Travel Insurance Canada
Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?
Are you covered once you leave Canada?
Over 60% of all Canadians purchase travel insurance for their holidays of business trips. A lot of people see the need for travel medical insurance when on holidays. No matter where you are travelling or why, here are some good reasons to consider buying travel insurance.
Alberta Health & Wellness Insurance has limited coverage once you leave Canada
The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan is designed to cover Albertans while living in the province and, through inter-provincial agreements, Albertans travelling across Canada. Once you leave the country there is very limited coverage, and if anything were to happen to you a very large medical bill could be sitting on your lap.
In fact, the Government of Canada urges all Canadians to purchase supplement travel insurance for emergency medical care if they are leaving the country. They say, “Do not rely on your provincial health plan to cover costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad. Out-of-country healthcare can be costly, and your health plan will cover only part of the bill at best.”
Real Travel Insurance Situations
Here are some examples of real-life medical emergencies that required lengthy treatment in the US. Luckily, in these cases Travel Insurance paid the bill.
- Motor Vehicle Accident (Multiple Trauma): Pennsylvania, 19-day admission, $451,380
- Cardiac Catheterization & Bypass: California, 13-day admission, $384,274.92 (hospital costs), $19,875 (air ambulance with full medical team)
- Fractured Femur: Florida, 6-day admission, $58,825
Double-check before relying on Credit Card Travel Insurance
Some credit cards provide emergency medical travel insurance when you are travelling outside Canada or your province/territory of residence. However, there may be important distinctions between what travel insurance covers and what your credit card’s insurance plan covers.
For example, with a credit card, coverage might only apply to trips purchased on the card—or be limited to a fewer number of travel days. Before you take a trip, it’s a good idea to review any coverage provided by your credit card(s) to decide whether you need additional insurance.
Your employee benefits plan travel insurance may not be enough
With health insurance under an employee benefits plan, out-of-country medical travel insurance may not be available, may not cover a spouse or dependents and often has limits on the number of travel days covered and amounts payable.
Before you take a trip, it’s a good idea to review any coverage provided by your employer to decide whether you need additional travel insurance.
You can choose to cover more than medical expenses
If you’re travelling aboard an airplane, train, bus or other public transport, there’s the chance that your flight or travels may be delayed (or cancelled altogether). Your luggage may be lost or damaged. Or you may have to cancel your trip or return home unexpectedly early due to a family emergency.
You can choose a package or plan that covers you for these types of situations and more. Trip interuption insurance and lost baggage coverage are great for peace of mind. No one wants to be stuck at the beach with nothing to wear, and having to spend hundreds of dollars buying a new wardrobe. Or how about an act of nature cutting your trip short or delaying you for a long time, like a hurricane, flood or even volcanic ash!
Consider this as well: 74% of Canadian travellers spent more than $1,000 per person per vacation in 2007. Almost half of those travellers spent more than $1,500 per person per vacation. That’s a big discretionary expense, one you no doubt want to protect. For the additional financial security you get, travel insurance is a true bargain.
Be aware of pre-existing medical conditions and if they will be covered
Depending on your age, condition and, if applicable, your answers to a health questionaire, pre-existing medical conditions are covered if they are stable for a certain time period (as specified in your policy) before your policy’s effective date. Here is an example of RBC Travel Insurance’s pre-existing medical coverage conditions:
- If you are under age 60: pre-existing conditions are covered if they have been stable for at least 90 days before your policy’s effective date.
- If you are over age 60: RBC TravelCare® Package and RBC TravelCare® Medical Plan use your answers to their health questions to determine the TravelCare category you are eligible to purchase. These categories include: HealthSelect, Gold, Silver Plus, Silver and Bronze. Each category offers different coverage exclusions for pre-existing conditions. If you are under 85 years of age and choose not to answer the health questions, you are automatically placed into the Bronze category.
You will need to read your policies definition of the term stable, to make sure you meet the insurance companies criteria. If you are over age 60 when travelling please consult a licensed insurance professional about your travel insurance needs and policy to make sure you are adequately protected. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a huge bill when you thought you had purchased proper protection.
For more information about travel insurance and being protected from the high costs of health care outside of Canada, contact us today. We can help you get a free, no obligation quote for coverage.