More Information on Trip Refunds Due to Families by Insurance Providers


UPDATE: Throughout this process, we have remained committed to helping students and families, whose trips were impacted by COVID-19, receive the refunds and insurance claim payments they are entitled to.

For context, in late March 2020, due to the extraordinary circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Section 46 of the Travel Industry Act was amended to both protect consumers and help operators like Explorica continue to navigate the crisis. In light of this, TICO conducted an audit of all of our groups to determine if any of the cancellations would be subject to the Section 46 regulation. To learn more about Section 46, see FAQ question #6 below.

To date, TICO has determined that a small number of trips are due remaining refunds from Explorica based on when the trip was cancelled and the travel restrictions in place at that time for the trip’s destination(s). These customers have already been contacted by Explorica and we are processing their refunds to their original form of payment.

For all other customers, please know that every step we continue to take towards resolution is on your behalf with the goal to have your travel protection insurance claim processed, adjudicated per the policy, and paid. We continue to take all measures at our disposal to compel ORIC and Arch Insurance to process all outstanding claims expeditiously, as they have for many years when travel has been interrupted by a major event. Additionally, we have recently retained legal counsel to provide additional advice and assistance to ensure we continue to do everything we can to protect our customers’ rights to their insurance claim.

In the FAQs below, you will find the latest information we can provide on the situation, including current and future action plans, and next steps for parents, teachers, and school boards. We’re committed to keeping you informed, and we will continue to update this page with the latest information. Please be assured, we continue to work on your behalf until this issue can be resolved.

Our approach to managing this situation is:

  1. Timely - Our team is working on resolving this situation as fast as possible so you can focus on educational activities
  2. Responsible – We manage your personal trip information responsibly, as has always been the case in our nearly 20-year history of enriching students through educational travel
  3. Caring – We understand your frustration and are committed to managing this issue for your benefit


This page was last updated on November 12, 2020


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Please know that every step we continue to take towards resolution is on your behalf with the goal to have your travel protection insurance claim adjudicated per the policy, and paid.
  • We continue to take all measures at our disposal to urge ORIC and Arch Insurance to process all outstanding claims expeditiously, as they have for many years when travel was interrupted by a major event.
  • Like everyone involved, we want this resolved as soon as possible and are doing everything in our power to help.
  • Explorica was a re-seller of those policies brokered by Trip Mate, and, as such, has no affiliation or direct relationship with either ORIC or Arch Canada.
  • Trip Mate selected ORIC or Arch Canada as underwriters of its travel protection policy and is in a direct contractual relationship with both entities.
  • Explorica remains committed to working with the families and students affected by the cancellations.
  • We continue to take all measures at our disposal to compel ORIC and Arch Insurance to process all outstanding claims expeditiously, as they have for many years when travel has been interrupted by a major event.
  • Like everyone involved, we want this resolved as soon as possible and are doing everything in our power to help.
  • If you haven’t already, you can file a formal complaint with the Financial Services Regulation Authority of Ontario (FSRA), which regulates the insurance industry. You can find links that explain the complaint process and information required at the bottom of this page.
  • The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) covers all customers (regardless of their location) who purchase travel through a TICO-registered travel organization. Explorica is a TICO-registered travel organization.
  • For context, in late March 2020, due to the extraordinary circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Section 46 of the Travel Industry Act was amended to both protect consumers and help operators like Explorica continue to navigate the crisis.
  • In light of this, TICO conducted an audit of all of our groups to determine if any of the cancellations would be subject to the Section 46 regulation.
  • To date, TICO has determined that a small number of trips are due remaining refunds from Explorica based on when the trip was cancelled and the travel restrictions in place at that time for the trip’s destination(s). These customers have already been contacted by Explorica and we are processing their refunds to their original form of payment.
  • Our understanding is that TICO’S audit is almost complete, and we do not expect there to be additional groups that are identified as Section 46-eligible and due remaining monies. If there are additional customers identified as Section 46-elligible at the completion of the audit, we will communicate with them directly and process the payment as soon as possible.
  • Section 46 is a provision under the Travel Industry Act that governs what a registrant (Explorica), who has acquired rights to travel services for resale, must provide to a customer when a supplier of services, or suppliers, fails to provide the travel services paid for by the customer. Should a trip’s cancellation meet this criterion, then the registrant must provide a refund or comparable alternate travel services acceptable to the customer. The Section 46 amendment allows registrants to provide a voucher or similar document of equal value for future redemption towards travel services as an acceptable form of refund to the customer.
  • Explorica is obligated through its agreement with its merchant payment processor to refund any monies back to the customer’s original form of payment. Should that refund transaction be denied or fail to process, Explorica will issue your refund via cheque, mailed to your address on record. If that is the case, please allow an additional seven to ten business days for that refund cheque.

    Any cards/accounts that are deemed active by the card provider will accept the refund as payment towards any balance due. Payments made with gift cards or pre-paid cards that are not closed will accept this refund transaction. We suggest you contact your card provider if you have any concerns.

Explorica has sent all information to ORIC and Arch Insurance in order to process claims. This includes:

  • A detailed group summary with information, such as the school name and address, key dates, and detailed passenger information, including total amount paid, amount paid for the insurance premium, total refunds sent by Explorica, and a summary of the insurance claim amount.
  • A detailed statement of account for each traveller, noting specific details from our system that tie to the information noted above, such as dates and amounts of payments made, amount of the cancellation fee, and other tour details.
  • School Board cancellation letter – This letter, sent to Explorica by the school board, initiated the cancellation process.
  • We have recently also sent to ORIC and Arch a group itinerary with specific daily details about each tour as well as a copy of the email received from the school which initiated the tour cancellation.
  • ORIC and Arch Insurance have repeatedly made demands for additional information from Explorica that is outside of the scope of the insurance policy related to payments, credits and negotiated settlements between the company and our third-party partners.
  • They do not need this information to expedite claims, as they allege, but it is solely an effort to justify a decrease in your insurance claim payout, even down to $0, without any additional recourse. As a result, we have not provided this information. Our goal is for you to receive a full insurance claim, not have it reduced without cause.

