Travel insurance is one of the best components of a group insurance program. But if you don’t know what your coverage is you might end up losing your house. Sounds kind of dramatic but here’s the reality about these group insurance policies that include travel insurance-they do have some restrictions and limitations and I am going to talk about three. The last is the most important so please watch for that.
First, there might be a days limit on the number of days you can be out of province on that particular trip. Pay attention. Maybe you’re planning the trip of a lifetime. Make sure that your travel policy will cover you for the entire trip.
Two, there is a maximum to these policies. Most policies have one million or five million and that’s pretty good coverage but please make sure that you know what it is. I have seen a few policies that have a $100000 limit… that is not enough coverage! You will potentially lose your house if you have a major medical issue.
The last one is understanding that with almost every group insurance travel policy there is a preexisting condition limitation in some format. In layman’s terms, what does that mean? Well, it means if you are sick before you left and you get sick related to the pre-existing condition, then they have a right to decline your claim. Doesn’t mean they will, but it means the insurance company could. One thing I know about insurance companies is you don’t want to live in the grey; black or white but not in the grey.
Here’s an example. One insurance company says “the benefits will be eligible only if existing or pre-diagnose conditions are completely stable at the time of departure”. Think about that: completely stable. Go to your doctor. Find out if it’s completely stable.
Now another insurer says “expenses must be related to a stable health condition prior to the trip departure date” and another insurance company comes with slightly different wording saying “a medical emergency is a sudden unexpected injury or a sudden unexpected illness or acute episode of a disease… Blankety blank”.
I’m not going to go into much further, but here’s the key: if you have an existing condition even if you think it’s stable, make sure you go to your doctor before you leave the country. Ask your doctor to certify that you’re well enough to go and if you have any doubt at all call your travel insurer and get them to confirm it in writing. It could save your house.
Have a great day enjoy your vacation!