Canadians are becoming all too familiar with horror stories about travel insurance. The problem is our news sources don’t always tell us the whole story. Yes, there are instances when a claim is denied—but it’s not because travel insurance companies are heartless.
More often than not, claims are denied due to an error in the application form or because the wrong insurance was purchased all together. The message the media should be conveying is the importance of buying the right travel insurance by doing your research, going with an insurance provider you know and trust, and providing honest, accurate information throughout the application process. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Canadians need to understand that, for the most part, they should only be considering travel insurance plans offered by Canadian insurers. It doesn’t matter if your American cruise operator or European tour company offers travel insurance as part of the package. In most cases, those options just won’t do.
Not sure why? Keep reading for the five reasons Canadians should buy Canadian travel insurance.
- International health care costs can be very high—particularly in the US. And Canadian travel insurance policies typically provide a much higher amount of coverage than their US counterparts. Compare $5 million to $10,000. If you’re stuck in a US hospital where medical fees can cost $10,000 (or more) per day, wouldn’t you feel more confident with a policy that covers unexpected expenses in the millions?
- Canadian travel insurance seamlessly complements your provincial coverage. The Canadian government provides out-of-country coverage that is limited to a fraction of the cost of medical expenses in countries like the US. Canadian travel insurers understand our health care system, and their plans are designed to supplement provincial coverage. They will make sure your care is paid for in a timely manner, and will not wait to reimburse you until after the provincial portion has been paid.
- Canadian travel insurance plans require you be covered under your provincial plan first. This means rates are adjusted accordingly, and are usually more competitive than insurers in the US, Europe, or anywhere else in the world. Plans from international insurers are also designed to cover travellers who do not have another source of coverage; for this reason, rates may be higher to account for the increased amount they are responsible for when reimbursing a claim.
- Canadian travel insurance plans cover stable pre-existing medical conditions. If you read the fine print on a typical travel medical insurance plan from a US insurer, you’ll find that expenses related to a condition you might have are not properly covered. While this may not be an issue for someone in perfect health, any Canadian with an existing medical condition would be better off with travel insurance from a Canadian insurer, as these plans will typically include coverage for medical conditions that were stable for a set amount of time before a trip.
- Canadian plans provide medical transportation back home instead of to the nearest medical facility. This may not seem like a big difference, but this type of benefit becomes very significant if you ever need to use your coverage. International travel plans often limit the medical transportation benefit to the nearest appropriate medical facility, whereas plans from Canadian insurers cover the cost of medical transportation back to your home province. This is a key difference for those who would prefer to be home with loved ones following a medical emergency.
So there you have it. With Canadian travel insurance, you don’t have to worry about finding the care you need or paying out of pocket in an emergency. And because Canadian insurers typically pay foreign hospitals directly, you don’t have to worry about having a large amount owing on your credit card and having to fight to get it back. When the expenses are in the tens of thousands, paying up front and being met with complicated
delays can be a real nightmare. Next time you’re planning a trip, make sure to purchase your travel coverage from a company back home. It could save you time, stress—and a whole lot of money.
This article, written by Kathleen O’Hagan, is provided by Ingle International, specializing in travel insurance solutions since 1946. Ingle International helps keep travelling Canadians informed for safe and healthy travels. To read more, visit http://ingleinternational.com/information-centre/articles.php. Kathleen is one of several TIF contributors.