Insurance for Travel

COVID-19: Travel insurance limitations during a pandemic

Please review and understand your insurance coverage requirements in advance of travelling. It is essential that your insurers’ contact information is saved and stored in a place that is easily accessible while abroad. 

It is critical that if you become ill or injured while travelling, that you contact your insurer in advance of seeking treatment to avoid denial and/or reduction of your travel medical claim. 

Your travel medical insurance should be regularly reviewed before and throughout every trip. Although links for information have been provided here, insurers do periodically change the terms of their coverage without notice. While currently there are no exclusions for COVID-19 in SunLife’s Travel Insurance policy for employees, employees and students are strongly encouraged to directly contact their travel insurance providers in advance of travels to confirm coverage during overseas travels are in place.

At this time travel is only being approved if it is considered vital to the academic mission of the university. Please review appropriate approval process for travel within Canada here and international travel information here.

University policy says:

  • Any member of the University community who is engaged in off-campus activities and travel should have appropriate emergency health coverage. It is recommended that they also have appropriate personal travel insurance (see below).
  • Faculty and staff have comprehensive emergency health coverage through their benefits plan.
  • Postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students are offered emergency health coverage through their different travel medical insurance programs. Please review the University's outline of permitted insurance. This coverage may be subject to exclusions or limitations such as travel to locations where the Global Affairs Canada has issued a travel warning, the performance of certain activities or the presence of pre-existing medical conditions.
  • It is the responsibility of individual travelers to review their emergency health coverage to determine if there are exclusions that are applicable. Should a traveler choose to undertake off-campus activities and travel where an exclusion is present, they are doing so at their own risk and the University assumes no liability or responsibility for emergency health care or related costs should they arise. Further information and resources on emergency health insurance can be found on the Global Affairs Canada website.

Emergency health insurance refers to insurance that covers:

  • emergency health expenses while travelling, such as hospital and physician services, prescription drugs, dental care.
  • health related emergency transportation and evacuation.
  • trip interruption due to a medical emergency.

Personal travel insurance

  • Personal travel insurance refers to insurance that covers aspects of travel not related to health or medical emergencies such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, theft and lost luggage.
  • Personal travel insurance is not generally provided to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, staff and students through their respective benefits program.
  • You can arrange for this type of insurance from various sources, including your bank or credit card.

Health care coverage in Canada

The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) provides coverage for insured physician and hospital services elsewhere in Canada. In most cases, if you present your valid Alberta health card to an out of province medical or hospital service provider and receive insured services, there is no cost to you. Learn what health services are covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) and what services are not covered here. Travellers should always carry their valid Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan card.

Workers Compensation Board (WCB) coverage

Be aware that you may have WCB coverage when engaged in off-campus activities. Alberta WCB is jurisdictional in nature. It is strongly advised that you confirm whether your WCB coverage will be extended for your specific activity or travel.