1. Doesn't my credit card have travel insurance?
Maybe. You'll have to take a close look at the benefits for your specific card. At a minimum, most cards offer 24-hour assistance if you lose your card while travelling. But some come with serious travel benefits like emergency health insurance, insurance for lost luggage and flight delays, assistance with lost documents or tickets, legal referrals, and even credits if it rains on your holiday.
With many credit card companies, these extensive travel coverage options come at a price: a costly annual fee.
2. What will my Alberta Health Insurance cover?
We're lucky to have the health care and coverage that is available to us in Alberta. When travelling within Canada, many provinces have reciprocal agreements for accepting your Alberta Health Care card for hospital services. However, it may not cover all expenses; supplementary insurance is recommended to cover excess of what provincial healthcare will pay.
For complete details on what's covered across Canada, visit the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan site.
Outside Canada, it's a different story. Coverage is limited, and you may find it difficult to be reimbursed for any costs incurred while you are out of the country. Alberta Health Insurance recommends getting supplementary health insurance while traveling outside of Canada.
3. Are pre-existing conditions covered?
To ensure you have adequate coverage and to protect yourself in the event of a claim, it's important to be upfront and honest about all the details related to your health and your trip.
Give your insurance provider a complete travel agenda. Include travel dates, locations, and your plans for once you reach your destination. This information will help the agent put together the best travel insurance package for you. This is also an opportunity to discuss activities you may get involved in, like extreme sports, which may not be covered.
When purchasing your travel insurance, carefully read the medical questionnaire and get your doctor to help answer any of the questions, if necessary. Incorrectly answered Medical Health Questionnaires can result in a $15,000 USD deductible.
If you have unstable pre-existing medical conditions, you might want to consider purchasing additional coverage.
4. What do I have to know and bring with me while travelling?
It's important to have the necessary documents on you when travelling. Make sure you have your policy card, if one is provided, and a toll free number you can call in the event of an emergency.
Many policies require you to contact them within 24 hours of an event, so ensure your travel companions know where to find your documentation and how to contact your insurance provider.
5. When should I purchase travel insurance?
It's important to arrange your travel insurance with enough lead time to complete the paperwork. For this reason, we suggest arranging for coverage 2-3 weeks before you take off. There are travel insurance plans that will cover you for up to one year, so you can purchase your plan when it's convenient.
If you have more questions about travel insurance, you can visit the ATB Travel Protection site, or contact our partner TuGo at 1-877-282-1888.