Foreign travel guidelines

We're always monitoring global events to remain current on political, economic, socioeconomic, criminal, health-care and transportation issues around the world. As events happen, we may update our foreign travel guidelines.

The Canadian government uses these categories to rate the risk of travel to foreign countries:

  • Exercise normal security precautions
  • Exercise high degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Avoid all travel


Generally, people who travel to countries with the first two risk levels are insurable.

People who travel to countries/regions with the risk level of "Avoid non-essential travel" may be insurable, depending on details of travel and the reason for the risk level.

Individuals who travel to countries/regions with the risk level of "Avoid all travel" are generally uninsurable.

If the Client is travelling to multiple countries, the most conservative country assessment will apply.

We've classified countries as either low risk, moderate to high risk, or uninsurable.

  • For travel to low risk countries, (exercise normal security precautions), we'll offer coverage at standard rates, if the proposed insured's health qualifies and travel is less than six months per year. This applies to over 130 countries.
  • For travel to moderate to high risk countries, (exercise high degree of caution or avoid non-essential travel), we'll offer coverage at standard rates if the Client's health qualifies, travel is less than three months per year, and  the Client is not traveling to a region with a travel warning of "avoid all travel" on the government of Canada travel website. For travel between three and six months, we'll require a flat extra premium $2.50 per $1,000 of coverage.
  • For travel to uninsurable countries or regions (avoid all travel), we usually won’t be able to offer any coverage. A list of these countries is available below.

Other considerations:

  • Preferred rates and optional benefits are not available if the Client is rated for foreign travel.
  • Any Client residing in a foreign country for more than six months will be considered on an individual basis.

Reconsideration of rating:

Extra premiums for travel can be reconsidered after issue, if there has been:

  • no rateable travel for at least one year,
  • no plans to travel to a rateable country in the next 12 months, and
  • no changes in health or other risk factors since the policy issue date.

Requirements for reconsideration will include:

We can't insure people with these occupations:

  • government diplomats
  • journalists (foreign correspondents)
  • foreign aid workers
  • members of an armed service group (including peacekeepers)
  • missionaries (in this context we’re referring to full-time missionaries. This doesn’t apply to someone who works full time and engages in a few weeks of missionary or humanitarian work annually).

Uninsurable countries

Generally, Clients who travel to the countries listed below, or who contemplate traveling to one of these countries, cannot be offered life insurance coverage, regardless of length of travel.  This list can  change at any time without notice. In addition to these destinations, we usually won’t be able to offer coverage to individuals who travel or contemplate traveling to countries with a travel warning of "avoid all travel" on the government of Canada's website for Canadians traveling or living abroad:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo, Democratic Republic
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ivory Coast
  • Korea, North
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Palestine
  • Russia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Sudan, Republic of South
  • Syria
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen

Due to recent events, we’ve temporarily updated our travel guidelines for Belarus, Israel, Lebanon, Russia and Ukraine.  We will not accept insurance applicants planning on travelling, or with a recent pattern of travel, to these locations until further notice. This includes travel to and from, as well as those living and residing in those countries. We made this decision in alignment with current Canadian travel advisories.