Insurers assure truckers coverage includes Covid-19

Truckers have been assured they will be covered by life and health insurers’ out-of-country medical coverage if they are infected with the Covid-19 virus while in the U.S.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) confirmed continued coverage this morning, after concerns were raised by truckers and the trucking industry that coverage would not include Covid-19.

“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,” Stephen Frank president and CEO of CLHIA said. “The commercial trucking industry is providing crucial services to support Canadians with goods at all times, but particularly now.”

The announcement comes after initial reports that out-of-country medical coverage for truckers may not include Covid-19 infections, due to the national travel advisory warning against travel outside of Canada.

“Earlier this week, several insurers sent out memos stating that because there was a travel advisory from the government, they would not provide Travel coverage for Covid-19,” confirmed Glenn Caldwell, vice-president, corporate development at NAL Insurance. “Many of those statements have been retracted after an outpouring of calls from concerned fleets, trucking associations, and brokers. We want to ensure our NAL clients that we have always seen truck drivers as essential workers and NAL does not have a travel advisory exclusion in our travel policy. Therefore, our clients are covered for COVID-19 as long as they are not symptomatic before traveling across the border.”

National Truck League offered a similar assurance, confirming yesterday its travel medical emergency policy will cover cross-border drivers experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

“Truck drivers today are heroes, like the firefighters of 911,” said Rod Stiller, president of National Truck League. “Truckers have never been more relied on than right now. Seeing as drivers are the last ones able to cross the border right now, it is in our DNA to support the trucking industry as we get through this difficult time.”

“There is enough fear, and I’m sure the highways are eerily quiet for those who are keeping industry going and groceries on our table. Let this be one less thing to worry about,” Stiller added.

However, drivers should not cross into the U.S. if showing signs of Covid-19, and if they return to Canada exhibiting symptoms, they must self-quarantine for 14 days.