Coronavirus (COVID‑19)

Information for Insureds Travel Insurance

Updated: July 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.

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This FAQ concerns only group insurance products and retirement and end of employment products (Privilege and MRS).

SSQ Insurance recommends that its clientele comply with the Canadian government's travel advisories. SSQ Insurance cannot guarantee access to quality medical care abroad due to the ever changing global situation.

My flight or vacation with Sunwing has been cancelled. What is the deadline for requesting a refund from the company, and what are the steps I need to take to get it?
  • The refund request for your flight, your vacation, and your travel credits, (on the original method of payment) can be made until August 27th, 2021.
  • Your flight or travel booking must have been made prior to June 25th, 2021 2021 (with a scheduled departure after February 1st, 2020).
  • Travel credits will continue to be honoured untiluntil September 30th, 2026.

To request your refund, complete the form available on SunWing's website.

My flight or vacation with Air Canada has been cancelled. What is the deadline for requesting a refund from the company, and what are the steps I need to take to get it?
  • The refund request for your flights, vacation or travel credits, (on the original method of payment) can be made until July 12th, 2021.
  • Your flight or travel booking must have been made prior to April 13th, 2021 (with a scheduled departure on or after February 1st, 2020).
  • Travel credits will continue to be honoured beyond July 12th, 2021.

To get your refund, complete the form available on Air Canada's website.

I have travel credits with Air Transat that I don’t intend on using. What is the deadline to request a refund from the company, and what do I need to do to get it?
  • Refunds for your travel credits can be requested until August 26th, 2021 (on the original method of payment).
  • Your booking must have been made prior to April 29th, 2021 (with a scheduled departure on or after February 1st, 2020).
  • Travel credits will continue to be honoured beyond August 26th, 2021.

To get your refund, complete the form available on Air Transat's website.

How can I obtain reimbursement for a trip cancellation while awaiting processing from travel assistance?

For all claims currently being processed by travel assistance, for which no reimbursement request has been filed with the CFCTA, we ask you to do so immediately by going to the CFCTA website in order to obtain your reimbursement.

For those who have already filed a request with the CFCTA and are awaiting a response, your claim should be processed by the end of 2021.

After cancelling a trip, how can I get reimbursed for new claims?

Call the first payers, i.e., your travel services providers (your travel agency, airline, etc.).

Then contact your travel insurance assistance service. It is provided on the back of your insurance card and in the Customer Centre.

For Quebec residents who purchased a trip from a travel agency in Quebec

First, submit a reimbursement request directly to the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents (CFCTA) in the following situations:

  • Transportation not received
  • Lodging not received
  • Tourist activities not received
  • Main service not received
  • Compromised security
  • Departure or repatriation required
  • Closure or bankruptcy of the travel agency

Then, you must submit a claims form to your travel insurance assistance service.

Your trip must have been purchased prior to March 13, 2020.

If you were offered a travel credit as compensation, we consider this a reimbursement. We will therefore deduct the travel credit (whether you accepted it or not) from your insurance amount. If the travel credit is equal to your insurance amount, you will not receive any further reimbursement from SSQ Insurance.

I’m planning a trip. Am I covered for emergency medical expenses including those related to COVID-19 (travel assistance)?

Since October 1, 2020, emergency medical expenses, including those related to COVID-19, are covered for travel destinations for which the Government of Canada has issued a Level 1, 2, or 3* travel health notice. In accordance with your insurance policies, you must be in good and stable health before you leave on your trip.

Emergency medical expenses are not covered for travel destinations for which the Government of Canada has issued a Level 4* travel health notice.

* The Government of Canada issues four levels of travel health notices for travel destinations:

  • Level 1 – Practise usual precautions
  • Level 2 – Practise special precautions
  • Level 3 – Avoid all non-essential travel
  • Level 4 – Avoid all travel
My travel agent requires me to pay another deposit within the next 30 days even though the all-trip and essential trip advisories are still in effect. Can I cancel my trip?

