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Why do I need Travel Insurance?

bg_travelYour Canadian insurance is almost certainly not valid outside Canada. Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad. For more information, contact your provincial or territorial health authority. Hospitals and clinics in some countries have been known to refuse to treat patients who become ill or who have had an accident and who do not have adequate travel health insurance or the money to pay their bills. You could face years of debt paying off the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad. The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills.

Young travellers may think they don’t need insurance because they’re young and healthy. But accidents do happen. While walking along a beach on a Caribbean island, a Canadian tourist in her early 20s had an accident that seriously damaged her spine. Her family had to raise funds to pay for her medical evacuation.

Explanation of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling, either internationally or domestically.

Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a “multi-trip” policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Some policies offer lower and higher medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have high medical costs, such as the United States.

Why Travel Insurance How Travel Insurance Claims Breakdown

Types of travel insurance in Canada

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All-inclusive travel insurance – This type of travel insurance will provide coverage through a comprehensive policy. Customers are protected in most circumstances, including for emergency medical cover, trip cancellations, stolen or lost baggage, logistical errors, and more. All-inclusive travel insurance is the most extensive type of protection, so the cost of premiums is typically more expensive than other types of coverage.

Single trip insurance – Customers are protected for one trip. A single trip policy usually accounts for one journey made through a 365-day period.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance – Customers who take a policy with this coverage are protected in the event of a cancelled trip. Normally, the cancellation reasons accepted under the coverage are listed in the policy. Flight and travel expenses can be reimbursed, while some policies will also pay food and lodging costs for interrupted trips. Furthermore, some insurers even offer itinerary coverage.

Multi-trip insurance – This policy provides emergency medical protection for a pre-determined number of trips through a 365-year period. Some insurancecompanies may list this coverage as annual travel insurance.

Top-up travel insurance – Some travellers may already have parts of their trip covered, but not all of it. Top-up coverage allows customers to continue coverage after the original protection has ended.

FAQ

  1. If I get sick or injured while travelling, will provincial government healthcare pay for my medical expenses?

Provincial healthcare provides limited coverage for medical treatment and hospital costs outside of Canada. Some provincial healthcare plans don’t cover expenses like ambulance services, emergency dental treatment and prescription drugs.

  1. Why do I need additional travel insurance if I already have credit card coverage?

Some credit cards provide basic travel insurance. However, this coverage is often limited. Credit card coverage may apply for a limited time period, or be available only up to a certain age. It’s often only applicable if the trip is paid for with your credit card.

  1. Can I still buy travel insurance if I’m over 60 and have a few medical conditions?

Yes, travel insurance covers all ages, but some exclusions might apply depending on your health status. You’ll need to review the policy wording of the insurance you’re interested in buying for more details.

  1. Can I cancel a policy?

You can cancel most policies before or on the effective date, but may not after.