Don’t Overlook Your Safety When Planning Vacations: Tips For Buying Travel Health Insurance

As the end of the year approaches and vacation time builds up, many people start thinking about planning trips before the start of the next fiscal year. If you are planning to cash in your two to three weeks of vacation time in the coming months, you should make sure that you have travel health insurance. By planning ahead, you will be able to reduce your risk of significant medical costs in the event of an accident or illness. Here's a look at what you need to know to make sure that your travel health insurance policy will give you the coverage that you need.

Read the Fine Print

Read the policy declaration carefully so that you will know if there are any eligibility requirements that you must meet or any restrictions that could be a problem. For example, you may have to be traveling for a certain number of days before the coverage takes effect, or you may only have coverage as long as you are traveling inside Canada.

Ask how long the policy will be in force for. You can choose the period of coverage that you need for your policy so that it covers you for not only the entire trip, but also your initial travel day and your return day. Clarify exactly when the policy goes into effect, too, so that you know exactly when you are covered.

Follow the Money

Make sure that you understand the policy's payment process. If it's a reimbursement policy, you'll need to pay the medical expenses up front and then submit the bills for reimbursement. This can save you on the premiums in some cases, but you'll have to be sure that you have money on hand to pay for medical care up front if you need it.

Honesty is Essential

When you apply for travel health insurance, you'll have to answer a lot of questions about your medical history. One of the biggest reasons for claim denial is inaccurate information provided on the medical history reports. You have to make sure that you answer every question honestly. If you are unclear about a health question, you should talk with your doctor.

You'll also have to tell your travel insurance provider about any changes to your health and medications between the time that you apply for coverage and the time you leave for your trip. If you don't provide updated information when something changes, you'll face coverage denial if something happens while you're away.

Ask About Going Global

If there's any chance you might cross the border, even if you're just looking at a day trip to a tourist destination, you'll want to make sure that your travel health insurance policy will extend coverage to you outside of Canada.

No matter how short your trip out of the country may be, you are vulnerable to injuries, accidents and illnesses. It's in your best interest to be as proactive as possible about coverage for your trip. The cost of emergency transportation back across the border can be significant, and your local insurance policy isn't likely to extend coverage out of the country without specific policy terms permitting it.

High-Risk Sometimes Means No Coverage

If you thrive on adrenaline and you're looking for the most extreme, dangerous or adventurous vacation you can have, you'll likely need to purchase a special policy for your travel health insurance. Most standard policies will not extend coverage for what they consider "high risk" behavior.

Instead, you can expect to pay a higher premium for the additional risk, and you'll probably have to provide some idea of the activities you plan to engage in. The insurance company will rate your policy based on the likelihood of injury or accident, so the more extreme your plans, the more your policy may cost you.

Don't neglect sharing this information, though. If you decide you're going to go bungee jumping without high-risk coverage and you get hurt, your insurance carrier may have the right to refuse coverage for any injuries.

The chances of suffering an accident, illness or injury on your vacation are slim, but not non-existent. As a result, you should make sure that you protect your health and your financial interest by looking for a health insurance policy to protect you while you're on the road. With the information presented here, you can start the shopping process with sufficient information to choose the right policy for your needs.


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