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Monday, June 26, 2017

Why you should have travel insurance when visiting Canada

Although 60% of Canadians report that they are going to vacation within Canada this summer, very few of them are protecting their vacation investment by purchasing travel insurance Winnipeg coverage. Making the mistake of assuming that provincial health care will cover you when you travel is a huge risk when you don’t know all the facts. Before you decide that you don’t need travel insurance, you should know all the facts about health care concerns when you are away from home.

Over half of those traveling this summer say that they probably won’t take out travel insurance. More than 50% say that they don't need it, since they are already covered under the provincial health care plan. But are Canadians really covered when they travel outside of their province?

In most instances your health care will cover you, but there are gaps in coverage that can really put you into financial trouble. There are specific expenses that your current health care plan might not cover if you are away from home. While the government health care will follow you while you travel around Canada, there are areas it might not cover, which could end up costing you out of pocket. Worse yet, those places where your government plan won’t suffice are highly expensive and can set you back economically.

Sometimes provincial plans won't cover things like emergency air transportation, x-rays, prescription drugs, and other issues like emergency dental care if you are out of province. In some instances, that can add up to thousands of dollars that you didn’t plan on spending. If you are under 60, you can buy travel insurance for anywhere between $30 to $50 for two weeks to cover all those gaps that can get you into trouble. Just $30-50 will pay for coverage that is anywhere between $5-10 million dollars in medical care costs.

If you aren’t on government health care, then be aware of your employer health care coverage; if you are covered through a credit card, you will want to read the fine print. There are times when exceptions exist, or there are gaps in coverage when you are away, that will end up being an out-of-pocket expense. If you are covered by an employer health care plan, it is best to call the human resources representative before you head out, to see if there are any risks that you are unwittingly taking.

The same applies to credit card health insurance coverage. It is always best to call instead of assuming that you know what your policy will or will not cover.

If you do decide to purchase travel insurance, you should be just as cautious about the stipulations that they provide. Reading through the exceptions is imperative to be sure that you are as fully covered as possible. There are times when travel insurance will deny health claims that are related to pre-existing conditions. If you know that you have a medical condition that could cause trouble while you are away, that is definitely something you should investigate.

Although it’s not something that many women think about, pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. Even if you read through the exceptions and don’t see any specific exclusions related to pregnancy, make sure to check the pre-existing page to make sure that it isn’t lumped there. That could really spell potential danger to someone who is traveling with baby on board.

If you are vacationing this summer but staying within Canada, don’t make the assumption that you will be covered if you have a medical catastrophe. It is always better to be certain than to assume you know what the rules are. If you are going to take out travel insurance, make sure that you read all the fine print and are taking out the right policy. It would be a real pain to take out the additional insurance, only to find that it won't cover you after all.

Image license: Nick Youngson, "Travel Insurance" CC BY-S.A. 3.0