Canadian insurers ease truckers' coverage concerns

by Leo Almazora24 Mar 2020

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has confirmed that group out-of-country medical coverage will “continue uninterrupted” for commercial truckers following an announcement that travel across the U.S.-Canadian border would be restricted.

In a statement issued Friday, the group acknowledged questions raised after advice from the federal government to “avoid non-essential travel.” Some group or workplace insurance plans offered by commercial trucking employers, it said, specifically cite Government of Canada travel advisories among their exclusions or limitations for out-of-country medical coverage.

According to multiple news reports, some trucking companies had been told by their insurers that drivers who catch COVID-19 in the course of their duties hauling cargo within the U.S. would not be provided health insurance coverage. Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, told CBC News that he was aware of two specific instances of such notifications.

But in its statement, the CLHIA said that commercial truckers who have group insurance will continue to be covered for emergency out-of-country medical coverage as they ferry goods across the border.

“With restrictions to non-essential travel beginning in the coming days, Canada's insurers want to be clear that commercial truckers will not lose their group out-of-country medical coverage due to recent travel restrictions,” said CLHIA President and CEO Stephen Frank.

“The commercial trucking industry is providing crucial services to support Canadians with goods at all times, but particularly now,” he added.

The CLHIA strongly urged employers and employees to review the contracts for their group insurance plans, as well as get in touch with either their human resources departments or insurer in case they need information or advice.