Five things you need to check in your travel insurance policy

By Danae Ingram

Vacation surprises can be fun. Finding a welcome basket in your suite, discovering a fabulous market, or meeting a new best friend.

Unfortunately, not all surprises leave magical vacation memories and even the best planners and most experienced travelers can find themselves dealing with lost luggage, weather cancellations or a medical emergency.

Karen Taaffe, Manager of Product Development, Travel, for CAA North & East Ontario, digs in to the fine print and offers these tips to ensure your travel insurance policy eliminates any nasty surprises while you’re abroad.

Some would-be travelers are still hesitant to make international travel plans. If my trip is delayed or cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, am I still protected?

Karen Taaffe: “The unpredictability of COVID-19 continues, and Canadians need to be sure that their travel investments are protected. Some travel companies may not cover a trip cancellation or interruption policy if travel advisories are raised to Level 3 or Level 4 due to COVID-19. But with CAA Travel Insurance, even if you purchased your policy during a Level 1 or Level 2 travel advisory, we will cover trip cancellation and interruption claims if advisories go up due to COVID-19.”

What if I’m not able to travel or make other plans? Can I cancel for any reason?

KT: “With CAA Travel Insurance you can book confidently now knowing you can cancel later. We offer Cancel for Any Other Reason (1), which allows you to cancel your trip up to three hours before departure when purchased within 72 hours of booking your trip. Get a refund of up to 50% for prepaid non-refundable charges when you book your trip with a third party. Better still, receive up to 75% for prepaid non-refundable charges when you book your trip through CAA Travel.”

My policy includes emergency medical coverage, but is it enough? Are there coverage caps or reimbursement limits?

KT: “The difference between separately purchased plans and group or credit card plans is the level of coverage offered. Policies can vary widely in coverage caps and may not include certain coverage such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance. Further, group insurance plans don’t offer the flexibility to choose the best coverage. CAA Travel Insurance can help fill in the gaps to make sure you’ve got the right coverage for your trip. Speak with a CAA Travel Consultant to purchase trip cancellation and interruption plans, or to top-up your emergency medical (2) multi-trip plan.”

Deductibles reduce the cost of my home and auto insurance. Is this available with travel insurance as well?

KT: “Deductibles regulate the amount the insurer is required to pay if a claim is made, and can vary from insurer to insurer. When shopping for travel insurance policies, check the list of voluntary deductibles limit to see if you’re able to reduce the policy premiums, and enquire about mandatory deductibles to ensure a hassle-free claim experience. Emergency medical CAA Travel Insurance policies offer a range of deductibles to help provide the coverage that’s right for you.”

Ok, I’ve found a policy with all the benefits I’m looking for but I’m seeing policy exclusions. What do I need to know?

KT: “Policy exclusions highlight any situations or circumstances where your travel insurance will not offer reimbursement.

These can include any loss, condition, or known event that were foreseeable, intended, or expected when your plan was bought. For example, taking part in extreme, high-risk sports and activities.

At CAA, we offer insurance plans with rider options if you're parasailing, hot-air ballooning or taking a helicopter tour. The rider can be added to all emergency medical and vacation package plans (3).

Many travelers are also under the false impression that their travel insurance policy will cover them for treatment costs related to their pre-existing medical conditions (4) while travelling, but that’s not always the case. It’s so important to read the policy carefully and speak with a licensed agent if a pre-existing medical condition may affect your trip. The last thing you want is to be surprised and find out your claim has been rejected.”

CAA offers competitive travel insurance, protecting Canadians wherever they go. To connect with one of CAA North & East Ontario’s helpful travel consultants, visit them online or call 1-800-267-8713.

CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Quotes are valid for 30 days.

(1) Cancel for Any Other Reason is subject to general conditions and exclusions of your travel insurance policy.

(2) Up to $5 million CAD. Maximum $25,000 for all Emergency Medical Insurance benefits for Canadian residents without active Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP); and/or without GHIP authorization to cover trip days in excess of 212 days in Ontario in a 12-month period.

(3) Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply

(4) All pre-existing medical conditions must be stable within 7 days prior to departure. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Age 59 and under: three months stable prior to each departure date (excludes coverage for lung conditions treated with Prednisone three months prior to departure). Age 60-69: three months stable prior to each departure date. Age 70 and over: six months stable prior to each departure date. To have your pre-existing medical condition covered by your travel insurance policy, the medical condition must be stable as defined by your policy. Please see the policy at [] for full details.

®CAA trademarks are owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association.

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