COVID-19 Update

Insureds in Canada

The safety of our Insureds is our number one priority. As the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, it is of utmost importance to us that we share updates around these changes and how they impact our Insureds. This is an unprecedented global event, with far-reaching implications. We understand this is a challenging time for you. This message is specifically intended for international students who are insured by and who are studying (or about to study) in Canada.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR INSURED STUDENTS IN CANADA

It is very important for you to know that if your policy is valid, you are covered for all new and emergent conditions and medically necessary treatment, including COVID-19. You can check the dates of your coverage on your ID Card.

Coverage for COVID-19 does not include costs associated with self-isolation or a mandated quarantine. Private accommodation and day-to-day expenses (food and non-emergency transportation) are not eligible for reimbursement. Only new and emergent conditions and medically necessary treatments are eligible. This includes private-duty care by a qualified nurse if it is medically necessary and prescribed by a certified health professional.

If your policy is going to expire, and your academic institution is unable to extend your current policy, you can purchase insurance directly through the institution’s microsite or ’s main website. You will be required to provide proof of insurance in the last 60 days.

If you arrived early and are waiting for classes to start, you may be eligible to purchase early arrival insurance via an affiliated institution micro-site or the main website by providing your acceptance letter.

HOW CAN I AVOID GETTING SICK?

COVID-19 is a contagious virus that can be easily transferred from one person to another. You can’t always tell when a person is sick, that is why it is important to take precautions and practice social-distancing.

Many restrictions are already in place to slow the spread of the virus. By following the instructions of the health authorities in your area, you can play an important role in reducing the impact of the virus and protecting yourself and vulnerable people.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FEEL SICK?

Symptoms of COVID-19 have included:

Think you might have COVID-19? Take self assessment.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19:

It is important that you do not go to a clinic or Hospital Emergency Room if you have these symptoms.

After you have checked your province’s resources and recommendations, you may also use your policy number to access an online or telephone consultation with a doctor who can assess your symptoms through www.guard.me/mobiledoctor.

SHOULD I RETURN TO MY HOME COUNTRY?

The risk of travelling may outweigh the advantages of going home. We recommend that you consult with advisors at your academic institution before you reach a decision. Remember, things are changing rapidly: you may or may not be able to leave Canada or you may not be able to enter your home country.

It is very important to understand that your policy has a “home country exclusion”. What this means is that your policy does not cover you for medical expenses in your home country. You will not be eligible to make claims or seek re-imbursements for expenses incurred in your home country.

IMPORTANT RESOURCES TO CONSIDER

There are many sources of credible information available. It is important to make sure that the information you are accessing is accurate. Please think carefully about the reliability of news sources that you encounter.

Provincial Health Advisories (click on your province of study below): British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Prince Edward Island; Nova Scotia; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut.

Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Government of Canada Facts about COVID-19: Click here.

GENERAL INFORMATION AND CLAIMS-RELATED ASSISTANCE

Maple Medical & mobileDOCTOR

We are pleased to share with our partners in Ontario and BC, that Maple, the provider behind the telemedicine services of mobileDOCTOR by , is offering services to those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Currently, these services are only being offered to residents of Ontario and BC who hold valid provincial health cards (OHIP or MSP), and international students who are insured by International Insurance across Canada.

In recognition of the fact that it is imperative that our healthcare system is accessible to people with symptoms, you are asked to only access this service if you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 which include:

If you have these symptoms and have:

You should consult with a healthcare professional to see if you may have contracted COVID-19.

For Ontario residents with a valid provincial OHIP health card you can access Maple for a COVID-19 consultation that will be billed directly to OHIP (usually a fee-for-service).

Who can access this service?

Due to the demands of this service, and the requirement for video, the wait times are longer than Maple’s typical current service. Please be prepared to wait for up to 2 hours.

Be prepared with your OHIP Card as well as a list of your symptoms and how long you have had them, and your travel history information.

For BC residents with a valid provincial MSP health card you can access Maple for a COVID-19 consultation that will be billed directly to MSP (usually a fee-for-service).

Who can access this service?

Be prepared with your MSP Card as well as a list of your symptoms and how long you have had them, and your travel history information.

For International students across Canada, you can access Maple for a COVID-19 consultation that will be billed directly to .

Who can access this service?

Be prepared with a list of your symptoms and how long you have had them, and your travel history information.

Reminder

These services are only being offered to:

Outbound Insureds

NEW OUTBOUND POLICIES

Please note:
As the Government of Canada has restricted travel into and out of Canada, we will no longer be offering Outbound coverage; this will be re-evaluated continuously until the travel restrictions are lifted.

ACTIVE OUTBOUND POLICIES (ALREADY DEPARTED)

1. Current International/Global Plan A and B Insureds

Covered for new and emergent conditions, including COVID-19 for trips already in progress. As the Government of Canada has restricted travel into and out of Canada, insureds will be expected where feasible to make plans to return to Canada as quickly as possible. If you are unable to return to Canada, you may be able to extend your policy including cover for COVID-19.

