What Activities Can Affect Your Travel Insurance Policy?

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It’s that time of year when we all start frantically scouring the discount travel sites for an opportunity to get away from the cold that has us in its clutches. When we’re booking these winter escapes, there are many activities we plan to do when we finally get out of here!

Tell us: When you’re planning your vacation activities, how often do you check your plans against your travel insurance policy? Some of the things on your list could pose a problem if they lead to an illness or injury that requires treatment far from home. Before you book your trip and your adventurous excursions, learn what activities can affect your travel insurance policy.

Adventure Activities May Not be Covered

To some of us, walking from the pool to a beach chair may be as close to an extreme sport as we care to get while on vacation. For others, the lure of an exotic adventure is too tempting to pass up. We hate to rain on your exciting parade, but this may pose a problem with your travel insurance policy.

Most travel insurance policies have exclusions for “extreme sports” which means if you are injured while participating, you will not have coverage if you need to see a doctor or go to the hospital. The definition of “extreme” can vary from person to person, and policy to policy, but generally, illnesses or injuries that happen while you are doing the following are excluded by most travel insurance policies:

  • Scuba Diving
  • Sky Diving/Parachuting
  • Motor Racing
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Rock/Mountain Climbing

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and the exclusions vary by policy and carrier. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your mother would advise against it, your insurer probably won’t cover it. Always check with your insurance broker before taking part in extreme sports while on holiday.

Alcohol Consumption May Void Travel Insurance

Bottoms up? Maybe not! Part of the appeal of the all-inclusive vacation may be the call of the unlimited drinks at the bar. That’s not a great idea, and not just because of the hangover it will give you! Vast quantities of alcohol have been responsible for some of the poorest decisions known to mankind, and vacation antics are no exception.

According to the Travel Health Association of Canada, as much as 39% of Canadians admitted to being intoxicated while on vacation. What most people who choose to indulge while on vacation don’t know is that evidence of intoxication, from alcohol or any other substance, can lead to your claim being denied if you are injured while on vacation. Before you drink up, make sure you read up on the fine print of your travel insurance policy.

Disclose Pre-existing Conditions

It’s important to insure every trip out of Canada, or even out of your province of residence, because you never know what will happen. For people who are living with a pre-existing condition, the process to obtain travel insurance is a little more complicated than it is for those who are not managing a chronic health condition.

This leaves some would-be travelers wondering if they should omit details about their condition on their travel insurance application. The answer is no, you should not falsify information on a travel insurance application form, for many reasons, including the fact that it’s committing fraud.

But perhaps more importantly, if you do omit details about your health from an application form and you need medical assistance while on vacation — even if it’s unrelated to your condition — you will have voided your policy. That’s a very expensive mistake to make!

Before completing a health insurance form when you have a pre-existing condition, talk to your doctor. You may be able to get travel insurance that suits your needs after a specified period of stability. If you’re wondering if you need to include the details of a health condition or medical episode on your application form, always remember that if in doubt, you should disclose.

An escape from the cold is something so many of us look forward to every winter, and the travel insurance we buy is meant to help protect us financially while far from home. Call us before you book your trip so we can help you plan for a fun trip that stays within the bounds of your travel insurance policy.


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