A news story in the Victoria Times-Colonist (by Jeff Bell,) tells how an Ontario resident had to foot a $7,356 bill after being transported 100 kilometres in an air ambulance, following a "sports-related accident" during her stay in BC. Apparently the service wasn’t included in her insurance coverage.
This sad story serves as a cautionary tale for anyone traveling outside of their home province or state. Make sure you have adequate insurance – and insurance that covers the things you need it to cover.
In most cases, your regular medical insurance will cover all the basics. But it is always wise to consider purchasing extra insurance for those extra expenses that can make for unpleasant vacation memories.
A word of caution: Most insurance companies charge rates based on age and associated health risks. As a result, someone aged 45 will pay more than a 20-year-old, but less than a 65-year-old.
Be aware that some insurance companies do not insure individuals over the age of 65. In other cases, they may offer limited coverage, on a daily rate, for example.
Pay particular attention to any mention of the need to disclose any pre-existing condition. Failure to do so may render your entire policy null and void. So be sure to read the fine print.
So whether you’re traveling out of province/state or out of the country, for one day or a month or more, be sure you have adequate insurance coverage.
Most travel agents offer insurance coverage in their list of services. Automobile clubs are another place to ask – some offer great deals just for members. If neither of these sources is appropriate given you personal travel arrangements, ask your nearest insurance broker about any coverage they might be able to offer.
If you are eligible, you may find it cheaper to buy annual coverage as opposed to insurance that only applies to a single trip. This is especially useful if you plan to take several trips in a single year – a real bonus for anyone who cross-border shops, too.
Whatever your travel plans, be sure the first thing you pack is adequate insurance. You just might find it is your best travel companion.