Why COVID-19 Vaccination Matters for Travel Medical Insurance

Insurance experts warn that those planning a vacation outside of Canada should have adequate travel medical insurance.

“Don’t travel without travel medical insurance,” said Omar Kaywan, co-founder of Vancouver-based Goose Insurance.

“That’s the biggest risk you put yourself at, especially in today’s world where you know we’re still not out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Kaywan said he sees more and more countries making travel insurance — especially travel medical insurance — a requirement for visitors.

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“It’s really important to travel knowing what the entry requirements are and being fully vaccinated will definitely help the process,” he said.

Many travel insurance policies are beginning to offer COVID-19 coverage for medical emergencies.

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Kaywan said Goose Insurance follows Health Canada guidelines to ensure the most adequate medical coverage. Travelers who have been receiving a double dose for at least 14 days or those who have received a first dose and are awaiting a second vaccine will be eligible. However, anyone not vaccinated by choice will not be covered by the policy.

The average hospital night in the United States can be between $12,000 and $15,000.

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“It’s really not worth coming back with a huge big financial bill,” Kaywan said. “Our provincial health insurance plan doesn’t cover us outside of Canada and in some cases doesn’t even cover us outside of our province. It is therefore really essential that Canadians travel with it, especially outside of Canada.

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When purchasing travel medical insurance, find out about the insurer’s exclusions and limitations, especially regarding pre-existing medical conditions. Also find out about the network of the insurance company.

“You want to buy from a supplier that has a large global network that, God forbid, if you’re in a medical emergency, you can easily make a claim,” Kaywan said.

Consumers are also urged to review their policies.

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