Travel Insurance Basics: Traveling Safe During COVID-19 – Insurance News Net


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It’s hard to imagine, but almost 2 years have passed since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic. No doubt, we’ve had our ups and downs during this time with vaccine roll-out and various restrictions, but things are starting to look up again since many countries are re-opening their borders for international travel!

However, now is not the time to lower your guard if you decide to take a long overdue vacation somewhere. If you are planning to travel outside Canada, you should buy travel insurance before you leave according to the official travel advisory of the Government of Canada.

You may already know that your government health coverage plan will not pay for your medical needs while you are outside your province of residence, at least in most cases. And even if it does, your coverage will be severely limited, and it would never be payable upfront by the province.

That’s why getting a private insurance policy is the one thing on your list that you need to go about the right way.

Travel Insurance & COVID-19 Coverage:

But how do I pick the right insurance policy? Well, while it is true that the travel insurance Canada market is filled with all kinds of options that might seem suitable for your needs, it is always best to do your due diligence and speak with an insurance advisor in case you are unsure whether you are getting your money’s worth.

Moreover, to be able to travel with confidence in your travel insurance purchase at this time, it is strongly recommended to confirm that you are covered for COVID-19-related medical care before you leave for your destination.

We would also suggest checking coverage availability and limitations when it comes to non-COVID-19 emergency-related expenses as well as trip cancellation & interruption given the highly volatile travel advisory climate around the globe.

Unlike the start of the pandemic, many insurance companies in Canada are now providing special COVID travel insurance policies that include emergency medical care coverage as well as quarantine expenses if you happen to test positively for coronavirus during your travels.

Additionally, while some insurance providers may offer comprehensive protection against COVID-19 related medical costs in their plan, it may lack sufficient coverage for other expenses as opposed to available alternatives. Therefore, knowing your policy limits is crucial when it comes to choosing the right insurance for your situation, especially while COVID-19 is still out there.

Choosing Your Policy:

A few key pointers to master travel insurance shopping are:

1) Know your own needs i.e. whether or not you have pre-existing medical condition(s) that may put you at risk during your trip;

2) Stay on top of travel advisories since they tend to change rapidly;

3) Verify policy’s terms and limitations with an experienced insurance advisor before you leave your province of residence in Canada.

4) Make sure to know what to do in case of an emergency, which you can discuss with your insurance vendor as well.

When assessing a travel health insurance plan before you decide to buy, you should ask the following questions that will help you understand the coverage better:

What is deductible and how much should I choose to have?

–       Plans without deductible are slightly more expensive but will save you money in the long term since most deductible amounts are payable per claim.

When does your coverage start and end? Is your flight covered?

–       It is important to confirm that your plan provides continuous coverage for the entire length of your stay abroad without any lapses.

Does the plan exclude or limit coverage for specific regions or countries you plan to visit?

–       This is especially relevant since certain countries have Level 3 and Lever 4 travel advisories restricting non-essential or all-travel.

Does your insurer have a global 24/7 emergency contact number and translation services for health care providers in your destination country?

–       While it may seem less important, while most companies do offer a 24/7 hotline for reporting emergencies and claims, there is often a policy term that may limit your coverage unless you report an emergency within the first 24 hours of occurrence.

Will you be covered for hospitalization and associated costs at your destination? Will your provider pay medical bills up front or will they reimburse you upon claim submission?

–       It’s a tricky one. Generally, major medical services such as hospitalization, surgeries, etc. are covered directly, while the cost of minor treatments will be reimbursed to you once you file your claim. It is always best to report your emergency as soon as possible and discuss payment methods with the company on the spot.

Is medical evacuation covered under your insurance plan?

–       One of the most important policy conditions is whether your plan includes evacuation and/or repatriation to Canada benefits. And in the majority of cases it is covered. But the easiest way to find out is to go through the Policy Wording or speak with an Insurance Advisor for clarification.

Does my vaccination status affect eligibility for COVID-19 coverage?

–       Not everybody knows that while you may travel and buy travel insurance, your COVID-19 coverage will be affected by whether you have been fully vaccinated. In most cases, coverage for the unvaccinated will be much more limited as opposed to policies purchased by fully vaccinated travelers.

Answering these questions should give you a solid understanding of what kind of policy you are looking at in terms of its coverage limits and other important details you may want to keep in mind.

All in all, selecting a travel insurance policy may seem like a tiresome endeavor with often confusing terminology and an unreasonably long list of various provisions.

But the good news is that by asking the right questions we’ve outlined earlier and knowing your own needs you will find exactly what you are looking for in no time! As always, the best way to go about getting started is to speak with an Insurance Advisor, who is a licensed industry professional with a deep knowledge of the subject at hand.

Get your personal quotes, review your coverage details with your agent and pick an insurance plan that not only will guard your wallet, but will give you a peace of mind while you enjoy bathing in the sun or exploring new frontiers around the world!

At Arbetov Insurance, we take our clients’ needs as our own. In our book, personal approach and honest insurance advice is not a privilege, it is a right that everyone should be entitled to.

Feel free to contact us on our website or just browse through available insurance options on your own – Arbetov Insurance