Yes, you can cancel your trip if it was booked before March 13, 2020. Deposits paid before March 13, 2020, will be reimbursed to you by SSQ Insurance.

Which expenses are covered if the result of my COVID-19 screening test is positive while I am travelling and I am covered for this illness under my insurance contract?

The following expenses are covered based on the maximum amount under your contract:

  • Medical expenses
  • Additional expenses incurred to purchase a return ticket, or the cost of modifying your existing ticket, based on the following:
    • One-way ticket, in economy class
    • Flight aboard a commercial airline, on a fixed schedule
    • The most direct route to the point of departure

Accommodation and living expenses are not covered unless stipulated otherwise under your contract.

What do I do if I contract COVID-19 while travelling and I am covered for this illness by my insurance policy?

Call your travel insurance assistance service. You will be referred to a healthcare professional.

This information is provided on your SSQ Insurance card and in your Customer Centre.

For those covered by CanAssistance, contact CanAssistance.

For those covered by AXA Assistance, contact AXA.

I’m planning a cruise. Am I covered for emergency medical expenses including those related to COVID-19 (travel assistance)?

You are not covered for emergency medical expenses, including those related to COVID-19 (travel assistance), incurred during a cruise. This applies to all cruises for as long as the Government of Canada maintains its Level 4 travel health notice to avoid all travel aboard cruise ships.

Can I cancel my cruise and obtain a reimbursement?

If you want to cancel your cruise, the following conditions must be met:

  • You must have trip cancellation insurance.
  • You must have booked your cruise before March 10, 2020, when the Government of Canada issued a travel notice to avoid all travel aboard cruise ships.
  • Your cruise must take place during the time that the government’s notice to avoid all travel aboard cruise ships is in effect.
What type of situation does trip cancellation insurance cover?

Since October 1, 2020, the following situations apply BEFORE YOUR DEPARTURE if your insurance includes trip cancellation coverage:

If the Government of Canada’s travel health notice for your travel destination changes from Level 1 or 2 at the time of purchase to Level 3* before your departure, then it is possible to cancel your trip. If you decide to travel, you will still be covered for travel assistance (emergency medical expenses including COVID-19) for as long as the Government of Canada’s travel health notice level does not change to Level 4*.

If the Government of Canada’s travel health notice for your travel destination changes from Level 1, 2 or 3 at the time of purchase to Level 4* before your departure, then it is possible and recommended that you cancel your trip. If you do not, you will not be covered for travel assistance.

*The Government of Canada issues 4 travel health notices for travel destinations as follows:

  • Level 1 - Practise usual precautions
  • Level 2 - Practise special precautions
  • Level 3 - Avoid all non-essential travel
  • Level 4 - Avoid all travel
How can I request a reimbursement in the event of a trip cancellation due to a travel health notice issued by the Government of Canada?

For any trip cancellation prior to departure due to a Government of Canada travel health notice, you must contact SSQ’s travel assistance service for instructions 72 hours before the scheduled departure date.

In addition, if you have purchased your trip through a travel agent and you have to cancel it because of a travel health notice issued by the Government of Canada, you must contact SSQ’s travel assistance service for instructions 72 hours before your deposit becomes payable to your travel agent.

Contact information for your travel insurance assistance service is provided on your SSQ Insurance card and in your Customer Centre.

For those covered by CanAssistance, contact CanAssistance.

For those covered by AXA Assistance, contact AXA.

You already submitted a claim to the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents (CFCTA) (Quebec only)?

If your cancellation is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you must exceptionally re-submit your claim to your travel insurance assistance service.

  • For those covered by CanAssistance, fill out the form on their website.
  • For those covered by AXA Assistance, contact AXA.
Am I covered if I have a trip planned to another province in Canada?

Yes, you are covered for emergency medical expenses, whether you are ill as a result of COVID-19, or due to other causes or an accident. Refer to your policy as some exceptions may apply.

