Travel Tips for Health Insurance

Do you ever wonder what your travel insurance requires of you when you are traveling? There are lots of handy tips to consider when you’re going on a trip – even if it’s just to another province, you may not realize you need to prepare.

First and foremost – buy travel insurance!! If you are traveling within Canada, either a travel policy or a health policy will cover you. Did you know that using just your health card leaves huge gaps in coverage? For instance, if you need an ambulance ride, you are likely not covered. This is why a personal health or a travel policy are huge, as they can save you BIG dollars if you have an accident. You can buy travel insurance up to your date of departure – if you wait until you’re already on your way, you may be too late.

Secondly, once you have purchased your travel insurance, read through your documents. You don’t want to be traveling and not realize you’re without coverage. (eg: if you’re traveling to compete in a sports event there is a special type of policy you need to buy). I always point out the exclusions page in the booklet I hand my customers so they know which activities to avoid.

Third, check travel requirements for your destination. You may not have the coverage you think you have if there is a travel advisory or travel is not recommended. You will also need to check if your destination requires vaccines, visas, or any other screening requirements and take care of those with plenty of time to spare. Some of the COVID requirements in some countries include having your last vaccine at least two weeks prior to your arrival to that country, so you will need to plan for this well in advance.

Fourth, check your prescriptions. Make sure that you have more than enough for the duration of your trip. If you get delayed due to sickness or an accident, or even if an airline has seemingly abandoned you, you will want to make sure you have enough to cover you for at least a few extra days.

Finally, when you are actually on your trip, keep your friends and family updated as to your whereabouts, and stay vigilant about your surroundings. Try not to draw attention to yourself if you can help it, and just use generally good judgement to keep yourself safe. The best way to handle a travel emergency is to try to prevent one from happening.

There are obviously lots of other items to consider when traveling, but these are some big ones for your travel insurance. Keep in mind that you can purchase additional options when you buy your travel insurance, like trip cancellation and lost baggage insurance. You can also top up your plan, and extend your plan if you need to stay at your destination longer than anticipated.

As always, make sure you call your insurance broker as far in advance of your trip as you can. If you have any questions about any upcoming trips, give us a call!