Coronavirus (COVID‑19)

Answers to questions from Specialized Groups

Updated : May 12, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.

We are monitoring the situation closely so that we can quickly adapt to it in order to serve through this difficult period.

Please note that SSQ Insurance has prepared an FAQ web page for all our clients attention and review. Some of the information may not apply to your Specialized Group.

Services maintained, but prioritized

We want to reassure you: we are there for you.

However, in order to be fully available for those currently in an emergency situation, in Canada or elsewhere, we ask that you please call back in a few weeks if you are leaving on a trip more than 30 days from now.

All claims will be processed as quickly as possible.

FAQ Update

This FAQ will be updated as the situation evolves. Please return to this link often for the latest information.

Traveller guidelines

Whether you are currently travelling or are planning a trip, you likely have many questions. Before cancelling your trip, call your airline to see if you can:

  • Get a reimbursement
  • Change destination
  • Postpone your trip

Don’t forget, people coming back from a trip MUST self quarantine for 14 days and contact their health authorities if symptoms appear.

In accordance with recent statements made by our governments, SSQ Insurance will no longer consider COVID-19 to be a sudden and unexpected illness with respect to eligible travel insurance expenses. This decision became effective for all trips taken as of April 6, 2020.

As a result, for insureds covered by a contract that does not specifically include an exclusion in the event of an epidemic, even though the Canadian government has issued a non-travel advisory, please be advised that if you wish to travel despite this decision, your travel insurance coverage will not cover any costs associated with COVID-19 since it is now considered a foreseeable and expected illness.

Will the insurer respect the contractual clauses with respect to all situations related to COVID-19?

Claims related to the COVID-19 situation will be processed in accordance with the contractual clauses stipulated in the travel insurance policy for all travel prior to April 6, 2020.

If an insured person is quarantined and has the coronavirus, will his or her travel insurance cover the medical expenses?

Claims related to the COVID-19 situation will be processed in accordance with the contractual clauses stipulated in the travel insurance policy for all travel prior to April 6, 2020.

Can an insured person cancel his or her trip and be reimbursed if the Canadian Government has issued a non-essential travel advisory or all-travel advisory for the area or country the person is travelling to?

Unless the person has trip cancellation coverage included in their contract, the expenses for a cancellation will not be covered by the specialized products coverage.

Is an insured person covered if he or she decides to travel to a country for which a travel advisory was issued by the government?

We recommend that travellers follow government advisories before planning any travel.

Unless government advisories are specifically excluded from their policy, the expenses may be reimbursed . It’s important to know that in regions affected by the coronavirus, public and governmental health authorities have priority over international assistance services.

If an insured person decides to stay on a trip despite the Canadian Government’s recommendation to return to Canada, will he or she be covered?

Unless government travel advisories are specifically excluded from the policy, the eligible expenses will be covered.

However, we strongly recommend that travellers follow government advisories to return to the country as soon as possible, as it may become very difficult for the assistance service to help later.

Should the insured person decide to remain at the destination please remember that once his or her provincial coverage reaches the maximum number of days for the current year, his or her coverage with SSQ will no longer hold.

Also remember as the situation is evolving rapidly it could become increasingly complicated to return to Canada.

What happens if my plan is up for renewal soon?

You will receive your renewal proposition as planned and it will be discussed with SSQ Insurance and implement at the usual date.

Can I make temporary changes to my contract?

We will maintain all contracts in their current form without making temporary changes. However, if you would like to make permanent changes to your contract, we will evaluate this option with you.

What happens if I have to cut my employees’ hours?

To accommodate your employees, SSQ Insurance will temporarily allow members to maintain their coverage, even if the hours worked are reduced below the minimum number of hours required to be eligible for insurance coverage.

The salaries of my employees have decreased due to reduced work hours. Will their benefits be impacted?

Salary-based benefits, for accidental death and dismemberment insurance, will be paid based on the in-force salary, i.e., the salary used to determine the premium to be paid.

What happens if I have to temporarily lay off employees as a result of the exceptional COVID-19 situation?

If your policy already provides Continuation of Coverage during temporary layoff periods (including Weekly Accident Indemnity insurance coverage), then the Continuation period stipulated in the policy will apply (premium payment is also continued for the duration of the layoff).

If your policy does not provide Continuation of coverage, we are agreeable to continuing coverage on an exceptional basis until July 15, 2020 with premium payment. A request must be made should you wish to continue coverage; all benefits must be continued.

Note that when an insured becomes disabled during a temporary layoff period, the waiting period stipulated in the contract begins on the date the employee returns to work.