Thousands of Canadians travel each year to discover the world - new sights, new sounds, new cultures and experiences. And while travelling abroad, it’s important to understand that provincial and territorial government health insurance plans (GHIP) do not provide the necessary coverage while travelling outside of Canada.
Government health insurance plans provide a very minimal amount of coverage for in- and outpatients who experience a medical emergency while travelling abroad. GHIP may also limit the number of days you can travel outside of Canada while keeping your GHIP active, between six to seven months within a calendar year or 12-month period.
Furthermore, government websites advise those who travel to purchase an adequate travel insurance policy before departing their province or territory of residence.
Travellers may also rely on coverage provided by their bank and credit card accounts. Many times these plans are provided for “free” as a part of the banking plan purchased. Because these plans are widely available to the account holders, these coverages may be restricted or unclear.
Learn more about the restrictions of bank and credit card travel insurance policies by clicking here.
Another type of travel insurance coverage that some people may have is through their extended or group travel insurance policies. These are made available to travellers through their employment, fraternal groups, or other groups of interest, or may be purchased individually. Because these plans are provided through a package plan, there may be restrictions on coverages and travel days, along with a possible lifetime limit on the coverage amount.
To help illustrate the importance of purchasing a quality travel emergency medical insurance policy when travelling outside of Canada, and to assist in understanding coverage, we would like to share some real-life examples of claims which have been made to Travelance.
A 19-year-old male purchased Travelance’s TRIPs All-Inclusive Plan. The insured presented with a headache and confusion at a local hospital in Croatia. He was transferred to a higher level of care for further assessment. Tests revealed a brain hemorrhage and he underwent an emergency craniotomy. The insured’s family in Canada contacted the Assistance Company, which connected with the hospital to manage the case. There were no applicable policy exclusions.
- Medical costs and repatriation expenses were paid by the policy, totalling approximately $20,000.
An 86-year-old female purchased a TRIPs All-Inclusive Plan and booked a trip with her family to the Dominican Republic. She suffered a fall and broke her hip before her trip. After her injury, she was advised by her physician to cancel her trip. She then bought a policy with trip cancellation coverage and submitted a trip cancellation claim for the cost of her non-refundable trip costs.
- The claim was declined because the need to cancel was not unforeseen when she purchased her policy, and the condition was considered pre-existing by the terms of the policy.
A 33-year-old female had a policy under Travelance’s TRIPs All-Inclusive Plan. She suffered a concussion during her covered trip in the United States.
- Her claim was paid for her return air costs of $900, and her out-of-pocket costs for accommodation and meals up to $350 per day for two days after her trip was delayed due to her need for medical clearance due to her condition.
- In addition, medical costs of $4,800 were paid for her ER visit, physician fees, and medical tests.
A 26-year-old male insured under our Trip Cancellation/Interruption Plan became ill at his destination. His original return date was March 23, 2021. He did not return home until August 1, 2021, and he claimed the cost of his new airfare. He stated on his claim form he was unable to return due to a medical condition of gastroenteritis. However, he did not contact the Emergency Assistance Company to advise them of his medical condition or the delayed return home.
- The claim was declined because his coverage had expired when he incurred costs to return home.
A 55-year-old female travelled to Paris insured under our TRIPs All-Inclusive Plan. While seated at a café, the insured’s purse was stolen from the back of her chair. The insured immediately reported the loss to the local police, supported by other diners sitting at nearby tables, who also provided statements to the police. The purse contained the insured’s cell phone, a watch, a wallet with $300 cash, and her passport.
- Under the baggage loss benefit of the policy, payment to the insured included $500 for the cell phone and watch due to a combined policy maximum for jewelry, watches and cell phones.
- Also reimbursed under the policy were $40 for the wallet, $100 for the personal money (policy maximum for money), $95 for the replacement passport, and $35 for the replacement driver’s license.
- In addition, while the insured was waiting for the replacement passport to be issued, they missed their flight to their next destination. A $200 payment was also issued for the change fee to catch up on the scheduled trip.
What plans are available for travelling Canadians from Travelance?
We offer five Travel Right Insurance Plans (TRIPs) for travelling Canadians:
- All Inclusive Plan (single trip or annual multi-trip plan)
- Emergency Medical Plan (single trip or annual multi-trip plan)
- All Inclusive Canada Plan
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Plan
- Youth Premier Plan
Visit our website to learn more about the options to financially protect yourself against sudden and unforeseen emergencies which could arise while travelling abroad.
Contact your licensed insurance broker for a quote.
Please refer to the policy wording for complete details, limitations, terms and conditions. The above blog is for reference only to illustrate the cost of medical care when travelling.