Now that Covid-19 restrictions are loosening and many people are excited to travel again, we have been receiving a high volume of questions about how Covid-19 could adversely effect your travel plans. Here are some of the most common questions we receive:
Should I buy travel insurance for a Wells Gray Tour?
Travel Insurance is not included in our tour fares, so we strongly recommend purchasing insurance to protect the non-refundable portion of your fare and to provide coverage for unexpected events, even for travel within British Columbia. This is especially true during the Covid-19 pandemic.
What should I look for?
It’s important to verify what your insurance policy covers. Here are the major types of coverage you should look for:
Trip Cancellation Coverage reimburses you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel your trip before you depart. Typically, this covers common situations like illness, injury, or death of you or someone in your immediate family, but you should always check which situations apply as each policy is different.
Trip Interruption Coverage is similar to cancellation coverage but covers you while you are on your trip. If something happens and you are required to return home, or quarantine in place, insurance will reimburse you for the lost portion of your trip and certain additional expenses.
Travel Delay Coverage provides reimbursement for additional expenses if your flight is delayed, such as an extra night in a hotel or a meal at a restaurant.
Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage provides reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged belongings during a trip.
Baggage Delay Coverage provides money to buy essential items until your delayed bags arrive.
Emergency Medical Coverage provides reimbursement for emergency medical care while you are on your trip. It will also help you locate medical assistance.
Emergency Dental Coverage provides reimbursement for emergency dental care.
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage provides reimbursement for emergency evacuation expenses such as airlifts and medically equipped flights to medical facilities or back to your home country.
Covid-19 Coverage –Not many travel insurance plans cover Covid-related situations, but there are some new policies that specifically cover Covid including some “cancel for any reason” policies. You should expect to pay more for this insurance.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion – Many policies do not cover pre-existing medical conditions (medical condition, illness, or injury that you have before you begin your trip). For older travellers this can make finding a policy tricky, but you can look for a pre-existing medical condition exclusion which means the policy will cover you regardless of pre-existing conditions.
Can I purchase insurance through Wells Gray Tours?
Yes, you can purchase TravelGuard® insurance directly through Wells Gray Tours when you book your tour or at any time up until final payment. Our policies are underwritten by AIG Insurance Company of Canada. If you purchase your policy at deposit (or within 7 days of deposit), it will include a waiver of the pre-existing condition clause as relates to cancellation, upgrade or trip interruption.
A detailed brochure on our policy is available here.
What happens if I test positive for Covid before my tour leaves?
You must be symptom-free and not have tested positive for Covid for five days prior to departure in order to join the tour. If you test positive within five days of the tour you will not be permitted to join the tour. If you have travel insurance, you will need to have proof of a positive test and/or a doctor’s note to submit a claim. You may or may not be covered depending on your policy. If approved, your refund would be issued by your insurance company, not Wells Gray Tours. If you do not have insurance, you will not receive a refund.
What happens if I show symptoms or test positive for Covid during the tour?
If you experience two or more of the following symptoms, please notify your tour director immediately and take a self-administered rapid test in your hotel room. We are currently asking all travellers to bring their own Covid-19 rapid test kits on every tour.
- New or Worsening Cough
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Unusual Fatigue
- Muscle Aches
If you test positive at some point on tour, you will need to leave the tour and immediately isolate — typically at the hotel you are staying in when you test positive. The tour will continue as scheduled without you and you will be required to follow all local health mandates and protocols currently in place. The tour director will provide information and connect you with a Wells Gray team member who will assist you during your isolation and with making plans to return home.
Here is a brief summary of the steps that will occur if you test positive
Immediately isolate from others.
Notify the Tour Director of your positive test as soon as possible. They will put you in contact with a Wells Gray team member to further assist you.
If you have insurance, you will need to contact your provider immediately and find out what is covered and what they will do to assist you with finding accommodation and arranging travel home. If you purchased insurance through Wells Gray Tours, we can assist you with this process.
If you have no insurance, you will need to make your own arrangements for accommodation and travel home. We will do our best to assist you with this process, but you will be responsible for all expenses.
Determine the length of isolation required based on local health regulations.
If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us
If you have questions that weren’t covered here, feel free to contact your local office. We can help make your travel experience as stress-free as possible and provide you with the most up-to-date information.