Snowbirds, individuals with wanderlust, and even those just needing to get away for a week have been patiently awaiting their opportunity to travel abroad.
With vaccination rates increasing, COVID cases declining, and borders beginning to open, we will soon be able to head south for the winter or visit places around the globe.
However, it’s still important to travel safely and be protected, says Dan Donnelly, president of Travel Insurance Office Inc. (TIO). While travel insurance has always been a must-have when leaving home, with the pandemic still not completely over it’s more essential than ever before.
Travel insurance isn’t just for out-of-country trips: if you plan on leaving the province, not everything is covered under OHIP. For example, despite reciprocal agreements regarding health insurance among the provinces, OHIP doesn’t cover the cost of an ambulance in other parts of Canada.
The team at TIO has access to an array of insurance products – including two that are exclusive to TIO. They match their clients with what fits their needs best, including insurance that covers COVID-related emergencies. They have been serving travelling Canadians for 30 years and have seen all manner of emergencies and claims in that time.
“When traveling during these times, we recommend a $5 million COVID-19 policy because we know that people could have claims upwards of that amount,” says Dan. “If a travel advisory is imposed after you get to your travel destination, you can stay where you are and still be covered for a COVID-related emergency.”
All TIO policies come with the TIO Risk-Free Guarantee, which provides a full refund if their clients cancel their trip for any reason.
“It’s our way of giving our clients peace of mind, so if the unexpected happens they can focus on the situation with one less worry,” explains Dan.
Know the rules
Apart from ensuring you have appropriate travel insurance coverage, TIO recommends that travelers understand the rules. This is especially important with the added protocols and restrictions being implemented in light of the pandemic.
While acknowledging personal choices in regard to vaccination, it’s important to note that vaccinated travellers do not have to do the 14-day quarantine upon their return (with proof of a negative COVID-19 test).
And though this doesn’t please everyone, TIO reminds the public that airlines have the right to implement a COVID-19 pre-flight test and social distancing restrictions.
“They can also insist you wear a mask while on board their airline,” says Dan. “These safety precautions are a part of getting back to normal and travelling to those places you love to visit.”
With knowledge in hand, it’s time to start planning your fall, winter, and spring travel. As part of those plans, make sure you have the right coverage for your needs.
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI