COVID-19: a blur surrounding the travel insurance

COVID-19: un flou entourant l’assurance voyage

The COVID-19 gives headaches to the insurers. And the new president and chief executive officer of The Capital/SSQ Insurance does not hide it. There is an uncertainty surrounding what will become of the travel insurance, and access to all the health systems around the world for the next year.

From the outset, the big boss of the new entity of 4700 workers, based in the national capital, ensures that the virus is not expected to have impacts on the current contracts of life insurance or of disability of the consumers. And he does not anticipate “significant effects” on premium.

The possibility of a second wave of the virus comes, however, muddying the waters about the travel insurance. Note that since 6 April, SSQ Insurance no longer considers “the COVID-19 is a disease of sudden and unexpected within the meaning of the eligible costs travel insurance”.

On the side of The Capital, sales of new travel insurance policies have been “suspended” until further notice. CAA-Quebec and Blue Cross Quebec also provide more travel abroad.

Possible coverage

The president of The Capital/SSQ Insurance, Jean-François Chalifoux, believes that several questions are still pending concerning the travel insurance, which creates “uncertainty” in the ability to offer this service, including access to a health system abroad as well as on the ability to repatriate people in emergency situations.

Mr. Chalifoux concedes that it will probably be more complicated in the next year to provide new travellers for all health problems and ensure access to hospital care.

It is, however, of the opinion that it will be possible to include, possibly, a cover for the COVID-19, in travel insurance.

“At this time, the COVID-19 is a risk that it is estimated insurable [long-term]. By contrast, up to what point is the access to the health network will be available everywhere in the world ? In some places, you can see that the seats in the emergency are limited. It will need to be vigilant”, avance-t-il.

Price increase

The direction of The Capital/SSQ Insurance, whose new name will be unveiled in the autumn, confirms that the rates of travel insurance, when you return to work, could be revised upward. Mr. Chalifoux does not foresee, however, no significant impact on the invoice.

Currently, Ottawa is still recommending that Canadians avoid all international travel all non-essential abroad. Moreover, it is primarily for this reason that the management of The Capital/SSQ Insurance claims to have put on pause this line of business.

♦ Recently, Ottawa has extended the closing of its borders to foreign visitors from a country other than the United States up to July 31, to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19.

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