Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

Leaving The Country This Winter? Do You Have Travel Insurance?

Leaving The Country This Winter? Do You Have Travel Insurance?

By:

Posted December 11, 2017

Did you know that, if you are travelling outside of Canada, you will not be covered by OHIP in the case of a medical emergency?  Even if you manage to get some OHIP coverage it will be limited and you should not expect that it will pay for your medical bills in another country.  If you want coverage for medical emergencies or illnesses while travelling abroad, you will need to buy travel insurance.  This type of insurance is available to cover unexpected expenses, such as an emergency hospital visit or medical treatment while you are travelling.

The coverage available through travel insurance may differ from policy to policy depending on the company that issues it. One thing that all insurance policies have in common is exclusions.  There are several exclusions that travel insurers typically include in their policies.  The main exclusion found in virtually all travel insurance is for “pre-existing conditions”.  A pre‑existing condition will be defined differently in different policies.  You will need to read the policy wording carefully to determine what it defines as a pre‑existing condition.  A common definition is “a medical condition that exists before your effective date of insurance”.  Pre‑existing conditions can include disease, illness, injury, complications due to pregnancy and mental or emotional disorders.

While some policies will exclude all coverage for pre-existing conditions, others will only offer limited coverage if a pre‑existing condition requires treatment. It is important to read the fine print very carefully before selecting a travel insurance policy so that you know what is considered a “pre‑existing condition” and what coverage is available should you experience medical problems because of a pre‑existing condition.

Other common exclusions found in travel insurance are:

  • “High risk” activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, etc.;
  • Self-inflicted injuries or suicide;
  • Treatment for substance abuse such as drug or alcohol dependency;
  • Excluded destinations, especially those under travel advisories;
  • Maximum payments; these vary from policy to policy. There may be a financial “cap” for individual fees or total coverage. There may be “co‑insurance” which only pays for a percentage of the total cost;
  • Time limits may be set out in the policy so if you end up staying longer than anticipated you may need to extend your travel insurance or buy a new policy.

You may already have some form of travel insurance through your group health plan at work, a credit card, or a professional association. You should review your policy carefully before you leave Canada to ensure that you are aware of any exclusions it contains.  You may wish to buy additional travel insurance.

Finding yourself in a foreign country after an injury or illness without sufficient travel insurance can make a bad situation worse. It may be worthwhile consulting a lawyer to review the fine print of a travel insurance policy.  If you have already purchased the policy, or if you have travel insurance through a group health plan, it may also be worthwhile having a lawyer review the exclusions in it so that you are fully informed of the coverage that you have or, more importantly, do not have.

This blog post was written by Edward (Ted) Masters, a member of the Personal Injury team.  He can be reached at 613-566-2064 or at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

More Resources

Blog |
Business Law, Wills, Trusts and Estates

By: 

Posted June 28, 2022

As entrepreneurs, we tend to be optimistic people – that is what I have found, for the most part, and what seems to be part[...]
Blog |
Business Law

By: 

Posted June 20, 2022

The Federal Government of Canada recently launched the Canada Digital Adoption Program (“CDAP”) run by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (“ISED”). It is a[...]
Blog |
Estate Litigation

By: 

Posted June 13, 2022

Trust companies are often faced with a dilemma when the fees associated with the administration of a testamentary trust exceed the income generated by it. [...]
Blog |
Environmental Law

By: 

Posted June 6, 2022

On May 10, 2022, the Alberta Court of Appeal released its opinion in Reference re Impact Assessment Act (the “Act”), 2022 ABCA 165, on the[...]
Blog |
Personal Injury

By: 

Posted May 30, 2022

As the warm weather of summer approaches, the number of cyclists enjoying Ottawa’s shared path system is increasing day by day. I have noticed that[...]
Blog |
Family Law

By: 

Posted May 25, 2022

Cohabitation agreements and marriage contracts (or “prenups”) are common contracts for couples to enter into prior to moving in together or getting married. Reasons for[...]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Name*
Consent*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.