People who travel outside of Ontario are sometimes willing to take a chance that they will not need travel insurance. They may believe that their credit card, employee group plan or even their provincial healthcare plan will protect them.
Sadly, that is not always the case. In fact, changes are being made to OHIP effective January 1, 2020. This means you will no longer have health care coverage from OHIP while travelling outside of Canada. The insurance that comes with a premium credit card is typically limited as to number of days covered or maximum claim amount. Employee benefits, for their part, may not cover all medical emergencies and may have limited travel benefits and lifetime maximums.
Since travel insurance is essential, what kind of coverage do you need? Answering the following questions can help you decide.
How many trips (overnight or longer) do you plan to take in the next 12 months?
If you are planning two or more trips, a multi-trip annual plan may be more cost-effective than purchasing insurance separately for each trip. Our insurance through Manulife Financial Travel Insurance offers single trip coverage and multi-trip coverage with options for trips of 8, 18, 30 and 60 days.
Are you planning to purchase a travel package that includes a number of coordinated elements, such as flight, cruise, day trips and stays at one or more hotels?
If you are planning a package, trip interruption or cancellation can be a smart investment. If a family medical emergency means you have to cancel your trip or come home early, it could reimburse some or all of the costs that are non-refundable from your tour provider.
Do you have group medical insurance with your employer that covers you while out of the country?
If you already have emergency medical coverage through a group benefits plan, check the details. If there are limits to the number of days covered, if certain exceptions apply or if you are required to pay medical costs upfront and wait to be reimbursed, you may want to purchase a separate standalone policy.
Will you be taking any recreational sports equipment or personal goods with you, such as formal wear, hockey, soccer or football gear, golf clubs, scuba equipment, skis and so on?
If the answer is yes, consider purchasing travel insurance that includes coverage for baggage and personal effects to reimburse you if your belongings are lost, damaged or delayed. Many providers will offer special riders with higher coverage for sports equipment, provided you are not a professional athlete.
Whether you are going to another continent, across the border or to the next province, travel insurance is essential to protect you in case of unexpected medical emergencies and related expenses. For more information, call Robert Q Travel to speak to an agent at 1-800-265-5972.