Purchasing Travel Health Insurance

Fall 2008 CSANews Issue 68  |  Posted date : Sep 19, 2008.Back to list

Here are a few questions that you should consider when making a decision to purchase travel health insurance:
  • Will the policy cover you for the entire length of your absence from Canada or your home province? Can a policy extension be purchased while you are away? Is there an additional cost involved in the extension beyond the cost of premiums, such as a fee? How do you purchase an extension?
  • What types of restrictions and limitations does your policy have? Will the insurance provider supply you with a copy of the policy before you purchase, so that you can make an informed decision?
  • Will the policy deny benefits if your medical emergency arises because of a pre-existing condition? How is a pre-existing condition defined?
  • Does the insurance provider have a toll-free telephone number for emergency assistance? Will that number work from the calling area in which you will be vacationing?
  • What exclusions does the policy have regarding sports, competitions, racing, war, terrorism, suicide, attempted suicide and substance abuse?
  • What is the policy's deductible; is there a co-insurance payment?
  • Does the policy pay for emergency return home? If so, under what conditions?
  • Does the policy cover the individual or the family? How is the family defined?
  • Are there restrictions on the destinations in which you may be insured?
  • Does the insurance policy co-ordinate benefits with your provincial health insurance program, or is that responsibility left to the policyholder?
  • If you rely on a travel insurance policy that is provided to you as an employee benefit, will coverage be restricted to business travel only?