Travel advisories and insurance policies
No matter where in the world you intend to travel, make sure you check the Country Travel Advice and Advisories twice, once when you are planning your trip and again shortly before you leave. If a Travel Advisory is issued for your destination, after you make your travel arrangements but before or during your trip, it may affect your travel health insurance or trigger your trip cancellation insurance. Make sure you understand any terms and conditions in the policy in regard to travel advice and advisories from the Government of Canada. Some insurance companies will not honour medical claims made for injuries suffered in a country for which the Government of Canada has issued an official Travel Advisory. Coverage for injuries resulting from war may also be limited. Insurance policies often have exclusion clauses stipulating regions and/or activities that will not be covered.
Selecting travel health insurance policiesCarefully research your needs and verify the terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and requirements of your insurance policies before you leave Canada. When assessing a travel health insurance plan, you should ask a lot of questions. Does the plan provide continuous coverage for the duration of your stay abroad and after you return? Does it offer coverage that is renewable from abroad and for the maximum period of stay? Does the company have an in-house, worldwide, 24-hour/7-day emergency contact number in English and/or translation services for health care providers in your destination country? Does it pay for foreign hospitalization for illness or injury and related medical costs and provide up-front payment of bills or cash advances, so you don’t have to pay out of your own pocket? Be sure to ask whether the plan covers pre-existing medical conditions. Ask the company to explain the definition, limitations and restrictions of any pre-existing conditions and tests and treatments you may have undergone.
- Make sure you get a written agreement that your pre-existing medical condition is covered, or you could find your claim “null and void” under a pre-existing condition clause.
- Be aware that the agreement must also include a stability clause stating that for you to be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions you must have no changes to or new medical conditions, symptoms or medications during the stability period prior to your trip.
- The agreement should include a compassion clause stating that an inaccurate statement may not invalidate the entire policy, and a change of health clause.