With Travel Health Insurance You Won't Get Your Feathers Ruffled

Armen Hareyan's picture
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(NC) If you're planning to flee the cold weather for a week or two to more tropical climes this winter, you're probably stocking up on sunscreen. As well as protecting yourself from the harmful rays of the sun, however, you should definitely be thinking about insuring yourself against the risks of an accident or illness while you're away.

Without proper travel insurance coverage, getting injured or ill while traveling could seriously affect your finances. It is important to know that the provincial health insurance plan reimburses the cost of emergency care incurred in another Canadian province or another country, but not the full amount. Since there's a limit on the amount your home province reimburses, you might incur considerable expenses if you get sick or are hospitalized while traveling outside the country... or even your home province.

Mr. Francois Morel, Direct Marketing Adviser at Desjardins Financial Security, recalls a case where an insured traveler had to return urgently to Canada while vacationing in Morocco, "This woman's mishap could not only have ruined her trip but also her financial health if it not been for her travel insurance coverage, says Morel. Since there were no health care facilities equipped to deal with her type of injury, we had to repatriate her to Canada. She was able to claim benefits totaling $11,200 to cover the cost of her stay at a private clinic in Morocco and expenses related to her emergency return such as her plane ticket, transportation to the hospital and medical attendant services. I remember it well because the story of this seventy-something globe-trotter had made the news."

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However, before buying travel insurance, you should verify if you're already covered through your employer's group insurance plan, your individual insurance coverage or credit card and, check your house insurance for luggage provisions. Even so, you may want or need to add options not included in your plan such as emergency return coverage or baggage insurance, or to extend your coverage if your trip exceeds the number of days provided by your credit card coverage.

To travel with total peace of mind wherever you are going, you should ensure that a team of professionals is on hand to take your emergency calls 24/7. When purchasing travel insurance, make sure it includes access to a travel assistance service for the duration of your trip. Some insurers offer this service at no cost; sometimes you can even access the service before going on your trip.

The typical services normally offered by a travel assistance service range from information on passports, visas and immunization required in the country of destination, assistance in replacing tickets, filling out ID papers or official documents in case of loss or theft, finding physicians or health care facilities, facilitating hospital admission, assisting with routine arrangements in the event of death, help in case of language barriers, etc.

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- News Canada

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