A note from Travel Insurance File: Admitting to and overcoming an addiction of any kind is not an easy undertaking, and we would like to encourage those in a similar situation to seek out the support they need. The information presented below is relevant to all travellers who are concerned with how their travel insurance might be affected by addiction or substance abuse issues.
According to his brother, Rob Ford needs “a little vacation.” Doug Ford, City Councillor and older brother of the embattled Toronto mayor, took to the airwaves last Friday and declared that Rob needs to get away for a week or two.
We’re all for the restorative virtues of a relaxing trip, but before escaping matters at City Hall, Mayor Ford should make sure that he has the right travel insurance. So just what should the mayor look out for in his coverage?
Alcohol exclusions. Would Mayor Ford be covered if he were to injure himself in a “drunken stupor” after over-indulging at a poolside bar? The answer is likely no. Travel insurance policies for Canadians contain exclusions for medical expenses resulting from too much alcohol. Because the exact wording of these exclusions varies from plan to plan, Mayor Ford would be wise to read his policy’s alcohol exclusion carefully. Some policies provide a specific blood alcohol level that, if exceeded, excludes the traveller from coverage due to intoxication. Other plans contain broader exclusions for expenses related to the abuse of alcohol and do not specify what constitutes “abuse.”
Drug exclusions. Drug use is a big no-no as far as travel insurance is concerned. Canadian travel medical policies do not cover expenses directly or indirectly related to the use of illegal drugs or the misuse of prescription medication. It’s best for all travellers, prominent municipal figures or otherwise, to avoid illegal drugs and abuse of medication if they want to be covered under their travel insurance.
Sports coverage. Mayor Ford is a renowned sports enthusiast and football fanatic. But what if he hurts himself while tossing the old pigskin around on his trip? Luckily for our mayor, Canadian travel insurance policies typically cover medical expenses related to amateur sports. However, if Mayor Ford were to undertake a more ambitious sporting activity, he should first check his policy wording for exclusions related to adventure sports and high-risk activities.
Travelling to seek medical treatment. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover unexpected illness or injury while travelling, and not travel for the purpose of seeking medical care (a.k.a. “medical tourism”). Such expenses do not qualify as an unforeseen emergency, and would therefore be excluded from coverage. So if the mayor does plan to listen to some of his colleagues and check into a rehabilitation centre, it would be best for him to do so closer to home.
Companion discounts. Mayor Ford has referred to his brother as his “best friend,” so he could very likely decide to bring him along for some fun in the sun. If Doug tags along, the brothers can take advantage of a travel insurance policy that provides discounts for travelling in twos. Companion discounts are available to pairs of travellers who share the same trip dates and destination.
So by all means, Mr. Mayor, take your big brother’s advice. Plan a relaxing vacation so that you can refocus your efforts on the important work to be done back home. But to make sure your vacation runs smoothly, give yourself the peace of mind that comes with purchasing the right travel insurance.
This article, written by Matt Davies, 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 https://blog.ingleinternational.com/category/articles/. Matt is one of several TIF contributors.