Skip directly to content

Travel insurance, needed or not?

on Wed, 08/07/2013 - 12:35
*Updated July 15th, 2018
I have been getting more and more travel insurance enquiries lately, not only because this is summer, people are taking vacations and travelling quite a bit, but as business owners, in this digital age, a lot of us no longer need to stay at one place to work. Many of us can work on our computers, still manage our business and get things done. Like the Digital Nomads described in the Roads Less Traveled TV series produced by my dear friend Natalia Kantor.
Just one thing a lot of people are not aware of, is that provincial coverage has a limit of how long it covers you when you are away. For instance, OHIP will only cover you 212 days while you are out of province. By the 213th day, you are no longer covered (you could keep your OHIP for up to 2 years if you are an Ontario risidence for 153 days a year for 2 consecutive years before you leave the country). Bear in mind, as Canadians, we are already very lucky that we have provincial health coverage (that is the reason why Obama pushed for his ObamaCare). So, by then, we will need to get tru global coverage for ourselves in case of any emergencies. Regardless, we need to understand that even though we have provincial coverage, there is a limit on everything.
At the same time, many of us have no clue what our provincial health plans cover us! Check this page from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for Ontarioians may help you understand what is covered. 
Travel health insurance is usually relatively cheap (compare to actual medicare costs), but still a lot of people do not take it seriously. We also have to understand that travel health insurance (or Visitor-to-Canada insurance, in place of provincial health coverage when we are yet to be covered under the provincial plan - OHIP has a 3 months waiting period) covers only emergency health costs, i.e. if I fell and broke my tooth while I am on vacation, that's an emergency and I can claim the cost on visiting a dentist; if I catch a cold while I am away, I go to see a doctor that I have to pay for it, that's an emergency doctor visit (nothing planned ahead), that cost is covered. However, if you say, I haven't gone check up for a while or I haven't done dental cleaning for a while and it is cheaper back home, sorry, that is NOT covered. Remember, health check is covered under OHIP, so you technically could have done it here. Dental is not covered under OHIP so, that is not something you can claim OHIP anyway. 
Do realise that travel insurance has a trip coverage potion as well, which will cover the cost of the trip (trip cancellation - before departure) or anything you did not use and is non-refundable (trip interruption - after departure while you are travelling), baggage (loss or damage), etc
Look closely to the policy wordings and understand how much coverage you are getting together with whether there is any deducible needs to be applied. Understanding what your rights are is very important and eliminates any surprises. Contact us if you need guidance on this.
Lastly, make sure you call your insurance provider before you submit the cliam and make sure you have everything they need for the claim.
Have a save trip!!

Post new comment