How travel advisories impact travel insurance

Travel insurance is essential protection for any trip abroad, so you should know that travel advisories may affect your coverage under your travel insurance policy.

Most travel insurance companies apply restrictions to covering your claim if, at or before the effective date of your policy, the Canadian government issued an advisory stating that travellers should “avoid non-essential travel” or “avoid all travel” to the country, region or city to which you’re travelling. 

Here’s what you should know about travel advisories, how they impact travel insurance coverage by Allianz Global Assistance, and what precautions you should take to stay safe and up to date on advisories while travelling. 

The Government of Canada issues travel advisories when it determines that the security or health situation in a country or region poses a threat to the safety of Canadians travelling or living there. Potential threats could be terrorism, civil unrest, natural disaster, political instability or a health emergency.  

Our government monitors conditions in more than 230 locations worldwide and assigns one of four levels of risk; the two highest threat levels call for official travel advisories. As events change, the level of risk is reviewed and a travel advisory may be issued, upgraded, downgraded or removed.  

The four risk levels are as follows: 

  • Exercise normal security precautions

    Take precautions similar to those you would take in Canada. 
  • Exercise a high degree of caution

    The status of your safety could change quickly. Stay alert by monitoring local media, follow the instructions of local authorities, and take other precautions. 
  • Avoid non-essential travel (advisory issued)

    Your safety could be at risk. You should assess your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on familial or business requirements, your familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you’re already there, consider your need to be there and if you don’t have to be, think about leaving. 
  • Avoid all travel (advisory issued)

    You shouldn’t travel to this country, territory or region because your personal safety is at great risk. If you’re already there, you should consider leaving if it is safe to do so.  

Keep in mind that travel insurance is there to provide coverage you in the event that you experience reasonably unforeseeable events or problems. Your policy will outline the specifics of what claims would be eligible for coverage and certain unforeseeable issues exempt from coverage. In relation to travel advisories, like other insurance companies, Allianz Global Assistance plans include coverage exclusions related to war, civil unrest, or terrorism. 

Depending on your plan, travel advisories may impact your coverage in the following ways: 

For the comprehensive, non-medical, and annual comprehensive travel insurance plans, medical and/or cancellation benefits are payable if an event results in the Government of Canada issuing a travel advisory to avoid all travel, or to avoid nonessential travel to your destination, provided the warning is issued after the later of the date you booked your trip or the date you purchased your travel insurance.  

Additionally, medical benefits aren’t payable for loss or costs incurred due to sickness or injury that occurs in a destination for which the Government of Canada issued a travel advisory before the effective date to avoid all travel, or non-essential travel, to said destination, and such sickness or injury is due to the reason for the advisory.  

It’s important to know the latest on health and security conditions in your destination. Whether you’re planning a vacation or live outside Canada, sign up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service, which allows the Canadian government to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. For quick travel status updates from the Government of Canada, you can follow @TravelGoC (English) or @VoyageGdC (Français). Subscribe to daily travel updates by email or search advisories for your destination. For specific guidance email  

If internet access is limited, you can reach the Emergency Watch and Response Centre 24/7 by telephone +1 613 996-8885 (call collect where available). And for 24/7 consular help dial + 1613 996 8885

Every year, millions of travellers trust Allianz Global Assistance to keep them safe with straightforward benefits, quick claims, and diligent service. Get a quote today to learn how we can protect you on your travels.

Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

Travel protected with Allianz Global Assistance
Or call us at 1-844-310-1578 
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