Travel insurance can be tough to understand, and if you’re not reading the fine print, you could be relying on inaccurate myths to inform your coverage decisions. Luckily, InsurEye, a Canadian insurance education site has compiled a massive list of 111 insurance myths that are out there. We’ve looked at the top 10 auto insurance myths, top 15 home insurance myths and top seven disability insurance myths. InsurEye debunked them all for you. Here are the top nine travel insurance myths to consider before you buy this coverage for your next trip outside Canada.
1. MYTH: Provincial insurance such as OHIP provides enough coverage during your trips outside of Canada.
FACT: No, provincial programs such as OHIP in Ontario, RAMQ in Quebec, AHCIP in Alberta or MSP in British Columbia provide very limited coverage that doesn’t exceed a couple of hundred dollars per day. A single day in a U.S. hospital can cost you up to $10,000. So consider getting travel medical insurance when travelling or alternatively, make sure that your credit card provides necessary coverage.
2. MYTH: If you have a pre-condition, you do not have to tell an insurer.
FACT: No. You have to share this information, otherwise your insurance claim (if you have one) might be declined.
3. MYTH: Your credit card has travel insurance to protect you.
FACT: No, not every credit card has travel medical insurance. Look carefully at its conditions. And if you’re shopping for a card that will offer the coverage you want, MoneySense has a roundup of Canadian credit cards offering travel insurance to help you narrow your search.
4. MYTH: Your trip cancellation costs will be covered by your travel insurance if you must cancel your trip due to a medical issue.
FACT: Not necessarily. You need to ensure that your credit card explicitly covers trip cancellation due to getting sick on your trip, or a personal emergency.
5. MYTH: Your trip interruption due to a medical issue will be covered by your travel insurance.
FACT: Maybe not. Similar to trip cancellation insurance, you need to make sure your credit card explicitly covers trip cancellation due to getting sick, or a personal emergency.
6. MYTH: If you have enough coverage, your insurance claim will be covered.
FACT: Not always. Travel medical insurance has a list of limits for individual cases (i.e. how much it would pay for nursing services, for instance). In some situations, unless it is an emergency, credit card providers require that you contact them prior to receiving treatment. Otherwise, a claim might only be partially covered.
7. MYTH: All trips abroad are covered under travel medical insurance on your credit card.
FACT: Not necessarily. First, each travel medical insurance that comes with credit cards has a certain number of trip days that it covers. It can be as low as one to two days, or go as high as 30 days. Second, travelling to some dangerous locations like war zones or unstable countries might not be covered. You can consult the travel advice page of the Government of Canada website for more information.
8. MYTH: Travel rental car insurance fully covers my rental car
FACT: You should be careful with this one. First, it only covers collision damages on your own car. Any damages to third party property isn’t covered. Also, coverage extends only to a particular number of rental days (i.e. 48 days) meaning that you are not covered if you have a long-term rental car as would be the case if you were an expat working abroad.
9. MYTH: All types of rental cars are covered by the travel rental car coverage that comes with your credit card.
FACT. There are many exceptions to the types of cars covered by this type of insurance, inlcuding exotic and expensive cars. Minivans are not covered, especially if you transport multiple people.
10. MYTH: If you buy travel insurance, you are protected during your trip.
FACT: It depends. Travel insurance is a “post-underwriting insurance product.” That means that first you get a travel insurance quote and buy an insurance policy. Then, after you make an insurance claim an insurer starts checking the information you have provided. If an insurer decides that the statistics you have provided about your age, health, and medical preconditions is wrong, your insurance claim will be declined.
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Watch: Travel tips for all-inclusive vacations