Travel insurance is not just for long vacations. Even a day trip to shop or simply dine out across the border can devastate you financially if something were to happen. A short visit to a US hospital can cost tens of thousands of dollars! Here are some things to keep in mind about travel insurance.
Frequency of Travel
Do you frequently travel to other provinces or across the border? Some policies allow you to make frequent short trips, while others cover longer-term travel. Your travel plans will determine the best choice for you.
Why buy Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is a safety net that you buy to protect yourself in case of unexpected events that could impact your travel plans. Can you afford to be hospitalized elsewhere? Your BC Medical coverage will only protect you inside the province. A trip to Banff or a visit to family elsewhere could lead to disaster.
Do you have the time or money to argue it out with provincial Medical Services or your company’s Extended Health coverage provider?
Travel insurance is surprisingly affordable. We have options which cover you so well that the provider will pay and then collect from whomever else should be contributing, so you’re not out of pocket.
How it works
Like other insurance policies, you need to buy your travel insurance before anything actually happens to disrupt your trip. It’s like having your home insurance in place before you have a fire!
Different companies have different policies and different types of coverage. This can range from refunding your trip cost if something comes up that keeps you from traveling to looking after the cost of medical care to special arrangements should you need to return home suddenly.
If there’s a problem, and you have to file a claim, you’ll need to provide documentation — just like you must produce police reports and evidence of damage to your car to file a claim for a car accident.
Some travel insurance requires you to pay your own costs up-front, then get reimbursed from the insurance company once they’ve approved your claim. That can be very challenging for most people. We prefer companies that are known as “$1 players.” If your issue is something they cover, they’ll look after the bill for you and then collect from any parties who need to contribute.
What to watch out for
Be aware of the danger of pre-existing conditions. Naturally, insurance companies don’t want to cover you if there’s a high risk that some condition you’re already aware of might cause you to call in your insurance claim. For example, if you recently visited the doctor because of chest pain and then have a heart attack on your trip, your provider might not cover you because the chest pain would constitute a “pre-existing condition.” Pregnancies, various medical conditions and other issues can be important in determining your insurability. The good news is that waivers may be available even if you have a pre-existing condition.
Additional kinds of travel insurance are available either as part of your comprehensive policy, or as stand-alone benefits, depending on your specific needs. Some popular types to consider are Pre-Existing conditions waivers, “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage, and medical evacuation.