Bent Johnson

Mar 04, 2023

Think You Don’t Need Travel Medical Insurance? Real Life Stories

Yes, if traveling outside of your home province, you need travel insurance. Please share these stories with your loved ones to help ensure they have the coverage they need.

Traveling to the States

While vacationing with her family in Milwaukee, 9-year-old Madison and her family took a walk in a local park. During a sudden downpour, Madison slipped and fell on her arm. Alarmed by the intense pain and swelling, her parents rushed her to the hospital.

At the ER, the doctor attempted to cast Madison’s arm but was unsuccessful. She was finally able to set a cast after performing a closed reduction under general anesthesia. Madison was discharged from the hospital the next day with pain medication.

  • Hospital fees $24,430.86
  • Doctors’ fees $6,973.67
  • Radiology fees $276.53
  • Prescriptions $42.09

How much was paid by Madison’s provincial health plan? Provincial healthcare covered less than 1% of Madison’s medical fees, only $205.00! Without travel insurance, medical fees would have cost Madison’s family over $30,000.

By protecting themselves with a family travel insurance plan, they not only avoided undue stress but unnecessary debt as well. The amount paid by their travel medical insurance plan: $31,518.15

Traveling Within Canada

During his summer break from university, 25-year-old Alex flew to Unity from Toronto to help on his family’s farm. While painting a shed a week after he’d arrived, Alex slipped and fell from a ladder. He hit the ground at an awkward angle, fracturing his heel and a vertebra in his back.

Alex’s mom saw the accident happen and immediately called an ambulance. Alex was rushed to the hospital and admitted to the ER. After a thorough examination, doctors determined that Alex didn’t need surgery, but would require extended healing time. Alex was kept in the hospital for 4 days and discharged with the recommendation to get physiotherapy, a back brace and prescription medication.

  • Ambulance fees $2,055.80
  • Back brace $405.16
  • Prescriptions $45.61
  • Amount paid by Travel Medical Insurance: $2,506.57

Many Canadians traveling outside their home provinces aren’t aware that their provincial health care won’t cover them in an accident or medical emergency. Alex knew better; because he bought Emergency Medical Insurance, he saved over $2,000 on medical fees.

Relying on Coverage Through a Credit Card  

40-year-old Kim was enjoying a Hawaiian cruise when she suddenly became ill. The onboard doctor determined it to be a severe kidney infection and was prescribed anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.

Kim diligently kept the medical bills to submit to her credit card company upon her return, but the claim was denied as she didn’t have the required forms filled out by the ship’s doctor.

This example demonstrates the importance of working with an experienced travel insurance professional to education the traveler of exactly what to do in case of a medical emergency.

Denied by Provincial Health Coverage and Group Benefits 

Cara, a 36-year-old business executive, was traveling from BC to a trade convention in Quebec. She fell ill almost immediately and sought treatment in a clinic. The clinic refused her out-of-province health card and required her to pay upfront and in full.

She submitted her claim to her employer-sponsored group benefit plan, and the claim was denied… twice. While Cara made a full recovery, she was not able to recover any of her medical expenses.

If you’re relying on your group benefits to protect you when traveling outside of your province, please consider the following: Very likely when you started with your group benefits, you filled out a lengthy medical history or met with a physician for an examination – perhaps this was done years ago. There’s a chance your travel medical insurance claim may be denied by your group benefits plan if there has been a change in your health since the initial assessment. Upon the event of a travel medical claim, this might be determined to be a pre-existing condition and the claim denied.

Your Travel Plans May be Deemed High Risk

So many Canadians choose to include adventurous activities into their travel plans. Simply relying on workplace, or credit card coverage, or even purchasing a medical travel medical insurance policy, may not be enough. The result of inadequate coverage may be financial ruin.

What vacation activities may be deemed high risk, dangerous, hazardous or extreme?
While policies vary greatly, here are a few examples of common vacation plans which may not be covered under a standard travel medical insurance policy:
  • Skydiving
  • Scuba diving
  • Rock or ice climbing
  • Hang gliding
  • White water rafting
  • Skiing or ski jumping
  • Car or motorcycle racing
  • Competitive or professional sports and endurance activities
If there’s even a chance that your vacation plans may include behaviour which could be deemed high-risk, it’s absolutely imperative that you speak with a travel medical insurance professional who can find you the policy you need. You’ll better enjoy your adventures knowing that you have the coverage in place.

