With the cold weather around the corner many of us may be looking for an opportunity to escape winter’s icy grip. Whether you are planning a trip to the beach, an overseas adventure or just crossing the boarder for a weekend shopping trip there is one important factor many people forget to consider. Travel insurance. In fact in February 2016 alone 8.7 million Canadians went on out of country trips. What is surprising, though is according to a survey by the Travel Insurance association of Canada only 47% of Canadians say the always purchase travel insurance.
Knowing what coverage you may have or need isn’t always easy. For example some travelers may assume they have enough coverage their provincial health plan, credit card or work plan when this may not be the case. Here are some points worth considering before your depart:
If your traveling outside of Canada, your provincial or territorial health plan may only cover a set rate for emergency health services for an unexpected illness or injury requiring immediate treatment.In layman’s terms your provincial or territorial health plan may only cover what the cost of treatment would be in your home province leaving you left to pay the rest of the bill.
When travelling abroad, some countries require proof of travel insurance, so it may be mandatory when you visit countries like Cuba, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland etc. If you wait to purchase insurance at your destination, it may not cover many essential benefits.
Hospitals and clinics in some countries may refuse to treat patients who don’t have adequate travel health insurance or money to pay their bills.
All of these reasons why I encourage you to consider purchasing travel insurance when traveling outside of Canada.
Knowing What to look for
It’s important to first identify you needs as well as those traveling with you and to take time to understand the coverage options available for the trip your planning. At the highest level your travel insurance should include emergency medical, trip cancellation/interruption, baggage, and accidental death and dismemberment coverage. Some things to consider when comparing travel insurance include:
Does the coverage have a worldwide 24/7 emergency hotline with translation services?
Does the plan pay up front for foreign hospitalization and related medical costs, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
What is the deductible
Does it have coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and how does the coverage apply to you.
Does the plan provide medical evacuation to Canada or the nearest location with appropriate medical care (including a medical escort)
Does the plan exclude activities or sports that you plan to take part in?
Can the coverage be extended if you chose the lengthen your trip?
Does the plan cover the preparation and return of your remains if you die while traveling?
When preparing to travel, ensuring you have the proper insurance coverage is one of the most important steps you can take to help protect yourself and your family from both the financial and emotional stresses of unexpected mishaps. With the right insurance in place, you can focus on what matters. Enjoying your trip to the fullest.
If you are planning a trip and would like to know more, please get in touch with me anytime.