Members Home

Consumer Resources

Know the Golden Rules of Travel Health Insurance

Whenever you travel, it is important to have travel health insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses that may arise on your trip. There are numerous travel health insurance options to choose from, and several THIA member organizations can help you find the right one for you. When choosing travel insurance, always remember these Four Golden Rules:

Know Your Health: Do you have any preexisting conditions? Has anything in your health status or health care routine changed in the last six months (e.g. start or stop medications)? Make the insurer aware of everything as it can affect your coverage.

Know Your Trip: Are you travelling alone? For business or pleasure? With others who need coverage? Will you be taking part in risky activities such as bungee jumping or binge drinking? All of these can influence the coverage you need.

Know Your Policy: Read the details and ask questions of your provider. Will it cover you for what you need? What are its benefits and what are its limitations?

Know Your Rights (and Responsibilities): You have rights as a travel health insurance consumer. Find out about those rights in THIA's short Bill of Rights and Responsibilities video so that you understand what to expect and what do when buying or making a claim on your travel health insurance.

Following the Golden Rules will ensure you travel smart and travel protected.

THIA Travel Videos

THIA has a range of short, informative videos to help you ensure that you are a smart traveller. Watch them on our website here.

Travel Insurance Bill of Rights & Responsibilities

The Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities builds upon the following key elements of travel health insurance: 

  1. Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies
  2. Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions
  3. Know your trip - How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year?

Under THIA’s Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities travellers have the right to:

  1. A No Obligation Purchase: Travel insurance providers will allow a minimum 10-day free review of the policy.
  2. Be Informed: You will receive your policy documentation and confirmation of coverage outlining the policy terms and conditions whether purchased in person, over the phone or online.
  3. Request Clarification: You may ask questions about the travel insurance you have purchased.
  4. Review & Modify Medical Screening: You will receive a copy of the answers you provided on the medical questionnaire prior to the start of your policy.
  5. Receive Worldwide Assistance & Toll-free Support: You have 24/7 access to the help you need when you need it from your travel insurance provider.
  6. Fair & Prompt Claims Handling: You will have a timely and transparent communication process.
  7. Escalate & Appeal: You may challenge decisions and request additional reviews with new information.
  8. Confidentiality: Your personal information will be protected in all dealings with your travel insurance provider.
  9. Know Your Insurer: Your policy will clearly identify the underwriter of your travel insurance and the process to file and resolve complaints.
  10. Your Preferred Language: You may transact and correspond about all components of your travel insurance in English or French.

Travellers are responsible for the following:  

  1. To Provide Accurate Information: The travel insurance application needs to be completed accurately.
  2. To Understand Your Policy: Take the time to read and understand your policy.
  3. To Travel With Proof of Insurance: Have your policy number and emergency assistance contact information easily accessible.
  4. To Notify Your Travel Insurance Provider: Provide prompt and timely communication when a claim situation arises and provide all requested documentation related to your claim including all relevant receipts.