As Canadians, we’re lucky to have comprehensive provincial health care; but unfortunately, it doesn’t travel with us. Medical care outside of our home provinces is expensive; so, if you get sick or injured while away, you’ll want to be covered. Not only does a good travel insurance plan cover the cost of emergency doctors’ visits, ambulance rides, prescriptions and more, a trusted insurance provider will offer support and guidance when you need it most.
We debunk 5 common myths, so you can confidently choose the right coverage.
Myth 1: I don’t need travel insurance—my provincial health care plan will cover me if I get sick or injured while travelling abroad.
While provincial health care does cover you for many medical costs in your home province, it won’t apply outside of Canada (or even fully outside of your home province). What’s more, provincial health care coverage could pay less than 10% of your total medical costs.
Even the Canadian government recommends travellers get private health insurance when they leave the country, due to the high costs of foreign hospital care. For instance, if you have an accident or medical emergency in the US, it could cost you an average of $12,000 USD per day for care and treatment in a US hospital. Costs can add up quickly!
Myth 2: I’m travelling within Canada, so I don’t need travel insurance.
Although provincial health care will cover some medical costs if you get sick or injured in another province, you’ll have to pay the difference. That’s where travel insurance comes in. It’ll cover additional costs for ambulance rides, prescriptions, medical appliances, as well as flying a family member to your bedside.
Myth 3: I’ve got credit card travel insurance coverage that covers me abroad.
While many credit cards come with some travel coverage, it’s important to understand what’s being offered. Credit card travel insurance isn’t tailored to support unique needs, which can mean coverage gaps. There may also be conditions for using your credit card insurance.
Consider these questions:
- Do you have to pay for the whole trip with your credit card to be covered? Is there a minimum amount?
- Is coverage only for you, the cardholder?
- What’s the maximum number of days covered for one trip?
Myth 4: I have medical coverage through my employee benefits plan, so I’m covered for accidents or emergencies on my trip.
Employee benefits are handy, but you may be surprised how little coverage you really have. As mentioned, international medical costs add up quickly, so you’ll want to ensure your travel medical insurance prevents you from having to pay for expenses out-of-pocket.
Consider these questions:
- What’s the maximum dollar amount you’re covered up to?
- Will your plan cover family members if they aren’t travelling with you?
- Does the plan offer trip cancellation or trip interruption?
- Does the plan arrange and pay for someone to stay with you, if you’re hospitalized during a trip?
Myth 5: I’m too old to get travel insurance coverage.
You’re never too old to travel, therefore you’re shouldn’t be too old for travel insurance. However, you’ll want to ask your provider if your travel insurance has an age limit. Some providers have limitations, but don’t let that deter you! There are options for older travellers. If you’re over 60 and eligible for coverage, insurance providers will require a medical questionnaire.
And remember, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll want to ask if and how it may impact your coverage, and what the stability requirements are for your age.
Always travel protected
We hope we’ve busted some travel insurance myths for you and helped you understand the importance of travelling protected.
Let us know if you have more questions about travel insurance in the comment section below.