Do I really need Travel Insurance?

Yes, you do! Especially Emergency Medical Travel Insurance.

Whether you are a Canadian travelling abroad, an International Student, Foreign Worker or Visitor to Canada you must ask yourself how would pay for medical care in case you have a medical emergency.

An accident or illness can happen to anyone—young or old, healthy or not—and things get a lot worse when you are away from home. Without proper coverage you (or your family) could be responsible for hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical bills.

A well-selected Emergency Medical Travel Insurance will not only cover the medical expenses due to an emergency, but will also pay for a family member to come to your bedside (if medically necessary), or for the costs to take you back home, just to mention a few benefits. They will also assist you and your family with translation, information about specific paperwork and many other details that can get really complicated when a medical emergency occurs.

When do I have to buy Travel Insurance?

It is in your best interest to purchase Travel Insurance before you leave your home province or country of residence. Insurers consider that your trip has begun the minute you leave. Once you are out of your place of residence, you are in a whole new  underwriting category that can make it more difficult to purchase the insurance, or you can have certain exclusions and limitations apply to your coverage.

How much information do I have to provide to purchase Travel Insurance?

The minimum required is your name, date of birth and travel dates. Without these three pieces of information the premium cannot be calculated.

If you are a Visitor to Canada, you will be asked to select the sum insured for your coverage and probably and optional coverage for pre-existing medical conditions (people 70 years old and over). The deductible and any optional coverage, e.g. sports, you select will also factor into the final calculation of your premium.

Depending on the insurer and your age, you will be asked to answer a medical health questionnaire. Your answers will also determine the rate used to calculate the final premium.

Do I have to inform the insurance company or selling agent of changes in my health?

Not necessarily. However, keep in mind hospitalizations, flare-ups, new symptoms or worsening or symptoms are but a few examples of changes that can exclude or limit coverage for a specific condition. Even if your doctor tells you you are ok or if you feel fine and symptoms have subsided, it is not always the case that the insurance company will see it that way.

This can be confusing for some people that think they are covered “for everything” and “no matter what” just because they received the policy confirmation. This is not the case at all. Remember that exclusions, conditions and limitations apply and once you purchase insurance, it is your responsibility to read the policy wording and take note of the ones specific to your plan.

If after reading the policy wording you still have any questions or doubts on how the coverage will work in your specific case, contact a WeKTI Travel Insurance expert.

Can I cancel my Travel Insurance policy and get my money back?

Most travel insurance policies have a provision to review the policy after purchase and request a full refund if you decide not to keep it. However, the provision is only for a few days, e.g. 10 days. After that time, technically, you could still get a refund if the policy has not gone into effect. Still, keep in mind there are plans that are non-refundable, i.e. Trip Cancellation/Interruption.

Will the government pay for a medical emergency when I am traveling?

If you are a Canadian resident, you have to confirm what is exactly covered by your provincial health insurance plan. In Canada, most provinces will cover a minimal part of a claim (8% to 10%), the rest is out of your pocket. So out of $10 000 in medical bills, your province would normally cover only $1 000.

If you are a non-Canadian resident, confirm with authorities in your country of origin if there is a government plan that will pay some of your medical expenses. In any case, without a private Travel Insurance that includes an Emergency Medical plan, you can end up paying out of pocket the heaviest part of hospital and medical bills.

Medical expenses out of country can really hurt your financial situation. More than as an expense, think of Travel Insurance as an investment in your peace of mind!

Questions? Remember that we’re here to help!

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