The Best Tips to Know When Booking a Vacation Rental Property

Planning a getaway can be stressful, especially when you factor in the many “unknown” possibilities. We’ve compiled some of the best tips to help you plan, book and enjoy your vacation at an owner-run property. 

Before your reserve:
Read the good and bad reviews, being mindful of the date they were written. Many property owners “learn as they go” to offer improved amenities. With income generated from renters, many owners re-invest in upgrades to improve the visitors’ overall experience, while other rentals may decline in condition over time due to neglect.
Check out the property on Google Maps: If you’re able to obtain the address of a property before booking, check out its location on Google Maps. Look to see if the area appears safe to your personal standards, keeping in mind that Google only updates the street views every few years.
If the rental is boasting “walking distance to restaurants, shops or attractions”, check out the neighbourhood, keeping in mind that one person’s walking distance is another person’s Uber ride!
When you reserve:
Be sure all the terms of the rental agreement are very clear, paying close attention to details such as deposits, what constitutes damage, and extra costs such as pets or housekeeping services.
Confirm arrival and departure time well in advance to avoid any surprises.
Obtain complete contact information for the homeowner or the property management company in case something goes wrong during your stay.
If you’re traveling outside of your province, be certain that everyone in your group has emergency medical insurance.
Before you arrive:
Organize within your group to streamline meal planning and costs. A little advanced preparation could save your group time and money!
If possible, wait to purchase items such as condiments, food storage items, spices, ice, etc, until after you inspect the rental, as there may be some of these items available for use.
If you’re looking to get out and enjoy local restaurants, shops or attractions but avoid the crowds, use Google to help determine the best time to go. Simply Google Search the business or attraction by name and scroll down to see its busiest times.
When you arrive:
Before bringing your luggage in, make a video and do a quick tour of the entire interior and exterior of the property, noting the existing condition and any damage. This will only take a few minutes but could save you tremendous time and money in the event of a dispute.
Don’t cry wolf! Only contact the owner or property manager when the need truly arises. Most homeowner run rental properties will provide basic information such as wifi passwords, pizza delivery phone numbers and the like – so review this information carefully before reaching out to them.
When you leave: 
When you go through one last time to ensure you have all your belongings, again, create a short video documenting the condition you’re leaving the rental in.
Help others by leaving a review of all aspects of your vacation experience.
Have a fantastic time!

Ready to Travel? Facts About Travel Medical Insurance

As parts of the world begin to again welcome travelers, many Canadians are starting to book trips outside of their home province. It’s more important now than ever to understand the facts about emergency travel medical insurance.

There are many misconceptions about our provincial health insurance while traveling outside of your province. The fact is, Health Canada advises obtaining medical insurance:

“Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad.” 

Your provincial health plan only covers a small fraction of out-of-province medical expenses. Furthermore, Health Canada recommends:

“If you plan to go abroad, even on a day trip to the United States, you should purchase the best travel insurance you can afford before you leave Canada. Your travel insurance should include health, life and disability coverage that will help you avoid large expenses, such as the cost of hospitalization or medical treatment outside Canada.” 

Do you have travel insurance through your through your employer-sponsored benefits plan or your credit card? Health Canada says:

“Your credit card company may offer health and travel insurance, but don’t assume that coverage is automatically included or that the card alone provides adequate coverage. Some companies charge an additional premium for travel coverage. Others require that you use their card to pay for your travel arrangements. Verify the conditions, limitations and requirements before departure.” 

Lastly, Health Canada advises the following:

“It is your responsibility to know and understand the terms of your insurance policy. Read the fine print carefully and ask for help, if necessary, to fully understand the eligibility requirements and definitions, terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy.” 

That’s why choosing an insurance broker who is well-versed in travel medical insurance will benefit you the most. Our insurance professionals at EasyInsure are able to determine your needs, help you choose a plan, clearly outline exactly what your coverage entails and provide you with the necessary actions in the event of a claim while traveling.