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Medical Insurance For Canadians Traveling Outside Canada

Educate yourself prior to traveling to an unsafe country

With the recent Swine Flu pandemic and ongoing political strife in popular travel destinations it is more important now than ever to ensure you are adequately covered by your travel insurance policies before you depart on your trip. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is responsible for issuing travel advisories for Countries and regions where Canadian traveler safety may be compromised. Travel advisories are issued when a country or region of the world experiences, political instability, war, terrorist activity, high crime rates, natural disasters, etc.

Step 1 - Know how travel insurance works in general

Emergency Medical Travel Insurance

Emergency Medical Travel Insurance covers the medical costs incurred from sudden and unexpected medical emergencies due to a sickness or accident. Travel Insurance companies try to protect themselves from paying claims for medical emergencies that arise from certain situations like war, terrorism, pandemics. Normally, the insurance companies will no cover regions where Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has issued a travel advisory.

Trip Cancellation Insurance and Trip Interruption Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you if you need to cancel your trip prior to departure for one of the covered conditions defined in the travel insurance policy wordings.

Trip Interruption will reimburse your unused trip expenses and pay for your return flight if you need to cut your trip short due to a covered condition defined in the policy wordings.

For Trip Cancellation Insurance and Trip Interruption Insurance, it is critical to read and understand the covered conditions in the policy wordings. Additionally, there are exclusions defined in the policy wording which will protect the insurance company from certain situations like war, terrorism, pandemics.

Summary

It is critical to check with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada prior to booking your trip, purchasing travel insurance and once again prior to departing on your trip.

Step 2 - Check Foreign Affairs Travel Advisories Before You Book Your Travel

We advise our customers to check Foreign Affairs Travel Advisories prior to booking and departing on your trip.

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Links

Travel Reports and Warnings

Frequently Asked Questions

Country Profiles

Step 3 - Know how each travel insurance company covers travelers in unsafe countries

Insurance companies have the responsibility to protect themselves from paying claims that arise from certain conditions like war and terrorism. Each company handles these issues differently. Below is a brief overview of how each of our insurance suppliers deal with travel to dangerous regions.

Canam

ETFS

Manulife

TIC

Travel Guard

Travel Underwriters

Canam

Absolutely no coverage for travel to countries or regions where the travel advisory level is Avoid Non-essential Travel or Avoid All Travel

ETFS

ETFS will cover medical claims for the first 10 days in the county or region which the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisory has been issued if you entered the country or region prior to the advisory being issued.

Policy Excerpt

Sickness, injury or medical condition you suffer or contract in a specific country, region or area for which the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government has issued a travel advisory or formal notice, before your departure date, advising Canadians not to travel to that specific country, region or area. If the Canadian Government issues a travel advisory or formal notice to leave that specific country, region or area, after your departure date, your coverage for sickness, injury or medical condition is limited to a period of 10 days from the date the advisory was issued, or to a period that is reasonably necessary to safely evacuate the country, region or area. In this exclusion sickness, injury or medical condition means any sickness, injury or medical condition that is attributable to the reason for which the travel advisory or formal notice was issued or complications arising from such sickness, injury or medical condition.

Manulife

Policy Excerpt - Emergency Medical Insurance

Any medical condition you suffer or contract in a specific country, region or city for which the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian government has issued a formal warning, before your departure date, advising Canadians not to travel to that specific country,region or city. In this exclusion ?medical condition? is limited to the reason for which the formal warning was issued and includes complications arising from such medical condition.

Policy Excerpt - Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

Any loss resulting from an act of war or an act of terrorism when, before your effective date, a written formal warning was issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian government, advising Canadians not to travel to that country, region or city.

TIC

Policy Excerpt - EMERGENCY HOSPITAL & MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR CANADIANS POLICY

Treatment or surgery for a specific condition, or a related condition which the insured contracted in a country during a trip, and/or an act of war or an act of terrorism, when, before the effective date, a written formal warning was issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government, advising Canadians not to travel to that country, region or city.

Policy Excerpt - TAKE FLIGHT

Any event occurring on a trip while at a destination where, prior to your departure to that destination, a statement is made in the ‘Travel Report’ issued by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade advising that Canadians should not travel to that destination during the period of coverage.

Policy Excerpt - Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

The Benefits are payable if the insured?s trip is canceled prior to the scheduled departure date, curtailed prior to the scheduled return date, or delayed after the scheduled return date as the result of: A statement on terrorism or health risk made in the ?Travel Report? issued by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs or Public Health Agency of Canada after the application date, advising or recommending that Canadians should not travel to the booked destination for a period that would include the insureds scheduled trip.

Policy Excerpt - General Exclusions

Any loss resulting from an act of war or an act of terrorism when, before your effective date, a written formal warning was issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian government, advising Canadians not to travel to that country, region or city.

Travel Guard

Policy Excerpt - Emergency Medical Insurance

Absolutely no coverage for travel to countries or regions where the travel advisory level is Avoid Non-essential Travel or Avoid All Travel

Policy Excerpt - Trip Cancellation

If the trip was booked prior to the travel advisory then the trip cancellation will be be honored. If the trip was booked the advisory then no trip cancellation claims would be paid.

A ?defer travel? recommendation or a written formal notice is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government or Health Canada advising Canadians not to travel to a country, region or city specifically listed as a destination on the itinerary of your insured trip and such recommendation or written formal notice is issued after both your start date and the date you pay for prepaid travel arrangements.

Policy Excerpt - Trip Interruption

If the travel advisory is issued prior to your trip was booked then the trip interruption would not honor any claims. If the trip begins prior to the travel advisory being issued then a trip interruption claim will be honored.

A ?defer travel? recommendation or a written formal notice is issued after your effective date by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government or Health Canada advising Canadians not to travel to a country, region or city specifically listed as a destination on your itinerary of your insured trip.

Travel Underwriters

Policy Excerpt - Emergency Medical Insurance

Travel Underwriters has no specific reference to issued travel advisories but in the medical insurance policy wordings but have a very broad definition of Act of War and Act of Terrorism in its General Exclusions

Policy Excerpt - Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

Issued Travel Advisories are a covered condition for its trip cancellation and interruption plans

A travel advisory and/or travel warning issued by the Canadian government after the date the trip is booked, recommending that, on the contracted dates, you do not travel to the contracted destinations.

Act of War Definition in General Exclusions

Insurance does not provide payment or indemnity for expenses incurred directly or indirectly as a result of;

  1. War, civil war, riot, rebellion, insurrection, revolution, invasion, hostilities or warlike operations (whether war be declared or undeclared), civil commotion, overthrow of the legally constituted government, military or usurped power, explosions of war weapons, utilization of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons;
  2. death or disablement in any way caused by or contributed by radioactive contamination; or
  3. any action taken in controlling, preventing or suppressing any, or all of 1) or 2) above.
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