- Am I eligible to purchase?
- What am I covered for?
- What are the benefits?
- When does my insurance start & end?
- What is not covered?
- What must I do in case of emergency?
- What if I decide to stay longer?
- Can I top up another insurer’s plan?
- When does coverage automatically extend?
- Why is it important to comparison shop for insurance?
- Why do I need emergency travel insurance?
- What if I don’t know how to answer all the medical questions asked?
- Do I need medical insurance for a short weekend trip to the states?
- If my spouse has an insurance plan, am I also covered?
Question: Am I eligible to purchase?
Answer: With all companies, you must be covered by the government health insurance plan of the Canadian province or territory in which you reside. You must not be travelling against the advice of a physician or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. In addition, the insurance company may have specific medical eligibility questions, especially over age 54, in order to qualify for one of their plans. Read the application and policy carefully. Remember, even if you are eligible, there may still be a ‘stability clause’ or ‘general conditions’ that will affect coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Question: What am I covered for?
Answer: You are covered for emergency medical expenses arising from sudden and unforeseeable circumstances. Travel insurance only covers expenses in excess of those covered under your government health insurance plan and by any other insurance or benefit plan under which you are covered. However, all policies have limitations and exclusions. It is important that you read and understand your policy before you travel.
Question: What are the benefits?
Answer: Many benefits listed in your policy require prior approval by the assistance company. Make sure you read your policy. The usual coverage includes emergency hospital accommodation, licensed physician charges, diagnostic and paramedical services, prescriptions, local and air ambulance, dental accidents, return of vehicle, and escort of dependent children.
Question: When does my insurance start and end?
Answer: Insurance starts on your effective date for single trips or date of departure from Ontario if you have purchased an annual multi-trip plan.
Insurance ends on the earliest of:
a) the date you return to your province, territory or country of residence;
b) midnight of your return date;
c) midnight of your expiry date
Question: What is not covered?
Answer: Travel insurance will not cover everything. Each insurance company will list the limitations and exclusions in their policy. Examples of exclusions are: non-emergency treatments, abuse of alcohol or drugs, certain sports activities, war, terrorism, suicide, HIV or Aids … see policy for details.
Question: What must I do in case of an emergency?
Answer: You must call the emergency assistance number given to you at time of purchase prior to receiving medical assistance, being admitted to a hospital and prior to any surgery or invasive investigations being performed. Failure to do so without reasonable cause can limit or invalidate the benefits in your policy.
Question: What if I decide to stay longer and extend my plan while I’m away?
Answer: This is not a problem with most companies. You must call your agent or the insurance company at least 5-7 days prior to the expiry date of your existing policy. Have a credit card ready when you call to bind coverage.
Question: Can I top-up another insurer’s plan?
Answer: Only specific companies will allow top-up. Generally, you must arrange this before you depart your province of residence. Make sure your existing plan allows top ups before you depart. Some plans, such as certain credit cards, will invalidate their coverage if you top up with another company’s plan.
Question: When does coverage automatically extend?
Answer: Coverage automatically extends without extra charge if a trip is prolonged beyond the expiry date if you are hospitalized due to a medical emergency on the expiry date indicated on your confirmation. Coverage will remain in force for as long as you are hospitalized and for 72 hours after you are released from hospital. Other automatic extensions, such as delayed flights or auto accidents are provided with some companies. Check the policy for details.
Question: Why is it important to comparison shop for insurance?
Answer: It is highly recommended that you shop around for insurance as not all insurance companies ask the same questions. That may make one company a better fit for yourself over another company.
Question: Why do I need emergency travel insurance?
Answer: Emergency travel insurance will help protect you or your family against major financial burdens that can be incurred if you get sick while traveling. Typical costs can run from approximately $22,000 – $26,000 for emergency flight from Florida to Ontario.
Question: What if I don’t know how to answer all the medical questions asked?
Answer: If you are not sure of all the answers for the medical questionnaire, you may contact your doctor directly to inquire about any missing information that is needed to complete your form.
Question: Do I need medical insurance for a short weekend trip to the states?
Answer: An emergency or accident can happen at any time. It is extremely important to protect yourself when traveling outside your home province, even for a short period of time.
Question:If my spouse has an insurance plan, am I also covered?
When choosing a travel insurance plan, it is important to review all the specifics to ensure that you know who exactly is covered under the policy. If your spouse has an insurance plan, you may be covered depending on his/her policy. It is important to understand how the plan is set up as each policy differs in coverage.