During these chilly winter months, many Canadians plan a getaway to a sunny destination. When they book their vacations, most people also purchase travel medical insurance. Travel medical insurance is usually designed to reimburse travellers for emergency hospital and other medical expenses incurred abroad.
Unfortunately, travel insurance companies can sometimes be difficult to deal with when emergencies arise, especially if the injured or ill traveller does not understand the “fine print” of the policy they purchased.
Some common problems or complaints include:
The insurance company’s refusal to provide funding for medical care until they have fully investigated the traveller’s previous medical history;
The insurance company’s refusal to pay for medical services which were not pre-approved by the company;
Travellers being unaware of deductible or co-payment clauses in their policy;
Travellers being unaware that certain “risky” activities are excluded from coverage, such as hang-gliding or mountain climbing; and
Disputes over whether medical treatment was urgently required.
When purchasing travel medical insurance, the safest course is to understand exactly what you are buying, and to shop around for the policy that best meets your needs. The nature of these policies varies greatly from company to company. The cheapest insurance is not necessarily the best to fit your needs.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or is involved in a dispute with a travel insurance company, we may be able to help.