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FAQ

What are the most important items to bring on a trip?
Why do I need emergency medical travel insurance?
Am I covered for my pre-existing health conditions?
What am I covered for under OHIP while travelling within Canada or internationally?
When should I purchase travel insurance for my trip?
My credit card has travel insurance coverage, why would I purchase it individually?
My group benefits plan has travel insurance included, does it provide the same coverage as a plan I can purchase independently?
Are extreme sports and activities covered by my travel insurance policy?

What are the most important items to bring on a trip?

Don’t Leave Home Without:

  • Your provincial health card
  • Your travel insurance documents
  • The emergency contact number for your travel insurance provider

Why do I need emergency medical travel insurance?

Unexpected medical treatment is the single most expensive hidden cost you could get hit with when you travel – whether on business or pleasure, within Canada or around the world. Government health insurance plans pay only a small fraction of expenses if you are sick or injured while traveling. Some hospitals charge thousands of dollars a day, not including doctor’s fees or diagnostic services. Without emergency medical travel insurance, you and your family would be responsible for these costly procedures. Can you afford to be stuck with the bill?

Am I covered for my pre-existing health conditions?

In order for pre-existing medical conditions to be covered you must have had no changes to/or new medical conditions, symptoms, or medications during the stability period prior to your trip. Stability requirements vary depending on the policy provider, but the average stability period is 6-months prior to departure. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should always read your policy’s wording carefully to make sure you are aware of and understand any limitations to coverage related to your condition.

What am I covered for under OHIP while travelling within Canada or internationally?

Government health insurance plans have limits on the reimbursement of the emergency medical expenses incurred while in another province. For example, air and ground ambulance costs, emergency dental treatment and prescription drugs might not be covered outside your province of residence. For maximum protection, you should purchase additional medical coverage even while travelling within Canada.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recommends purchasing additional supplementary health insurance when travelling outside of Ontario.
The following is an excerpt from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care website (2007):

Why get private insurance?

Many health services outside Canada cost much more than coverage by OHIP. You are responsible for any difference in cost.Some health services are not insured by the ministry. You will have to pay the full cost for these services.An accident can happen to anyone, even during a very short business or recreational trip. Extra insurance should be purchased before you leave Ontario.

Learn more about OHIP’s Out of Country Services and travel coverage.

When should I purchase travel insurance for my trip?

Emergency medical travel insurance can be purchased anytime up until the day you are leaving your province of residence. However, it is advisable to purchase coverage well in advance in case you need a medically underwritten policy which will take some time to process. You must purchase coverage for the entire length of your trip, which includes the day you leave and the day you return.
It is recommended that you purchase trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance within days of booking your trip. This ensures that you are covered in the event something comes up forcing you to cancel your trip. The trip cancellation insurance will cover any non-refundable expenses you have already paid.

My credit card has travel insurance coverage, why would I purchase it individually?

Most credit card companies will cover you ONLY if you booked your trip or purchased the tickets with their credit card that offers coverage.
The coverage provided by your credit card may have limitations or restrictions as well. It is important to review your contract thoroughly to educate yourself on what is covered and what isn’t. It is often recommended that you purchase additional coverage to guarantee the most comprehensive protection.

Check your plan for the following:

Travel duration

Travel Insurance cannot be purchased once you depart from Ontario, therefore it is important to make sure your credit card covers you for the entire length of your trip.

Age Restrictions

Many credit cards have an age restriction for travel insurance coverage. Make sure you fall within that age restriction to ensure eligibility.

Emergency Medical Care Coverage
There are often strict eligibility and stability requirements based on your current health, which may result in you not being covered by your credit card. In most cases your pre-existing medical conditions are not covered either which may leave you vulnerable.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption
Most credit card companies don’t cover trip interruption or cancellation and when covered the maximums are not sufficient to protect your full investment.

Keep in mind that Common Carrier Accident Insurance is not the same as Emergency Medical Coverage. Common Carrier Accident Insurance only covers you in the event of an accident while you are a passenger on a common carrier such as a plane, train, boat, bus, or while driving a rental car.
We can also provide you with top-up insurance to extend coverage for the duration of your trip, on top of what you already receive from your credit card.

My group benefits plan has travel insurance included, does it provide the same coverage as a plan I can purchase independently?

Before you decide to rely on your group benefits travel insurance for your next trip, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Group benefits plans are generally not medically underwritten so you are not guaranteed to be covered for all conditions while travelling. Also, the group benefits plans are almost always less comprehensive in coverage when compared to an individual travel insurance plan.

Before you rely on your group benefits plan for coverage, check for the following:

  • provides coverage for the entire length of your trip, including the day you leave and return
  • clear explanation of deductible costs in the event of a claim
  • has a 24-hour/7-days a week emergency assistance number you can dial in the event of an emergency
  • covers emergency transportation, such as ground and air ambulance services
  • pays for hospitalization for illness or injury, medical diagnosis, and related medical costs
  • covers pre-existing conditions
  • provides for medical evacuation to Canada or the nearest location with appropriate medical care
  • covers preparation and return of your remains to Canada if you die abroad
  • return of vehicle and/ or travel companion
  • expenses to bring someone to your bedside

If the travel insurance provided through your group benefits plan does not include all of the above coverage you may want to look into an independent travel insurance plan to ensure complete coverage.

We can also provide you with top-up insurance to extend coverage for the duration of your trip, on top of what you already receive from your group benefits plan.

Are extreme sports and activities covered by my travel insurance policy?

Most emergency medical travel insurance policies in Canada do not provide coverage for extreme sports. Their policies generally exclude participation in dangerous or extreme sports, participation in professional sports contests, and any motorized vehicle speed contests.

ETFS Medi-Select Plan
Exclude participation in any sports as a professional athlete (person who engages in an activity as one’s main paid occupation); any competitive motorized sporting events, racing or speed contests.

GMS TravelStar Plan
Exclude any expenses resulting from participation in professional sports, any speed contest, SCUBA diving (unless PADI, ACUC, or SSI certified), extreme sports including but not limited to: parachuting, mountaineering, sky diving, rodeo, hang gliding, bungee cord jumping, acrobatic or stunt flying or a flight accident unless riding as a passenger on a commercially licensed airline.

Manulife Emergency Medical Plan
Exclude any emergency resulting from: hang-gliding, rock climbing, mountaineering, parachuting or skydiving; participating in a motorized speed contest; or your professional participation in a sport, snorkelling or scuba-diving when that sport, snorkelling or scuba-diving is your principal paid occupation.

TIC Coordinators Emergency Medical Plan
Exclude injury resulting from training for or participating in speed contests usually and customarily in excess of 60 km per hour, professional sport activities, or organized motor sport contests.

Travel Guard Deluxe Plan
Exclude rock or mountain climbing; participation in a motor sport, motor racing or speed contests; your professional participation in an organized sport; or scuba diving (unless you hold an open water diving certificate).
If you are looking for coverage for a specific sport or activity let us know and we may be able to find you the coverage you need.

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