Not All Travel Insurance is the Same

Recently, GlobalTV in British Columbia carried a story about a traveller hospitalized in Israel who found out the hard way that private travel insurance not bought in Canada can turn into a logistical nightmare.

According to GlobalTV, the woman, hospitalized with internal bleeding, had travel insurance built into her tour by an American company, but the insurer would not pay the hospital bills until her own MSP paid its share—a paltry $75 per day. Consequently she had to put $15,000 on her credit card to clear up her bill and get out of hospital.

This is not an exceptional story.  Canadians buying tours from U.S. or U.K. companies are often charged for travel insurance that may be acceptable for domestic buyers but completely wrong for Canadians who have to deal with their provincial government health plan.

All private Canadian travel insurance plans routinely deal with the provincial health agencies—usually on a computerized basis.  They pay the hospital and doctors directly (for an appropriately insured client) and they coordinate their payments with the small share that the provinces pay—and that share is small:  in B.C. it’s only $75 per day.  Most hospitals around the world will charge in the thousands of dollars per day.

This is the same story with many cruise passengers who sign on for a cruise offered by a U.S. company and accept the insurance package offered which is meant for Americans, not Canadians, and usually has far lower benefits than necessary and does not cover direct payments to hospitals or necessities such as repatriation home.

We have warned again and again:  don’t waste your money on foreign travel insurance that isn’t coordinated with your provincial plan.  Canadian travellers have a unique situation in that the private travel insurance offered them through so many sources is specifically designed for them.  Anything else can be only a headache, as it was for the lady from B.C. She claims she suffered a “nightmare.”  But it was totally unnecessary.

No matter how or where you travel, individually, on a tour or on a cruise, Canadian travel insurance specifically designed for Canadians gives you the protection you need. It’s also the easiest to find and the least expensive.

All travel insurers advertising on this site meet Travelinsurancefile’s acceptability criteria for out-of-country health benefits for Canadian residents and they represent most of the major insurers and underwriters in Canada. They can all advise you on the limitations and allowances of travel to distant countries. Speak with them, explore their products online, ask questions, and once you get the right answers, buy right online. Also take advantage of our special 5 percent savings feature if that fits your plans. You will find more details in the insurance products section.

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