Coronavirus Travel Cancellations and Credit Card Insurance [UPDATED]

With the Government of Canada recommending to avoid all non-essential travel due to COVID-19, upcoming travel booked months ago might not look like such a great idea anymore. If you're planning on cancelling or postponing a trip to a region that has recently been impacted by coronavirus (which is most countries), there are several avenues to try in order to get your money or points back.

The focus of this post will be on the novel coronavirus COVID-19, but the credit card travel insurance information below can be applied to other circumstances as well. Note that the actual process of filing a claim and dealing with the insurance company will vary depending on your specific circumstance, policy, and insurer.

Last Updated: March 14, 2020

Rescheduling a return flight during the trip or cancelling upcoming flights or hotels

Most Canadian airlines have implemented special policies to deal with coronavirus-related flight changes, depending on the cities and airports they serve for existing bookings:
Hotel or AirBnB cancellation policies depend on rate and policy of your specific booking. If you booked in advance without upfront payment, typically you can cancel up to 3 days before the trip. If you booked using a non-refundable prepaid rate, you can try negotiating with the hotel to get a refund or gift card. Many hotel chains have implemented flexible change and cancellation policies:
If the options above don't work, you may be covered if you booked your flights or hotels on a premium travel credit card. Many cards offer Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption/Delay Insurance if you charge the cost of the trip to the card. Travel advisories are typically an eligible or covered reason to cancel your trip, if it happened after your booking. So if you booked a trip before March 14, 2020 when the global travel advisory came into effect, check your policy as you might be covered. Some examples of cards with insurance that cover government travel advisories:

Paying for medical assistance during the trip

Coronavirus-related or not, there may be a situation where you're traveling outside the country and require medical assistance. Note that your provincial or territorial health plan (e.g. OHIP in Ontario) may cover some of your medical costs, but rarely do they cover the full cost of going to the doctor or staying in a hospital.

If you haven't purchased a separate travel health insurance plan, you may be covered if you charged the cost of your trip to a premium credit card. Most have coverage for Out-of-Province/Country Emergency Medical Assistance (i.e. an illness requiring hospitalization that didn't exist before the trip).


We should all take precautions when traveling during the COVID-19 outbreak, including avoiding heavily affected areas and postponing travel where it makes sense. If your travel plans change, airlines are being flexible about rescheduling flights and credit cards may be able to cover unexpected costs. However, always read your credit card travel insurance policy carefully.


  1. I read the above article and got some knowledge from your article which is about insurance plans, We offer you one of the best and affordable insurance plans for better security of you and your family. It's actually great and useful data for us. Thanks for sharing it. Compare Best Medical Insurance Plans

  2. Your blog is very valuable which you have shared here about Home Insurance Thailand..... I appreciate your efforts which you have put into this article and also it is a gainful article for us. Thank you for sharing this article here.


Post a Comment