More than ever, weather events, wildfires, terrorist attacks, global events and yes, COVID outbreaks, can upset travel plans and result in a Travel Advisory. Not only can this upset your travel plans, but an advisory will also impact your travel insurance coverage.
What is a travel advisory?
In Canada, Global Affairs Canada issues travel advisories and warnings to protect Canadians who are travelling internationally. A government issued travel advisory is just that, advice from the government on what you should know about your destination country, and whether or not you should travel there.
Their advisories focus on unforeseen events such as:
- Terrorist threats
- Civil unrest or political instability, including riots or protests
- War or military coups
- Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and tsunamis
- Health emergencies including COVID-19/Coronavirus, Zika, Ebola, and more
There are 4 travel advisory risk levels:
- Exercise a normal degree of caution
- Exercise a high degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Avoid all travel
Check with your travel insurance provider before booking your trip, and a few days in advance of the trip, just to make sure you don’t miss any travel advisories that apply to your destination. Keep an eye on news regarding your destination by setting up Google Alerts, as well as keywords like “destination + travel” or “Canadian travel advisory” for your destination. There is also a Government of Canada Travel Smart App you can download to your smartphone to stay on top of travel advisories as well. If a travel advisory is announced before you leave for an “Avoid non-essential travel” or an “Avoid all travel” destination, your insurance might not provide you with coverage.
Whenever you travel outside of Canada, it is wise to have the Canadian Consulate information for your destination with you in case you run into difficulties. The Canadian consular services can assist you with medical emergencies, lost or stolen passports, and contacting your relatives. Also, register with “Canadians Abroad” which is a free service that ensures the Canadian government knows where you are if something happens. Register each family member travelling with you at: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration
Health Risk Services has trusted partner agreements with Travel Insurance providers through whom we can arrange customized travel insurance coverage for you and your family journeys. Call us first before you travel – We are Here to Help!
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