What documents must I send to you when I submit a trip cancellation claim?
  • Completed and signed claim form
  • Proof of the trip’s cancellation from the service provider
  • Copy of all credits and reimbursements already obtained
  • Detailed receipts from your service provider, including their cancellation policy
  • Proof of payment for the trip (credit card or bank account statement)
  • Plane tickets (if applicable)
  • Completed and signed direct deposit reimbursement form (if applicable)
What happens if the travel agency or airline offers a travel credit as reimbursement?

For SSQ Insurance, a travel credit is equivalent to a reimbursement. Therefore, whether you accept the travel credit or not, we will deduct this amount from the reimbursement.

If the travel credit is equal to the total amount, you will not receive any reimbursement from SSQ Insurance.

If you do not obtain a full reimbursement or credit for the cancellation of your trip, SSQ Insurance will reimburse you for the eligible expenses under your contract.

Can I cancel my trip to another province in Canada because of COVID-19 and obtain a reimbursement?

No, it isn’t currently possible to cancel your travel to other provinces due to COVID-19 and obtain a reimbursement because there are currently no travel health notices issued by the Government of Canada to avoid travel to Canadian provinces other than one’s province of residence.

However, if you have COVID-19, it may be the reason for cancelling your trip under your contract.

Are expenses incurred because of the Canadian government’s mandatory quarantine covered by my travel insurance?*

Expenses incurred because of the Canadian government’s mandatory quarantine are not covered under your travel insurance.

The extra cost to purchase a one-way ticket (economy class) may be eligible for reimbursement. This applies if, because of the Canadian government’s mandatory quarantine, you find yourself in a province other than the one originally on your itinerary and, as a result, your return date is delayed. To be eligible for this coverage, your trip must have been purchased before January 29, 2021.

*Certain conditions may apply.

Can I get the cost of the return plane ticket, which is very expensive, reimbursed since repatriation is mandatory as a result of the government warnings issued regarding travel destinations?

Yes, if your insurance includes trip cancellation/interruption coverage.

Depending on the maximum amount provided for under your contract, you are covered for the extra cost of a return ticket with the following features:

  • One-way ticket, in economy class
  • Flight aboard a commercial airline, on a fixed schedule
  • The most direct route to the point of departure

You are also covered for expenses incurred as a result of a change in your plane ticket date.

Are expenses for mandatory COVID-19 screening tests to return to Canada covered?

No, the expenses for mandatory COVID-19 screening tests to return to Canada are not covered under travel insurance.

I must remain at my destination because I am awaiting the result of my COVID-19 screening test. What is covered under my travel insurance?

Additional expenses incurred while awaiting COVID-19 screening test results are not covered (for example, the cost for new plane tickets or changing the return date on the existing ticket, accommodation and living expenses, etc.)

Are medical expenses related to possible complications following COVID-19 vaccination abroad covered?

If you choose to get vaccinated in a foreign country, despite the Canadian government’s advisory to avoid non-essential travel, SSQ Insurance will as an exceptional measure reimburse medical expenses that could arise from side effects of COVID-19 vaccination, in accordance with the travel insurance coverage stipulated in the insurance contract.

Am I covered by my disability insurance if I am quarantined while travelling?

Yes, you are covered if the following two conditions are met:

  • You have a group insurance policy that includes short-term disability coverage.
  • You are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which prevents you from doing your job, even via telework.
Can I cancel or extend my trip because I am placed under quarantine?

Yes, you can cancel or extend your trip if you are placed under quarantine as long as the quarantine ends 7 days or less before your scheduled departure date or occurs during your trip.

Before incurring any expenses, you must contact your travel insurance assistance service. The contact information is indicated on your SSQ Insurance card and in your Customer Centre.

For those covered by CanAssistance, contact CanAssistance.

For those covered by AXA Assistance, contact AXA.