How to Prepare for a Travel Emergency: COVID-19 edition

With the easing of travel restrictions in many parts of the world and an increase in individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, travel may be an activity that many are (finally!) starting to consider.


Amid all the details you have to coordinate, don’t forget to also consider your travel insurance and what you would need in the event of a travel emergency. Taking the time to prepare will give you peace of mind when you travel. 

The following checklist can help you prepare for a travel emergency.  

Before Your Trip 

  • Print out your health insurance information:  
    • Sun Life Travel Card, which includes 24/7 assistance phone numbers for Sun Life’s travel assistance provider Allianz Global Assistance
    • BC Medical Card (make sure you and your dependents are covered under MSP). Ensure that you familiarize yourself with the MSP eligibility rules and out-of-province MSP coverage when Leaving BC Temporarily.   
    • Medi-Passport brochure with emergency help numbers 
    • Your physician’s contact information.
  • Review your emergency medical coverage, and if you have specific out-of-province medical questions, contact Allianz Global Assistance directly.  
  • Fill your prescriptions. 
  • If you have a medical condition, talk to your physician. If you are pregnant, ensure you have your physician’s approval to travel. 
  • Determine if you need immunizations and/or are required to carry vaccination certificates.

During Your Trip 

Should you require medical care, you or someone travelling with you must first call the Allianz Global Assistance 24-hour operations centre and provide the following information: 

  • Your name, or if your dependent requires assistance, your dependent’s name 
  • Your current location, including city, state and country 
  • Where you are calling from (e.g. hotel/residence, hospital, physician’s office) 
  • A phone number (e.g. at your hospital or hotel) where Allianz Global Assistance can reach you and leave a message if necessary 
  • Your UBC benefit plan contract number: 025205 
  • Your UBC benefit plan member ID number: your seven-digit UBC employee ID number 
  • A description of your situation and the care you require. 

Any invasive and investigative procedures (e.g. surgery or angiogram) must be pre-authorized by Allianz Global Assistance, except in extreme circumstances. If you don’t contact Allianz Global Assistance, your claim could be reduced or declined. 

Keep any out-of-pocket records of expenses for medical services or supplies. When you return home, you can submit a claim for reimbursement. Visit the Making a Claim page for detailed instructions on how to submit a claim. 

Expenses incurred during any mandatory COVID quarantine period either upon arrival at your final destination or upon return are not covered under the UBC extended health plan unless you or your eligible dependents develop COVID during the quarantine period. Coverage will be provided as per the provisions of the UBC out-of-province emergency medical coverage as per the extended health group benefits booklet for your UBC employee group. 

And remember: Check the Canadian travel advisories website for the latest COVID-19 travel, testing, quarantine and borders information as well as other travel advisory information before you travel. 

Travel safe.

This has been adapted from a 2019 article, when times were a little simpler.


  • Benefits FYI

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