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Completing Travel Insurance Forms? Avoid These Mistakes!

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The gifts are unwrapped and the ball has dropped on another new year. The holiday season is officially over! Many Canadians east of Manitoba ate Christmas dinner by candlelight because of an ice storm-related blackout. It’s safe to say a lot of us have had just about enough of winter this year, and there are still more than two months left to go.

You can be forgiven for spending your time searching for last minute travel deals, eagerly hoping to get out of dodge for a week or two. If you are planning a winter escape, don’t forget Emergency Medical Travel insurance. Provincial health insurance won’t be much help if you get sick or injured while out of the country and emergency care outside of Canada can be very, very expensive.

Shockingly, less than 50% of Canadians going on vacation think to buy travel medical insurance, and fewer still fill out their insurance application forms correctly or have adequate coverage for their needs. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Honesty Really is the Best Policy

The rule of thumb regarding past medical conditions when applying for insurance is when in doubt, disclose. You might not think a past treatment is relevant to your current health, but a doctor or claims examiner might disagree. Sure, the odds that you’ll make a claim are relatively low, but once you make that claim, the insurance company will request your old medical files from your doctor.

Leave Insurance to the Professionals

Travel agents can make your trip a smooth one and get the best deals on your holiday, but they’re not usually insurance professionals. The coverage they are offering with your vacation package may sound like a great deal, but if it leaves you or your family member inadequately covered in an emergency, you might not think so highly of the savings. Let a travel agent handle your vacation planning, but talk to an insurance broker for your travel insurance needs.

Take Your Time

Emergency Medical Travel insurance questionnaires can be complicated and a lot of the questions seem repetitive. It’s tempting to quickly scan through the list, merrily ticking off the “No” column as you go, but if one of those “No’s” should have been a “Yes” it can be a big problem if you need to file a claim. Don’t leave insurance to the last minute! You need to take your time and review the questionnaire and coverage documents carefully – BEFORE you go.

Think Ahead

It’s only January! While you may just have one trip planned so far, think really carefully about whether or not you’ll be leaving the country again this year, even if it is only a day-trip over the border for some shopping. The difference in premium for a single trip versus a multi-trip is often pretty low, so think about all of your upcoming travel needs when making your purchase.

Now that you’ve covered the basics about Emergency Medical Travel insurance, don’t forget to pick up some sunscreen! Have a great trip.

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