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Travel Insurance: Do's and Don't's

Once you’ve splurged on a vacation, you may be nervous about spending more on travel insurance. Here are some things to consider.

There are five main categories of travel insurance:

  1. trip cancellation and interruption

  2. medical

  3. evacuation

  4. baggage

  5. flight insurance.

As a doctor, I encourage you to make sure you have coverage for medical expenses. Accessing care in foreign hospitals can be extremely expensive. Read the fine print- some insurers will require upfront cash payment, whereas some will bill the insurer directly.

Be clear on how you would make a claim before purchasing the insurance.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, check to see if your provider covers COVID-19 related illness.

If you are planning to do any high risk activities (eg scuba diving, ziplining, bungee jumping), make sure the policy covers the activities.

Disclose any pre-existing health conditions when applying including pregnancy.

When considering insurance needs/coverage, I recommend checking to see if you are covered for medical evacuation either to Canada or to the nearest location with advanced medical care. This will give you peace of mind if you are travelling somewhere very remote with an under-developed health system.

Travel medical insurance providers include, but are not limited to Manulife, Blue Cross, CAA and credit cards. They may not cover you in the case of travel booked after a travel advisory has been issued eg recommendation to avoid non-essential travel. Check with the provider directly.

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