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What are common exclusions on travel insurance policies?

June 29th, 2016  |  Travel Insurance

If you're going on vacation, you need to buy travel insurance. That's just the way it is.

The cost of a vacation (especially for a family) can be expensive. The price of travel insurance is just another thing you need to pay for. If you think you'll skip the travel insurance because you can't afford it, just ask yourself: can you really afford not to have it?

If you have an accident while abroad, need to visit a doctor, require a medical procedure, or need to fill a prescription, would you be able to pay for the expense? The answer for many people is no. The costs of health care in a foreign country can be very expensive. Buying travel insurance sounds like a no brainer when it comes to leaving your province or the country when you consider it in those terms.

However, there's a catch. (There always is, isn't there?) Travel insurance in Canada doesn't cover all scenarios. There are some standard exclusions, so before you purchase a travel insurance policy, talk to an insurance agent about your destination, the purpose of your trip, and any planned activities. This will improve the chances that you're covered, or give you a heads up in case you're not.

You need to know what might not be covered, so are common travel insurance exclusions:

Pre-existing mental health conditions

Preexisting conditions are likely not covered under your travel insurance policy. If you suffer from mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, talk to your insurance provider before leaving to ensure you're covered. Travelling can be very stressful, so if you have a pre-existing condition you are probably at higher risk.

When there's a high risk you may not be covered by insurance. It's always better to read the fine print and check what conditions are excluded before you travel. It's also a good idea to bring prescriptions with you so you're not in a panic trying to find a pharmacy.

Extreme sporting events

If you're a thrill-seeker, your activities may be excluded from your travel insurance policy. When shopping around for travel insurance, be honest about the purpose of your vacation. If the purpose of your travel is to participate in high risk activities, or if you will be doing any extreme sports while away from home, you may not be covered.

These extreme sports include activities such as motor cross racing, mixed martial arts, and car racing.

Alcohol-related injuries

Whether you're headed off on spring break or a family vacation, the origin of your injury or sickness may not be covered under your travel insurance policy. Injury or bodily harm due to extreme intoxication may be excluded under the policy. Often, innocent events such as bachelor parties, honeymoons, and birthday parties involve alcohol. Sometimes this leads to mishaps. Don't be surprised if your health care related expenses aren't refunded by the travel insurance company when you are injured while inebriated.

Adventure travel excursions

If you're headed somewhere exotic and planning a once in a lifetime excursion, you may not be covered. These excursions include activities such as deep sea diving, mountain climbing, skydiving and scuba diving. It's always best to talk to your insurance agent about your plans to ensure you're covered in case of injury while abroad.

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