Travel insurance is designed to pay for unexpected costs that arise while you’re travelling such as emergency medical, hospital, trip cancellation and lost baggage. Be aware that not all plans provide all coverage. Most claim denials result from customers not understanding what they have purchased, not knowing their own obligations in an emergency, or simply not reading their policy to learn what is and isn’t covered. If in doubt, ask questions BEFORE you buy.
Your Province’s Out-Of-Country Emergency Health Services
In Canada, provincial health insurance plans will look after most hospital and medical expenses, and you rarely see a bill. But when travelling outside of Canada or even your home province, coverage under your provincial health plan is limited, and only a fraction of these expenses may be covered. Without coverage from additional travel health insurance, costs incurred from an out-of-country medical emergency can be financially devastating.
To learn what may or may not be paid for outside of Canada, plus important “physical presence” requirements for snowbirds, we’ve provided links to health insurance plan websites for every province and territory:
Advice from Travel Insurance Experts
Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA)
THIA is a national organization of travel insurance providers working together for the protection of the travelling Canadian. Their suggested travel insurance shopping tips include:
- Don’t buy on price alone. Insurance plans differ. All policies need to fit your health profile.
- Read your Policy. Discuss it with your advisor. Examine a plan’s exclusions and limitations: what it doesn’t cover, as well as what it does.
- Many plans cover pre-existing conditions that are stable and controlled, but you have to understand what “stable and controlled” means. If you must complete a medical application, do it completely and accurately and get your doctor’s help if you need to.
- Don’t wait to the last minute to buy your insurance. If you need to provide medical information you may want to consult your doctor or your pharmacist or a family member who knows about your medical history. Leave time to do this properly.
- If you buy early for a trip you’re taking later on in the year and your health changes in the interim, notify your insurer immediately.
- For those with medical conditions, the best way to purchase travel insurance is to deal with a qualified advisor who deals extensively in travel insurance.
Great Resource: To download and read the Travel insurance consumer guide on thiaonline.com, Click Here.
Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA)
CLHIA is a voluntary trade association working on behalf of all its member life and health insurers. CLHIA produces a number of publications designed to assist Canadian consumers in making informed decisions.
One such CLHIA publication, A guide to travel health insurance, is intended to help consumers make the most of their travel health insurance coverage. The guide outlines that the expected costs that may arise when traveling can include emergency hospital/medical costs, trip cancellation, lost baggage etc., but points out that not all plans cover all of these components.
Great Resource: to download and read A guide to travel health insurance, Click Here.