Planning a trip can be a very exciting time. You have a destination picked out and you are looking forward to activities that you love to do. Hotel rooms are booked, and you cannot wait to get going.
But have you taken steps to protect yourself from medical emergencies? What about protecting yourself from financial loss if you have to cancel your trip or have to interrupt your trip to go back home to deal with some sort of unforeseen situation?
This is where travel insurance comes into play.
Know What Your Travel Insurance Covers
There are different types of travel insurance coverage available. Quickly purchasing travel insurance without understanding what type of coverage you have can lead to a stressful situation where you aren’t actually covered for unexpected costs.
Emergency Medical Coverage
The core type of travel insurance is emergency medical coverage. This protects people against unexpected medical costs due to an accident or sickness.
This coverage is often considered the most important type of coverage since provincial healthcare plans (like OHIP, AHCIP and MSI) provide little if any medical coverage when traveling abroad.
Examples of this are hospital bills, doctor bills, ambulance costs, prescription drug costs and laboratory costs.
Other Types of Travel Coverage
There are also other types of coverage available besides coverage for medical costs as follows:
This covers incurred costs if you have to cancel or delay a trip due to some sort of unforeseen circumstances. Just some examples are hotel room bookings, airfare costs and money that you have already paid out for activities.
This covers costs similar to those incurred by a trip cancellation, the difference being that trip interruption involves having to cut a vacation short due to some sort of emergency that occurs back at home.
Baggage Loss and Delay
This type of coverage protects you from financial costs incurred as a result of your baggage being lost , delayed, damaged or stolen.
Do you have to buy clothing, toiletries, or other necessities to continue your vacation? Expenses covered!
Some plans may also provide coverage for a lost passport or driver’s license (depending on the insurance company and plan).
Emergency Medical Versus All Inclusive
If you are interested in these other types of travel coverage (besides emergency medical) you have the option of bundling all coverage together using an “all inclusive” plan.
What an all inclusive plan covers varies from insurance company to company, but generally speaking an inclusive plan offers coverage for emergency medical costs, trip cancellation or interruption, baggage loss or damage, and accidental death and dismemberment.
When in doubt it is a good idea to call the insurance company or broker to make sure you have the coverage you want!
Multi-Trip and Single-Trip
Another factor to consider is coverage for just one trip as opposed to having multiple trips covered under one plan.
Are you a frequent traveller? Does your business require you to travel out of country multiple times per year?
If so, getting a multi-trip plan can save you money.
Last (but certainly not least) is the role of pre-existing conditions when it comes to emergency medical coverage.
Emergency medical typically covers those medical costs that are unexpected. If you have a pre-existing medical condition (a medical condition that exists prior to traveling) and you then incur medical expenses that can be attributed to that pre-existing condition most travel insurance plans will not cover those costs since they are not deemed to be “unexpected”.
It is important to note that some insurance companies and travel plans will provide coverage for costs arising from a pre-existing medical condition, but know that premiums will be higher due to the increased chances of medical costs happening.
If you have serious pre-existing medical conditions we strongly urge you to talk to your insurance company or broker to find out how your pre-existing condition(s) will affect your coverage!
We hope you found this article about travel insurance useful.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us. As licensed, experienced Canadian insurance brokers we can help.