What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Travel insurance is a necessary part of modern vacationing. As Canadians we often take for granted the level of medical coverage we receive through the provincial government. But when it comes to travelling internationally, all medical coverage becomes the responsibility of the individual and all payments are required directly from the patient. Nobody plans to get sick or become injured when travelling, but these things happen. This is why most people opt to purchase a travel insurance policy for peace of mind during their vacation knowing that if anything does happen they won’t have to worry about a devastating hospital, medical or doctor’s bill. Below is a breakdown of some of the key aspects of a travel insurance policy and what they cover.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption

This type of insurance policy covers you in the event of sudden cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances. Not all circumstances are covered under this policy, though generally accepted reasons for cancellation include business conflicts, a delay in processing your passport or visa, weather related concerns, terrorism, illness, injury or death. Every travel insurance policy has a different set of acceptable trip cancellation instances, so pay careful attention to what your policy does and doesn’t excuse.

In the event that you must cancel, the insurance company will pay the difference on any refunds not received from airline, hotel, resort etc. Payment will be returned to the policy holder, or a deferred travel arrangement will be provided.

If you are already at your vacation destination and an event occurs that requires you to go home, interruption insurance will cover lost time on your trip and pay for your transportation home. These types of circumstances are similar to those defined as cancellation approved events, including a death in the family or natural disasters.

Travel Medical Coverage

The most important part of any travel insurance policy is travel medical coverage. These policies provide medical coverage for both short term and long term travel. A typical travel medical plan will cover a few days up to a few months, while a major medical policy will provide medical coverage for stays longer than six months.

A travel medical policy will help pay for medical expenses incurred at hospitals or doctors’ offices which includes seeing a doctor, and covers the extent of your medical stay. It’s important that you read over your travel insurance policy documents and see what services are included and which are not. Many policies will exclude coverage for those with preexisting conditions and illness, and will also limit which hospitals you can go to within certain countries, cities and regions.

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Most travel insurance policies will include coverage for medical evacuation, in the event where a traveler is in dire need of professional care at a distant hospital, or at a facility back home. Often times a doctor will be provided by the insurance company and flown to your destination to assist in bringing you to required medical facilities. The doctor will also perform preliminary medical treatment during the evacuation process. If you require medical evacuation and do not have travel insurance, the cost of medical services can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Overall, cancellation, interruption, medical and emergency evacuation are the essential levels of coverage included within a typical travel insurance policy. At the same time, many policies also include accidental death / flight accident coverage which pays insurance benefits to the beneficiary of the traveler. As well, most travel insurance policies will also cover lost baggage and delayed flights. In the end, policies differ from company to company and will include certain coverage, and remove others. It’s extremely important to review policy details before purchasing travel insurance, in order to make sure that the optimal level of coverage is received.

If you’re travelling on vacation, or travelling frequently for business, trust in Mitchell & Whale to provide you with the best possible travel insurance package to suit your needs. Contact us today to be sure you are travelling well-protected!

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