2. Annual International – Current Insureds

As the Government of Canada has restricted travel into and out of Canada, insureds will be expected where feasible to make plans to return to Canada as quickly as possible.

PENDING TRIPS UNDER ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL (NOT YET DEPARTED)

Please note:
As the Government of Canada has restricted travel into and out of Canada, we will no longer be offering outbound coverage under the Annual International policy; this will be re-evaluated continuously until the travel restrictions are lifted.

Frequently Asked Questions – Schools/Homestays

Impact of COVID-19 on INBOUND Students/Dependents on policies

We have received numerous questions regarding policies and coverage for illnesses related to COVID-19. We begin by stressing that all the provisions of our policies for inbound (to Canada) coverage remain in force and there are no special conditions or exclusions due to the prevalence of the virus. Policies provide cover for new, emergent medical conditions that first start after the policy effective date.

The well-being of our Insureds is our number one priority. International Insurance will continue to follow this situation and will endeavour to provide timely updates as it evolves.

Yes, provided the student is admissible to Canada and meets the normal eligibility requirements of the policy e.g. is registered at the school, and is under 65 years of age, etc.

If a student is diagnosed with an eligible sickness when they are in Canada, including COVID-19, they are covered for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy.

policies cover medically necessary services required to treat emergency sickness, including COVID-19, and that are necessary for the relief of pain and suffering. The following rules are normally applied to COVID-19 testing and screening:


  • Medically necessary treatment when the insured is symptomatic is covered, including testing when part of an active medical investigation.
  • COVID-19 testing when the insured is asymptomatic is NOT covered.
  • COVID-19 testing when the insured has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and is asymptomatic is NOT covered.
  • COVID-19 screening or visits for employment, educational purposes, or medical clearance to fly are NOT covered.
  • Students not in quarantine may visit a COVID Assessment Centre (CAC) where patients can be assessed and tested for COVID-19 whether they are sick or not; these CAC are funded by the Provincial Government.  Students visiting a CAC location should NOT present their Policy ID. They should inform the CAC staff member that their private insurance does NOT cover any screening, including COVID-19 testing.

No. A test that is not medically necessary or required to treat an emergent sickness will not be covered. A request for asymptomatic testing made by a third party is also not covered by policies. The following link is to the Canadian Government COVID-19 resources website where the student can take a self assessment test, find out more information about testing in the Province in which they are residing and other useful information about COVID-19: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms/provincial-territorial-resources-covid-19.html

If a student was asymptomatic and was unaware that they had contracted COVID-19 prior to departure and becomes ill after they arrive in Canada, they are eligible for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy. If the student was symptomatic or diagnosed with the illness prior to departure, certain pre-existing limitations may apply depending on the normal terms and conditions of their policy.

Yes. There are two ways to purchase insurance for early arrivals:

  • Institutions can enroll students or affiliated individuals directly;
  • Students and affiliated individuals can purchase insurance directly through the institution’s microsite or via the main website by completing the online form.

Yes, dependents are eligible for coverage. Once the primary insured student has their proof of coverage, dependent policies can be purchased by visiting the institution’s microsite or via the main website. Dependents will have to identify the primary policy holder by providing their policy number when they apply.

There is no requirement to upgrade coverage for COVID-19. Should an insured contract COVID-19, this illness will be covered as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy.

In almost all cases, a period of quarantine is now being required or recommended by government health authorities. As a result, all students will need to make their own arrangements for self-quarantine, as they are required by law to follow the quarantine instructions that have been provided to them by their institution. Penalties may be applied to individuals who do not comply with the requirement to self-quarantine.

No. Alternate accommodation for the purpose of self-isolation is not a provision of policies. Partners are encouraged to review their own internal policies and procedures and put the appropriate protocols in place.

Policies issued by have defined benefits and provisions for family transportation to the student’s bedside in the event of prolonged hospitalization and these would still apply. They are outlined in the normal terms and conditions of the policy. Guardians and custodians are not eligible for these benefits.

As with any sickness, home care is the responsibility of the student. On occasion, in severe cases, home nursing care may be eligible under the terms and conditions of the policy, usually subsequent to hospitalization.

No, the insurance policies selected by our partners for inbound students do not include travel benefits designed to cover trip cancellations, interruptions, or delays. If a student’s policy expires during such a time, they are eligible to extend their coverage and pay the additional premium.

Yes. Students who are unable to embark at their point of departure, enter Canada, or return to Canada will be eligible to apply for a cancellation and refund. No validation is required but, we do require notification within 10 days of the start of the policy for individual purchases, and within six-weeks from the start of the term for enrollments submitted by institutions. Late requests will be subject to pro-rated ‘refunds’. A wait-period of 30 days will be in effect in some cases to determine whether claims have been made against the policy. If claims have been submitted, no refund can be assessed.

No. Inbound policies provide medical cover and do not include benefits designed to cover trip cancellation, interruption and delay.

If, for any reason, a student returns to their home country they would be subject to the “home country exclusion” and would not be eligible for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the policy, whether COVID-19 or any other illness.

As the Government of Canada has restricted travel into and out of Canada, we are not currently offering coverage for any Outbound Excursions; this will be re-evaluated continuously until the travel restrictions are lifted.

