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Travel Insurance

Travel medical insurance 101: conditions and limitations

Although purchasing travel medical insurance is the best way to avoid the potential financial hardship of a medical emergency while out of the province or country, it's important to know that even the best policy has limitations. Don't find this out the hard way by taking some time when purchasing the policy to ensure you understand how your policy works. Here are a few of the items you should know about before you leave home.

Review the eligibility criteria and ensure you meet these requirements prior to purchasing a policy. These requirements vary by provider and if you don't qualify you will not have coverage. For instance, if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you would not have coverage under most policies.

It's also important to ensure you answer all questions relating to your health as truthfully and accurately as possible. Failure to do so could lead to high deductibles or even voiding of your policy. If you are unsure how to answer don't be afraid to ask your physician to assist you.

If you have a pre-existing condition, you may not be covered if you have a re-occurrence while on vacation. Coverage for this will vary by policy and in some instances you can protect yourself by purchasing additional coverage.

You will want to pay special attention to the coverage limitations, conditions and exclusions. Every policy has them and they may limit or exclude coverage for things such as participating in sporting events or if you are intoxicated at the time of your injury or sickness. Most policies will only cover necessary and urgent treatments and certain benefits, such as dental services, may have a dollar limit or may require that treatment be done within a specific timeframe.

It's important to note that even if your claim is not covered you still have access to the other benefits of your travel insurance policy. For instance, a reputable travel insurance provider should help you find quality care and remain in regular contact with the hospital to ensure you are receiving adequate and necessary treatment and can help with arrangements to get you home to continue treatment. They will also provide you with translation services, among other benefits, if required.

Familiarize yourself with your coverage before you leave. By following these few guidelines you can sit back, relax and enjoy your time away.