What to consider when purchasing Canadian travel insurance

Whether you are taking a short trip across the border or planning an extended stay in another country, purchasing travel insurance is an essential part of planning your vacation. Not all insurance coverage is equal and the analysis of various plans is often confusing. Some key things to consider before purchasing travel insurance are identified below:

  1. Coverage is more important than price – you get what you pay for! Compare coverage levels, items covered, exclusions, and limitations to get an equal comparison.
  2. Ask questions – make every effort to understand specifically what is covered, the policy details, and the terminology.
  3. Disclose everything, make no assumptions – make sure that the insurance company is aware of the details of your trip, including travel locations, dates, any hazardous activities, pre-existing medical conditions and any doctor’s reports required. If you do not fully disclose all medical issues, appointments, and illness diagnosis, your claim may be declined. If you are unclear of the nature of the question, rather than answering just “yes” or “no,” give details to clarify and disclose any pertinent information.
  4. Investigate and compare products – this can be done by phone or by viewing insurance companies’ websites to check out your options and quote comparisons on the various insurance products. Also, check your employment benefits and see if any associations that you belong to have access to travel or out-of-country coverage prior to purchasing any additional coverage.
  5. Obtain referrals from experienced travelers – ask your fellow snow-birds who they personally use for travel medical coverage. Look for personal recommendations to help you determine the best coverage for you.
  6. Extend your plan – insurance companies will often allow you to extend the travel insurance policy for a specified period of time thus enabling you to cover more than one trip. Be aware of any restrictions regarding the length of each trip, especially under an annual plan.
  7. Obtain information on your current coverage – review your group health benefits information, credit card agreements, and travel insurance associated with the purchase of air travel tickets to see what coverage you have in place.
  8. Insure the whole family together – when a family is travelling together, pooling the travel and medical policies may not cost less, but is more likely ensure that all persons travelling together have the same coverage and benefits.
  9. Take all the policy information with you when travelling – it is important to have all of your medical and travel insurance documents with you when travelling. Take the toll-free emergency contact phone number with you too, as you never know when you may need to use it.
  10. Understand the deductible – ask what the deductible is and understand that you are responsible for paying it. As the deductible increases, the premium gets reduced.

Each traveller has unique needs, and the Canadian travel insurance industry has a great selection of products to meet those needs.

Be well informed, fully disclose any medical information, and learn the details of your coverage. You should benefit from the travel insurance plan you have purchased and there shouldn’t be any surprises.