Planning a Summer Vacation?
Summer is here! Along with sandals, barbecues and the smell of freshly cut grass comes the desire to head out to our favorite summer vacation destination. Whether it’s a three week European excursion or a road trip to British Columbia, Canadians must ensure they have adequate travel insurance to take care of themselves and their family members and provide coverage in the event of an unexpected medical emergency.
My group benefits plan includes travel insurance; am I all set?
Many group benefits plans provide travel insurance for employees and their dependants. Although this coverage is usually quite comprehensive, there are some important factors that could affect or void your coverage that must be noted.
These factors include:
Pre-existing Medical Conditions – If you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition you may not receive coverage for a related medical expense.
Pregnancy – If you are pregnant you should consult with a doctor before travelling to ensure they approve of your health and you are eligible for medical coverage abroad.
Trip Duration – Some plans only provide travel coverage for a specified duration of time (quite often 30-60 days).
Participating in Certain Activities – Participation in activities that are considered risky (such as scuba diving, skiing, hang-gliding, etc.) may void your coverage if a related medical emergency occurs.
Claims Process – In the event of a medical emergency, plan members should contact their insurer immediately. The insurer will open a claims file and can determine whether or not services and facilities will be covered before expenses are incurred.
If you have any question or concerns about your travel insurance coverage it is always best to contact your insurance provider prior to your trip and ask them directly.
What if I don’t have travel insurance through my group benefits plan?
If you don’t have emergency travel insurance through your group benefits plan you can purchase different types of travel insurance, individually. Most Canadians will receive limited coverage through provincial health insurance but will also want to consider a more comprehensive package. This becomes especially important when travelling outside of the country as your provincial health care insurance may only cover you for a fraction of health care expenses incurred abroad.
Many comprehensive travel insurance packages will cover you for up to $5 million worth of medical expenses abroad. Your finances will be safeguarded in the event of an unexpected medical emergency during your trip and you will not have to worry about a large out-of-pocket expense. Some packages may include coverage for non medical travel expenses as well including trip cancellation, trip interruption and lost baggage insurance. (Provincial health insurance will not cover non-medical related expenses.)
There are different types of individual plans available as well including multi-trip and family plans. These plans are available through many of the major insurance providers (Manulife, Sun Life, Blue Cross, etc.), as well as Alberta Motor Association (AMA).
If you would like to apply for a quote please click here.
For more information on what is and is not typically covered under travel insurance plans, please refer to the table below.