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9 common mistakes when buying travel insurance

Jun 15, 2022

It may seem hard to decide and navigate all the travel insurance options out there for protecting yourself in the event of an accident or an unforeseen event. To protect yourself with the best available coverage and make an informed choice, avoid these common mistakes when purchasing travel insurance. 

  1. Choosing insurance based on price only 
    Before making a purchase, find out what is covered. Pay close attention to the applicable reimbursement amounts or deductibles (i.e., the amount you must pay out of your own pocket in the event of a claim), and make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. Cheaper insurance plans may not fit your needs or travel plans. 
  2. Omitting details about your health
    Most travel insurance policies will not cover an illness, an injury, or a medical condition that was present prior to your departure date. These are called pre-existing conditions. If you receive treatment for a pre-existing condition during your trip, your insurer could decline your claim. Answer all questions honestly and carefully check that all the facts you provide about your health are truthful. This will ensure you can avoid any surprises at time of claim. 
  3. Purchasing travel insurance after your departure date 
    Your travel insurance plan must be purchased prior to you leaving your province of residence. To make sure both your physical and financial well-being are fully protected at the very start of your trip, buy before you leave.
  4. Only covering part of your trip 
    Travel insurance must cover your entire trip – that includes the day you leave to the day of your return. If you’d like to leave earlier or extend the duration of your trip, you must contact your insurer to inform them of the changes to your travel dates. 
  5. Neglecting to adjust your coverage to meet your actual needs 
    You know your situation and priorities better than anybody. The benefits and services covered, and the amounts reimbursed vary between companies. That’s why it’s important to take the time to compare insurance solutions and purchase the coverage best for you. 
  6. Travelling without reviewing your insurance policy
    Get into the habit of reviewing your contract before you leave, especially if you purchased the policy a while ago. That way you can make sure that the statements you made at the time of purchase are still valid. If, for example, your health or other circumstances have changed (such as having consulted a physician or your treatments have been altered), contact your insurer to review your coverage details. 
  7. Planning excursions that are considered unsafe without double-checking that you’ll be covered 
    Most insurance policies have exclusions and limitations concerning activities you might want to do while you are away. For example, your policy might not cover extreme sports like rock climbing or parachuting. When purchasing your insurance, make sure you discuss your travel plans with your insurer. Read your contract carefully before you leave for your trip and avoid any situation that puts your safety and your financial well-being at risk.
  8. Not knowing the limits of group or credit card travel insurance
    If you have travel insurance included in your group insurance plan or credit card, take the time to read the policies and make sure that they include the coverage you need. Often, these benefits have several limitations, especially regarding the maximum duration of the trip. If they are not suited to the trip you’re planning on taking, consider completing your coverage with an individual travel insurance plan. 
  9. Exploring another Canadian province without travel insurance 
    Despite what many people assume, your provincial health insurance plan does not cover all emergency medical care costs when you are outside your province of residence (for example, prescription drugs, ambulance, etc.). Even when travelling in Canada, having travel insurance will ensure that you are fully covered when you travel. 

 

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