Travel Insurance – Do you need it?

When planning your next vacation or business trip, here are some things to consider:

SOME COUNTRIES REQUIRE PROOF OF HEALTH INSURANCE, such as those requiring a Schengen visa or Cuba. Check those travel advisories.

OVER 65? Find out if you qualify for travel insurance before you book your ticket.

DETERMINE WHY YOU NEED COVER. Is it to cover sickness, medical evacuation, baggage or trip cancellation? There are wide variations in the cover offered locally, so review the fine print carefully or contact your broker.

CARRYING JEWELLERY, CAMERAS/CAMCORDERS, LAPTOPS ? Check if they are covered (i.e. specifically listed) for worldwide cover on your homeowners policies.

DO YOU HAVE A PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION? Some travel insurance policies do cover existing medical conditions when certain requirements are met. Other don’t. Clarify the cover before you sign and get confirmation in writing.

IS THIS YOUR DREAM VACATION? If it’s a “big-ticket” purchase you should consider trip cancellation cover.

IF YOU’RE CRUISING OR TAKING A PACKAGE TOUR. Cruise lines used to be flexible when it came to allowing passengers to rebook missed cruises. Tour operators were also more lenient in the old days. Not anymore. A policy might protect you.

IF YOU HAVE A COMPLEX OR LENGTHY ITINERARY. If you’re on a tour with a lot of moving parts, then insurance could be useful. When one part doesn’t go as planned, the right policy can help you make a quick recovery and avoid a domino effect.

GOT A GOLD OR PLATINUM CREDIT CARD? If you think you have travel coverage through your credit card, double check the details: most credit-card insurance doesn’t cover you if you’re over 65; some cards require you to phone in and pay a fee to activate coverage; some cards don’t meet the limits of medical required.


 Be sure to have your travel policy or health insurance identification card and a claim form with you while travelling and leave the original with your important personal documents

 Carry the name, address, and telephone number of someone to contact in case of emergency. This will help to facilitate identification in case of an accident.

 If you have a pre-existing medical condition, carry a letter from your primary care doctor describing the condition and any prescription medications you are currently taking, including generic names for these drugs.

 Be sure to bring any medications you are taking with you in their clearly labeled original containers. Some medications are considered to be illegal narcotics in foreign countries,

so you may want to check with the foreign embassy of the country you are visiting to be sure.

 Keep copies of all medical bills

 If your luggage is lost or stolen, make sure to get a copy of the police report