Vacation Checklist: Travel Insurance

TravelInsurance.jpgPost-holiday travel plans? Getting away for spring break? Looking ahead to summer vacation? Have you thought about travel insurance? While it's not as exciting as choosing your destination, travel insurance is key to making sure your vacation is everything you want it to be.

An unexpected medical emergency outside of your home province can be emotionally and physically devastating, as well as financially devastating. While insurance may not be able to assist completely with the emotional or physical side, the knowledge that the financial end will be dealt with can bring a much-needed reassurance and peace of mind.

Travel Within Canada

Many people don't realize that the provincial health system is limited the moment you leave your home province. Once you leave, the amount payable by your province's care is reduced or non-existent.  Something as simple as a slip and fall could result in hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars in unexpected medical expenses. While the actual costs tend to be smaller when travelling within Canada, if something were to happen the peace of mind that those additional costs are covered is usually worth the cost of the insurance.

Travel Outside Canada

The same is true when travelling outside of Canada, although the costs tend to be larger. If you get sick or injured while travelling abroad, the government covers less than 10% of the total cost. A travel insurance policy is meant to be a precaution against those unforeseen events that may cause physical harm. For example:

  • you slip while walking or going downstairs
  • you are involved in a car or other type of accident
  • you are hit with an acute medical problem that is completely unexpected.

The unforeseen medical problem is usually what causes the most confusion, as many people worry about it being traced back to a pre-existing condition.

Pre-existing Condition Coverage

All travel insurance medical policies have a pre-existing condition clause. The exact parameters of this clause will be detailed in the wordings of the policy you choose; however, it is important to note that just because you have an existing condition it does not necessarily negate your entire coverage.

If your specific condition has been stable for the time period outlined in your insurance policy, you may still have coverage – even for that condition! If not, you may just not be eligible for coverage for anything directly related to that condition. It is extremely important to discuss any and all medical conditions with your broker when purchasing travel medical insurance coverage, as well as discussing the stability periods detailed in the policy. By being honest and making note of both stable and unstable conditions, the likelihood of being denied is greatly decreased. Of course, the ultimate decision of what is covered lays with the insurance adjuster.

Final Thoughts

No matter your health situation, it is important to review your options when it comes to travel medical insurance before you leave. The relatively small amount of a policy can save you thousands (potentially hundreds of thousands) in unforeseen medical costs. Make a call to your insurance broker a part of your pre-departure vacation checklist!

When travel takes you away from home, we believe you should have peace of mind. The Auxilium Team is happy to provide you with a referral to our trusted partners for a consultation and quote.


Auxilium Mortgage Corporation is based in Victoria, BC and works with clients locally and across Canada. The Auxilium team has over 100 years of combined financial experience and access to dozens of lenders to help you meet your goals.