What’s Your Best Travel Insurance Choice?

by Thomas Hanes on Jun 22, 2017

We are now in the midst of the Canadian summer vacation season.  Families, young people and couples are packing up to go and enjoy their last chance at a holiday away.  As part of their preparations, many people either think they are covered for any health emergency while on their holiday, either through their provincial health programme, or through other ways of being covered. 

But before you leave, you should check your travel health – you may not have the coverage that you think you do!  Here are issues you should check:

Your provincial health coverage will almost certainly be a problem if you travel outside of your Canadian province.  Each province has its’ own list of covered conditions, each with a dollar limit.  For example:  Ontario’s OHIP does NOT cover ambulance transportation.  You would be billed for the full cost of such transportation.  You may need air ambulance transport from a remote area of Saskatchewan, British Colombia, Northwest Territories or other province that may add up to thousands of dollars, none of which is covered by Ontario’s health plan.  Or, if you are traveling to the United States, the amount charged will be many times the amount that Ontario will pay.  Depending upon your condition, the amount you will owe could bankrupt you!  And they may not even treat you unless you can pay them up front! Travel insurance outside of your province is absolutely necessary, even if it is to protect your financial well-being.

Many travelers rely on  gold or platinum credit card “travel insurance” to cover them on their trips.  However, many if not most of this insurance does not come into effect unless a travel ticket is purchased.  Another problem with this “insurance” is that it is underwritten at the time of claim rather than at the time of purchase – in other words, the claimant is scrutinized for being eligible for coverage.  Many claims are rejected due to having a “previous condition”.  Besides this, the actual benefits are often not close to insurance provided by specialist providers.  Credit card travel insurance should scrutinized carefully for what benefits it provides.  It is advised that such insurance should be used only in an emergency trip, and only when a travel ticket is purchased.
Travel insurance purchased in non-insurance institutions such as banks should be used with caution.  The benefits of such insurance are often superior to that provided by credit cards.  However, this coverage is often purchased without medical evidence – that is, it is again underwritten at the time of claim, as with credit cards.

Insurance purchased from top line providers such as Blue Cross, for example, that check  your medical worthiness BEFORE you travel are by far the best.  These companies offer superior benefits at excellent prices, and you know that you are covered when you leave on your trip.  Furthermore, you can purchase your Blue Cross plan from or to Canada online and pay for it, simply by clicking or pasting the following URL on your browser:

Whatever you do, choose a travel plan that will really protect you.  Check all the facts, and make the proper choice