Travel season is around the corner, are you planning a trip for you and your family? We’re hearing that travel is on everyone’s minds after the last few years. So, it’s no surprise if you have your sights set on a trip out of town.
But before you pack your bags, don’t forget that your employee benefits group insurance typically includes travel insurance coverage as part of your extended health benefits. The last thing anyone wants is to fall ill or suffer an injury while they’re on vacation. But the truth is that these things can happen. Thus it’s important to understand your travel insurance coverage so you’re clear on how your insurance carrier can help.
Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind as you plan your next getaway.
1. You Need Travel Insurance Coverage, Even If Traveling Within Canada
Traveling abroad is getting increasingly expensive post-COVID, especially if you have a big family and multiple flights to pay for. Because of this, we’re seeing an increase in domestic travel right here in Canada. Many Canadian travelers are starting to ask: why not play in our own backyard.
But did you know that provincial medical coverage varies by province? For example, if you were in a different province and needed an ambulance, and had a stay in hospital, here in Saskatchewan, your hospital stay would be covered by Sask Health. Are you sure that the hospital stay in any other province would be paid for ? There are various answers to that question. Most travel coverage states that it is coverage “outside your province of residence”. This would indicate that travel carriers do receive claims from people who have experienced an emergency medical situation while visiting a different province, and their travel coverage is what has covered the expense.
2. Be Proactive About Contacting Your Travel Insurance Carrier
Whether you’re traveling to a province next door or around the world to a foreign country, we can’t stress enough how valuable it can be to plan ahead and get in touch with your employee benefits travel insurance carrier before you take off. Think of them as a resource who can answer any questions you might have, address concerns or “what if’s”, and guide you on what type of travel insurance you are covered with your employee benefits plan.
The same goes if you’re away and something happens. Don’t wait until you get home to reach out or put in a claim! We strongly suggest that you contact your travel insurance provider right away if you get sick or are in an accident when traveling. They are there to help and can quickly help you find the best emergency services wherever you are. They can also provide support with paperwork and the payment process. There are countless stories of those who didn’t think to reach out and returned home only to find out that they needed to submit their claim right away or that they should have received specific information from the local healthcare provider.
3. Get the Latest Scoop on Your COVID Coverage
If you’ve traveled in the last couple of years, you probably experienced the complications and reality of how COVID can impact your trip. From getting sick just before you leave or while away, to travel restrictions changing suddenly, there are plenty of variables to consider. When it comes to travel insurance, It’s just as important now to make sure you’re covered as it was when the restrictions were tighter.
Most carriers now cover COVID up to a certain amount these days. As we explained in our post about How Employee Benefits Travel Insurance Works, keep in mind that things can change quickly. When you reach out to your travel insurance carrier before your travels, be sure to ask what sort of coverage they offer if you contract COVID while away from home or if travel restrictions change your itinerary. Remember that every travel insurance carrier is different. COVID coverage may have evolved compared to the last time you traveled.
Travel coverage typically includes a stability clause, or a pre-existing condition clause. If you have had any medical concerns (even a visit to your doctor) within 3 – 6 months prior to your travel date, you should talk to your travel carrier about the stability clause to ensure you would be covered.
A trip away from home is always fun and we encourage you leave with peace of mind. Be proactive about your travel insurance coverage. If you’d like some more travel insurance tips, we’d love to chat! Contact us today.
Wishing you safe and happy travels!