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Travel insurance: exclusions to coverage

June 8th, 2016  |  Travel Insurance

Buying travel insurance is a must if you're taking a trip out of province or out of the country. The policy can help lower the financial burden if you have an emergency while away from home such as medical treatment, a doctor's visit, having your flight delayed or losing your luggage. Having travel insurance coverage can help reimburse the costs associated with all of these unexpected events.

But does travel insurance cover absolutely every possible scenario?

The answer to that question is no. Unfortunately, not all medical expenses, destinations, and activities are covered under your travel insurance policy. That's why it's important to contact your provider to ask about travel insurance exclusions before packing your bags and jetting off for your next vacation.

Medical exclusions

When purchasing travel insurance it's important to be open and honest with your provider. Like most types of medical insurance, pre-existing conditions are likely not covered under your travel insurance policy. The last thing you want to do is pay the premium for all inclusive, comprehensive insurance and find out that your condition is not covered.

When shopping around for quotes talk to your insurance agent, tell them about any existing medical conditions, including diagnosis, past, or ongoing treatments as well as any prescribed medications. This way the insurance company can advise if the condition is excluded and provide an accurate quote.

Travel destination exclusions

Believe it or not, some places around the world actually don't qualify for travel insurance. These could be places often associated as being dangerous for visitors, such as cities or countries that are prone to civil unrest, war, political uproar, kidnappings, and other high risk scenarios. Of course, there is no guarantee any of these events will happen while you're visiting, but insurance companies don't want to take the risk.

According to the Government of Canada, it's important to check the Travel Advice and Advisories when you're planning your trip and also just 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.

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."

Purpose of trip travel insurance exclusions

The purpose of your trip is also important information that you should share with your insurance provider when purchasing travel insurance. Participation in high risk activities such as motor racing, diving, skydiving, mountain climbing, and scuba diving may not be covered by your travel insurance.

Withholding information just to get cheaper coverage is not a smart idea. If you are leaving on a scuba diving trip to the Caribbean and neglect to inform your insurance company, the claim will most likely be denied if you have a loss or injury. That can add up to expensive medical bills.

When it comes to leaving Canada it's best to be honest with your insurance provider. Your travel insurance may be more expensive, but at least you'll be insured if you have an emergency or accident.


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