  Frequently Asked Questions – Schools/Homestays

Frequently Asked Questions – Students

Impact of COVID-19 on INBOUND Students/Dependents on policies

We have received numerous questions regarding policies and coverage for illnesses related to COVID-19. We begin by stressing that all the provisions of our policies for inbound (to Canada) coverage remain in force and there are no special conditions or exclusions due to the prevalence of the virus. Policies provide cover for new, emergent medical conditions that first start after the policy effective date.

The well-being of our Insureds is our number one priority. International Insurance will continue to follow this situation and will endeavour to provide timely updates as it evolves.

If you are diagnosed with an eligible sickness when you are in Canada, including COVID-19, you are covered for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy.

policies cover medically necessary services required to treat emergency sickness, including COVID-19, and that are necessary for the relief of pain and suffering. The following rules are normally applied to COVID-19 testing and screening:


  • Medically necessary treatment when the insured is symptomatic is covered, including testing when part of an active medical investigation.
  • COVID-19 testing when the insured is asymptomatic is NOT covered.
  • COVID-19 testing when the insured has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and is asymptomatic is NOT covered.
  • COVID-19 screening or visits for employment, educational purposes, or medical clearance to fly are NOT covered.
  • If you are not in quarantine, you may visit a COVID Assessment Centre (CAC) where patients can be assessed and tested for COVID-19 whether they are sick or not; these CAC are funded by the Provincial Government. If you visit a CAC location do NOT present your Policy ID. You should inform the CAC staff member that your private insurance does NOT cover any screening, including COVID-19 testing.

No. A test that is not medically necessary or required to treat an emergent sickness will not be covered. A request for asymptomatic testing made by a third party is also not covered by your policy. The following link is to the Canadian Government COVID-19 resources website where you can take a self assessment test, find out more information about testing in the Province in which you are residing and other useful information about COVID-19: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms/provincial-territorial-resources-covid-19.html

If you are asymptomatic and unaware that you had contracted COVID-19 prior to departure and become ill after you arrive in Canada, you are eligible for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of your policy. If you were symptomatic or diagnosed with the illness prior to departure, certain pre-existing limitations may apply depending on the normal terms and conditions of your policy.

Yes. There are two ways to purchase insurance for early arrivals:

  • Institutions can enroll students or affiliated individuals directly – check with your school;
  • Students and affiliated individuals can purchase insurance directly through the institution’s microsite or via the main website by completing the form.

Yes, dependents are eligible for coverage. Once the primary insured student has their proof of coverage, dependent policies can be purchased by visiting the institution’s microsite or via the main website. Dependents will have to identify the primary policy holder by providing their policy number when they apply.

In almost all cases, a period of quarantine is now being required or recommended by government health authorities. As a result, you will need to make your own arrangements for self-quarantine, as you are required by law to follow the quarantine instructions that have been provided to you by your institution. Penalties may be applied to individuals who do not comply with the requirement to self-quarantine.

As with any sickness, home care is your responsibility. On occasion, in severe cases, home nursing care may be eligible under the terms and conditions of the policy, usually subsequent to hospitalization.

No. Alternate accommodation for the purpose of self-isolation is not a provision of policies. Policy holders in this situation should contact their home institution or school to initiate the protocols that will be in place to manage this scenario.

No, the insurance policies for inbound students provide medical cover and do not include travel benefits designed to cover trip cancellations, interruptions, or delays. If your policy expires during such a time, you are eligible to extend your coverage and pay the additional premium.

Yes. Students who are unable to embark at their point of departure, enter Canada, or return to Canada will be eligible to apply for a cancellation and refund. No validation is required but, we do require notification within 10 days of the start of the policy for individual purchases, and within six-weeks from the start of the term for enrolments submitted by institutions. Late requests will be subject to pro-rated ‘refunds’. A wait-period of 30 days will be in effect in some cases to determine whether claims have been made against the policy. If claims have been submitted, no refund can be assessed. For more information, please refer to the policy wording. If you purchased your policy through an institution, you must contact them directly.

No. Inbound policies provide medical cover and do not include benefits designed to cover trip cancellation, interruption and delay.

If, for any reason, you return to your home country you are subject to the “home country exclusion” and will not be eligible for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the policy, whether COVID-19 or any other illness.

As the Government of Canada has restricted travel into and out of Canada, we are not currently offering coverage for any Outbound Excursions; this will be re-evaluated continuously until the travel restrictions are lifted.

  Frequently Asked Questions – Students

COVID-19 Useful Links

The well-being of our Insureds is our number one priority. International Insurance will continue to follow this situation and will endeavour to provide timely updates as it evolves.

Here are some useful links:

How do I stay healthy?

What do I do if I get sick?

Self-monitor for symptoms. If your symptoms are mild, follow your usual routine for managing a cold or flu:

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions, you may contact our Customer Care Centre at 1-905-752-6200, toll-free 1-877-873-8447 or by email: customercare@guard.me.

For updated information about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and possible impacts to coverage, please refer to the following links: