These days, many people are relying on credit cards or travel operators for travel insurance. But upon reading the policy’s fine print, some people are surprised to discover the coverage doesn’t meet their needs.
“Emergency medical insurance is designed to cover unexpected costs if you have a medical emergency while travelling,” says Nikola Berube, director of sales at AMA Travel. “As with all insurance, there are conditions and exclusions. It’s important to understand them before you buy the insurance and before you travel.”
There may be a stability clause where pre-existing conditions must be stable for up to three or six months prior to travel. Even a medication change during this time frame could be deemed an “unstable” condition and therefore not covered.
AMA Travel Insurance can provide a pre-existing medical condition rider, which reduces the stability period to just seven days before departure date. There are also insurance packages that include comprehensive coverage with bundled savings and no medical questionnaire required.
“When you make a claim, the insurance underwriter will review your medical history to validate the terms of the policy against what you are being treated for,” says Berube. “Often, the hospitals will treat you in an emergency, then figure out the insurance.” Some may ask for a guarantee of payment, which could be your credit card.
It’s also important to make sure you are covering the cost of your vacation with trip cancellation and interruption insurance. “What I hear most often is that people decide not to buy cancellation because they think they are covered on their credit card,” notes Berube, “but most have a coverage cap that is fairly low.”
Some insurance may cover medical emergencies and cancellations but not trip interruption. Before you purchase a plan, discuss policy details with your travel agent or insurance specialist. If you decide to buy online, read the policy to ensure you understand your coverage.
“If you book elsewhere and want to purchase your travel insurance with AMA, you can do that, too,” says Berube. “Our travel agents are here to help. We want AMA members to travel protected in the event that they need it. Of course, we hope they never need it.”
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Visit AMATravel.ca/travelinsurance for details on coverage options for emergency medical, cancellation, trip interruption and lost baggage.
*AMA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to certain terms, conditions and limitations. A medical questionnaire may be required to purchase travel insurance.