Travel Medical Insurance Must Know To Protect Your Trip: The Four Golden Rules

When choosing travel insurance, its important to always remember the Four Golden Rules that will help you find the right travel medical insurance every time.

Whenever you travel, it is important to have travel health insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses that may arise on your trip. There are so many travel health insurance options to choose from – so how do you know what is best for you?

This is where THIA helps. The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada has four golden rules – and we want to share them with you.

Rule 1: Know Your Health

Do you have any preexisting conditions? Has anything in your health status or health care routine changed in the last six months (e.g. start or stop medications)?

It is important to make the insurer aware of every aspect of your health history because it can affect your coverage.

While some policies include coverage for lost luggage and trip cancellation for various reasons, at its heart, travel insurance is health insurance. Make a note of any conditions you have and medications you are on before applying for travel insurance. That way, you can make sure the policy you buy covers your particular situation.

Look for coverage that asks health questions when you apply, like the plans available from Special Benefits Insurance Services (SBIS). If you choose coverage that doesn’t, they will ask questions if you make a claim. Protect yourself from surprises – no one wants to be shocked learning that their claim isn’t covered, just when they need it the most.

Have you already purchased your travel insurance? If your health changes before your travel, make sure you notify your insurer – they need to know.

If you have a pre-existing health condition, read our blog Are You Travelling with a Pre-Existing Condition? Read Your Insurance Fine Print for more information.

Rule 2: Know Your Trip

Are you travelling alone? For business or pleasure? With others who need coverage? Will you be taking part in risky activities such as bungee jumping or rock climbing? How long will you be away? Will you travel often? The answers to all of these questions can influence the coverage you need.

Think about what you’re going to be doing on your trip. If you are planning any high-risk activities, make sure your travel insurance policy covers them – don’t just assume they are covered. Check out our blog Will my travel medical insurance cover me for extreme sports? for more information. And consider where you are going. Is there a travel advisory? Check out our blog Does my travel policy cover me in a country with a travel advisory? for more information.

Rule 3: Know Your Policy

Read the details and ask your insurer questions – or talk to us at SBIS. Will it cover you for what you need? What are its benefits and what are its limitations?

Ask us all the questions you can think of before purchasing your policy. For example, do you know which services or medical treatments are covered by the policy? Or how claims are paid?

And don’t forget that all plans exclude injuries or illness if your records note that you were intoxicated or if your blook alcohol level was over the country’s legal limit – cheers to your safety.

Check out our blog What Activities Can Affect Your Travel Insurance Policy? and Five Ways To Avoid a Problem With Your Travel Insurance Claim.

Rule 4: Know Your Rights (and Responsibilities)

You have rights as a travel health insurance consumer. Find out about those rights in THIA’s short Bill of Rights and Responsibilities video so that you understand what to expect and what to do when buying or making a claim on your travel health insurance.

Even minor medical care can leave you with a GIANT bill

At SBIS we help you follow the Golden Rules and travel smart and protected

Whether you are travelling outside of your province or outside of Canada, at SBIS we have both online and telephone support Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429 to help you apply for your travel insurance coverage – making it smooth and simple. We provide clear policy documents for your plan from Canada’s leading insurers so you can count on an easy and clear claims process.

And remember, treat your travel insurance documents the same way you treat your passport – store them safely and keep them at hand throughout your trip. Bon voyage!


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