Should you have any issues accessing your account, please follow these steps:

  • Log into your account at explorica.ca
  • Once logged in, click on “View all tours and quotes.”
  • If your tour doesn’t appear, check to ensure the box is checked under “show cancelled tours.”

To date, we have taken a number of proactive steps to work to resolve the situation. These include:

  • We continue to take all measures at our disposal to compel ORIC and Arch Insurance to process all outstanding claims expeditiously, as they have for many years when travel was interrupted by a major event. Explorica has twice sent the requisite information to ORIC and Arch Insurance in order to process your claims. The information submitted (outlined below) are the same details Explorica has provided to process claims over the past 20 years of doing so on behalf of our customers. This includes:
    • A detailed group summary with information, such as the school name and address, key dates, and detailed passenger information, including total amount paid, amount paid for the insurance premium, total refunds sent by Explorica, and a summary of the insurance claim amount.
    • A detailed statement of account for each traveller, noting specific details from our system that tie to the information noted above, such as dates and amounts of payments made, amount of the cancellation fee, and other tour details.
    • School Board cancellation letter – This letter, sent to Explorica by the school board, initiated the cancellation process.
    • We have recently also sent ORIC and Arch a group itinerary with specific daily details about each tour as well as a copy of the email received from the school, which initiated the tour cancellation.
  • We are actively working with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), the regulatory body that oversees Canada’s travel industry to work towards a resolution. For context, in late March 2020, due to the extraordinary circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Section 46 of the Travel Industry Act was amended to both protect consumers and help operators like Explorica continue to navigate the crisis.
  • In light of this, TICO conducted an audit of all of our groups to determine if any of the cancellations would be subject to the Section 46 regulation.
  • To date, TICO has determined that a small number of trips are due remaining refunds from Explorica based on when the trip was cancelled and the travel restrictions in place at that time for the trip’s destination(s). These customers have already been contacted by Explorica and we are processing their refunds to their original form of payment.
  • Additionally, we continue to have open communications with school boards to ensure they have the most recent and accurate information to-date.
  • We have retained external counsel for advice and advice on protecting our customers’ rights to their insurance claim.
  • The insurance policy is a contract between the traveller and the insurance company. Paying the obligation or providing credits for future travel won’t entitle us to any legal rights to pursue the insurance company as their obligation to indemnify is to the customer, bound by the legal terms of the insurance policy.
  • To inquire about the status of your claim or file a formal complaint, we have included details on how to contact ORIC, Arch Canada, Financial Services Regulation Authority of Ontario (FSRA) and General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO) at the bottom of this page.
  • If you haven’t already, you can file a formal complaint with the Financial Services Regulation Authority of Ontario (FSRA), which regulates the insurance industry. You can find links that explain the complaint process and information required at the bottom of this page.
  • This FAQ page will be updated regularly with the latest information.
  • We recognize this is a frustrating time for the students and families affected by these cancellations. We want this resolved as soon as possible and are doing everything in our power to help expedite claims.
  • Please reach out to your Explorica SE at any time for updates. Additionally, we will update this FAQ page regularly to ensure all our customers have all the correct and most up-to-date information.
  • You can reassure them that Explorica has sent all information to ORIC and Arch Insurance to which they are entitled in order to process claims.
  • We have been actively working with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), the regulatory body that oversees Canada’s travel industry, to identify opportunities to resolve this issue.
  • Additionally, if they haven’t already, we encourage travellers to reach out to ORIC or Arch Insurance directly and also file a formal complaint with relevant regulators. Contact details and information on complaint processes are below.
  • We know teachers and parents are going through a lot right now as students return to school, and we are very sorry that this situation remains unresolved.
  • Bookings made with airline, hotel, meals and attractions suppliers are made at the group level and by bulk, not by individual.
  • Therefore, any refunds and credits received from our suppliers for cancelled trips, including airlines, are provided back to Explorica in bulk at the group level and not by the individual. For the bulk refunds received by Explorica, a large percentage were in the form of future travel credits, less applicable cancellation fees. These travel credits were not made in the form of cash nor do they have any cash value beyond redemption for future travel bookings with that supplier.
  • Explorica has provided all refunds and credits due to customers under the terms and conditions of each trip. Any remaining refunds due to the customers with travel protection are expected to be paid through the insurance claims.
  • Please note that Explorica customers directly contacting suppliers, such as airlines and hotels, to confirm reservation numbers for individual passengers may receive incorrect information related to ticket bookings and payments as reservations are made through group reservations protocols, not by individual.
  • As part of our work with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) to resolve outstanding refunds and insurances claims that students and parents may be entitled to, we found that, based on the date of their school board’s cancellation, certain customers were entitled to a $100 refund per the Explorica Terms and Conditions.
  • This is separate from any outstanding insurance claims that have yet to be processed by ORIC and Arch. Explorica remains committed to working with the families and students affected by the cancellations to help the insurance claim process advance.


To inquire about the status of your claim or file a formal complaint, please reach out to:

  • Financial Services Regulation Authority of Ontario (FSRA)
    • Complaint procedures: | LINK
  • General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO)
    • Complaint procedures: | LINK