' or “Avoid non-essential' advisories were already issued at the time you were looking to purchase. If the notices were issued after you purchased a policy, you may be eligible for coverage as per the terms of your policy wording. 

Published March 10, 2020

9. If your policy won't cover me, what can I do?

If you haven’t left home yet, you may be able to discuss a change or cancellation of arrangements with your airline or other travel provider. In many cases, they are offering refunds, credits or reticketing and waiving change fees. 

If you’re already travelling, the best thing you can do is follow basic protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as washing your hands regularly with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding exposure to people who are sick; covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; and trying not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do think you have symptoms, seek medical advice and avoid contact with others. For more information, go the Government of Canada and World Health Organization sites for the latest updates. 

Published March 10, 2020


10. I'm currently travelling and have a World Nomads policy. How can travel insurance help people travelling to parts of the world with heightened risk? 

Your World Nomads policy remains in effect as per the terms in your policy wording. COVID-19-related provisions includes trip cancellation, emergency medical and trip interruption coverage for the policyholder who has contracted the virus. Other types of coverage unrelated to unexpected illnesses such as COVID-19 also provide valuable benefits.

The Emergency Assistance team, available 24/7, can help you in any type of crisis even if you’re travelling in a part of the world with elevated risk. If you’re feeling sick, you can contact them for assistance on getting the appropriate medical care. They can also help with advances to pay emergency medical expenses.

Published March 10, 2020
 

11. If I have travel insurance and I'm diagnosed with COVID-19, could I be covered for trip cancellation? 

Yes, unexpected sickness – including the COVID-19 – is a covered reason for trip cancellation, provided that you’ve purchased the policy before you were diagnosed and a physician recommends that you stop your travel plans for your health. You may also qualify for coverage if your travel companion, immediate family member or business partner unexpectedly develops a medical condition such as the COVID-19 virus. 

Published March 10, 2020

12. I’m in an area where the COVID-19 outbreak has deteriorated. How do I get out? 

Follow the local advice and also check the Government of Canada web site for more recommendations.

Contact your airline as well – they may be making special arrangements to return travellers to their home destination. Alternately, depending on their country of origin, they may be cancelling flights, in which case you need to know as possible so you can make alternate arrangements.

If you have travelled outside Canada, it is important to monitor your health when you return. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after your return. If you have these symptoms, inform the public health authority in your province or territory. They will provide advice on what you should do.

Published March 10, 2020

13. I’m traveling and think I have caught COVID-19 ... What do I do? 

First and foremost, seek medical treatment. If you’re not sure where to go, contact the Emergency Assistance team, who can direct you to appropriate care. They’re available 24/7 and can give you the advice you need about how to get from wherever you are to a decent hospital. 

Remember to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) and Government of Canada advice regarding health and hygiene practices. Reduce your contact with other people as much as possible, wear a mask to prevent spreading the infection, and wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.

Published March 10, 2020

14. How do I cancel my policy?

As the circumstances around the COVID-19 outbreak continue to evolve, you may have to cancel your trip. Though World Nomads’ trip cancellation coverage is valid only under specific circumstances (Read 'Is COVID-19 covered by World Nomads travel insurance?'), you may request a refund on your travel insurance policy, even if you’re outside the review period. To qualify, you must not have started your trip or used your policy to make a claim. In travel insurance terms, that means your trip costs must have been refunded 100% by your travel suppliers, with no cancellation penalties incurred. You’ll need to provide written documentation for the latter in order for us to process your request. Please contact the customer service team for any questions, but note that refund requests may only be made in writing.

Published April 5, 2020

15. Can I extend my policy?

It’s possible to extend your policy as long as it hasn’t expired. If you’re a member, you can change the end date of your policy through your account up until 24 hours prior to policy expiry. If you purchased as a guest, you’ll have to email the service team. Please get in touch with us well in advance of your policy’s expiry date to allow plenty of time for the team to process your request.

Published May 13, 2020

16. How do I create a membership?

If you purchased a policy as a guest, you can still create an account with us. Just sign up through this page. You’ll need to contact the customer service team to request a membership merge. Once complete, you should be able to view your policy and make a claim through your account.

Published May 13, 2020

17. How do I make a claim? 

The easiest way to make a claim is online, but you need to have a membership to do so ( Read “How do I create a membership?”)

Once signed in,  click on “Make a Claim” on your member dashboard. After selecting the relevant policy, you’ll be prompted to answer questions about your claim, itemize expenses, add bank information and upload documents. Once submitted, you should get a response within 10 business days.

If you don’t have access to a computer,  you can contact the customer service department to send you the paper version of the claims forms so you can complete the process by mail.

Published May 13, 2020

18. How do I check on the status of my claim?

You can email or call the claims team. You should have received a confirmation with a reference number when you submitted your claim. Be sure to have this number handy.  

Published May 13, 2020

19.Why can't I see my policy in my membership?

This could be because of one of two reasons. First, you might have purchased as a guest, and your policy might not be linked to your membership. You can sign up for a member account here (You’ll need to provide your policy number and the email address associated with your last purchase.) Alternatively, if you've checked out as a quest but already have a membership, you can contact us and request a membership merge. In this case, you’ll need to contact us and request a membership merge. Once your guest policy has been merged into your membership, it should show up in your account.

The second case scenario is when your policy is linked to your membership and you may just need to know the right place to look. When you log in, you should see a button labeled “Edit My Profile” at the top left-hand side of the page.

When you click on that button, you’ll be taken to a new page. At the top, select “Member Dashboard,” which should take you to a page where you can see “Your Policies,” next to the umbrella icon. This is where you can view your policies.

Alternatively, you can also access your policies directly through this link.

If you're still having trouble, please get in touch with a screenshot of what’s showing up for you. We’d be happy to sort out the problem.

Published May 28, 2020

 

This is only a summary of coverage and does not include the full terms and conditions of the policy.  It is important you read and understand your policy as it contains benefits, conditions, exclusions and pre-existing condition exclusions.  If you do not understand your coverage, or if you have questions, just ask us.



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