Holiday activities, including precarious selfies, cause injuries and highlight the need to understand travel health insurance coverage
As 54 per cent of Canadians prepare to travel this already frigid winter, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is releasing the results of its most recent traveller survey that reveals that 26 per cent of Canadians are unsure of their coverage when they travel.
Ninety per cent of respondents make mobile phones a part of life even on holiday, but these modern conveniences are increasingly a source of injury with 13 per cent overall (and 18 per cent of millennials) reporting that they've been injured while posing precariously for selfies.
"Everyone deserves a carefree vacation and travel health insurance is designed to pay for unexpected medical emergencies," said Will McAleer, Travel Health Insurance Association. "Understanding what activities might impact coverage, whether it be climbing a mountain or consuming more alcohol than usual, is part of what's required for a good getaway. With Ontario being the first province to eliminate coverage for out-of-country medical expenses, it's more important than ever to know what is and isn't covered by insurance policies."
Starting on January 1, 2020, OHIP is changing its out of country travel health coverage for Ontarians and will no longer provide any coverage for travellers (aside from kidney dialysis). According to the survey, 45 per cent of Canadians believe provincial health insurance covers some medical expenses incurred while travelling abroad. These changes underscore the importance of consumer awareness and understanding of their travel health insurance coverage.
Being aware of what is or isn't covered under a policy, or federal regulations related to marijuana, will go a long way in ensuring that hard-earned holidays aren't jeopardized either by unexpected medical expenses or criminal changes.
Twenty per cent of survey respondents admit to having consumed more than five drinks in two hours on holiday while 31 per cent of millennial males have climbed mountains while travelling. And, 21 per cent of respondents believe it's acceptable to travel with marijuana packed in their luggage.
The survey also revealed that Canadians are more likely to travel domestically this year and less likely to travel to the US due to the exchange rate (58 per cent) and current political climate (48 per cent).
Wherever Canadians plan to travel this winter, they are more likely to have a carefree holiday and navigate unexpected medical issues with appropriate travel health insurance. Will McAleer recommends that all travellers familiarize themselves with the following key elements of travel health insurance:
- Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.
- Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions.
- Know your trip - How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year? Do you plan to scuba dive? Find a policy that is specifically tailored to your trip.
- Know your rights - The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities will help provide all travelling Canadians with additional confidence in their travel insurance purchase knowing their company is supporting their rights as a consumer and making them aware of their responsibilities.
About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in October 2019, polled 1,053 respondents, ranging from ages 18 to 60+ across Canada.