While you’re never required to buy travel insurance, it’s a good idea to get one. The last thing you want to see is thousands of dollars in non-refundable medical expenses incurred in case of a medical emergency while travelling out of your home province because of an unforeseen event. These may include emergency hospital/medical costs, lost baggage, flight delays, accidental death etc.
If you plan to travel outside your province ‒ even for a day – you should buy the best travel health insurance you can afford before you leave.
Why should you buy Travel health insurance:
- Your provincial health insurance may not pay your medical bills while you are outside your province of residence, even within Canada
- Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover none, or only a small part, of the costs of your medical care abroad. It will never pay your bills up front
- Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment
- In some countries hospitals and clinics will not treat you if you do not have enough insurance or money to pay your bills
When assessing a travel health insurance plan, you should check:
- Is there a deductible, and how much is it? Plans with 100-percent coverage are more expensive but may save money in the long run.
- Does the plan provide continuous coverage for the length of your stay abroad and after you return?
- Does the plan exclude or greatly limit coverage for certain regions or countries you may visit?
- Does it offer coverage that is renewable from abroad and for the maximum period of stay?
- Does the company have an in-house, worldwide, 24-hour/7-day emergency contact number in English and/or translation services for health care providers in your destination country?
- Does it pay for hospitalization for illness or injury and related medical costs at your destination?
- Does it pay your bills or cash advances up front, so you don’t have to pay them?