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With the easing of travel restrictions around the world, we can once again start planning our dream vacations!
However, now more than ever would it be wise to weigh in on the risks of taking a trip, especially when the COVID pandemic is still ongoing.
Unfortunately, unless you are a wizard or have powerful psychic powers, nobody can predict with certainty whether something will go wrong before it does. And for that very reason, travel insurance policy is your best bet against any unnecessary financial troubles should you get sick or injured while traveling.
What is travel insurance exactly?
Travel insurance is a product offered by multiple companies and is designed to protect against risks and financial losses that could happen while traveling outside your province of residence.
The type and amount of cover as well as the cost of travel insurance can vary depending on the insurance provider that is offering the policy. Other factors include applicant’s age, health status and sometimes the destination you are traveling to.
Below is a little guide to what is commonly included in a travel insurance policy, as well as some extra benefits that can be found in certain plans.
While this guide does not replace the full policy wording or a detailed plan description documents but can give you an idea of what to look for when shopping for suitable coverage.
Travel Insurance Benefits:
The main and most crucial component of a travel policy is usually coverage for medical emergencies. This includes hospital accommodation and medical treatment services up to the amount insured. Coverage amounts for travel policies usually range between 2 (two) to 10 (ten) million Canadian dollars, depending on the insurance company.
Under this benefit you can usually find cover for private or semi-private room in a hospital as well as services and supplies necessary for the emergency care during the stay as a resident in-patient. The services of a legally licensed physician, surgeon, anesthetist and registered nurse are normally a part of the medical component of such insurance, as well as lab tests and X-ray examination, as ordered by a physician in an emergency.
Travel plans also typically pay for prescription drugs up to one month supply or up to a certain amount i.e. $500 – $1,000 with as separate benefit for the medications required during the hospitalization.
You can also expect to be covered for dental emergencies, up to the amount specified in the policy which would normally range from $2,000 to $4,000 for damage repair and around $500 for pain relief.
Most policies will include coverage for funeral or cremation and will pay to repatriate the insured back home in case of death or bring the patient home for further treatment if needed.
Non-Medical Insurance Benefits:
Another common benefit found in a travel policy is Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption.
Trip cancellation is a reimbursement for non-refundable or non-transferable and non-recoverable portions on pre-paid travel arrangements. Should you have to cancel your trip due to unexpected or unforeseen events the insurance will cover up to the amount of insurance coverage you purchased for losses incurred if a covered reason prevents you from traveling.
These include reasons such as sudden sickness, injury, death of the traveler or of a traveling companion, or a family member who is not traveling with you. Trip Interruption is a post-departure benefit that can reimburse a traveler’s unused trip costs if they must unexpectedly cut short their trip to return back home or stay at the destination longer than originally planned.
Just like Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption insurance only applies if the interruption is caused by a covered reason, such as an unexpected illness or injury, a natural disaster and others.
The covered reasons of a particular plan should always be described in full in a policy wording of the insurance product you are planning to buy.
Other and Situational Benefits:
On top of the main components of a typical insurance plan listed above there are occasional extra benefits offered by many of the insurance companies.
Some plans include an added benefit of Accidental Death and Dismemberment that pays a lump sum to the beneficiary, as well as things like out of pocket expenses, transportation of a family or friend and return of a pet and flight accident.
Many insurers also offer coverage for delayed or lost baggage and protection for identity theft.
You can buy these separately as stand alone plans or as one package which usually is sold as a comprehensive, All-Inclusive Plan.
Travel insurance is absolutely essential for those travel emergencies you just can’t predict.
Because it is quite a complicated product we recommend that you always talk to an advisor to get as much information as possible about what is covered and what is excluded. It is crucial to make sure you are eligible to buy the policy and answer all the medical questions before you make the purchase. Reading the policy wording and asking questions to fully understand the product can make the difference between being fully protected and exposed to high financial risks.
Our team is here to help you find the best travel product so do not hesitate to contact us anytime!