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MANULIFE INSURANCE OPTIONS
We offer all kinds of options so you will enjoy your upcoming travels. Whether you are a backpacker on a tight budget, or are planning a trip around the world, we work together with Manulife Insurance to protect our clients for the unknown. we work together with clients for their specific travel needs to determine what kind of coverage is sought. From trip cancellation, travel Canada plans, annual medical plans, air fare cancellation, baggage and personal effects, rental vehicle damage, and all inclusive options, our rates are competitive and renewals couldn't be easier!
REMEMBER IF YOU HAVE BOOKED FLIGHTS OR A VACATION PACKAGE AND WOULD LIKE TRAVEL/HEALTH INSURANCE, PLEASE CALL 1(888)220-5212 FOR A FREE QUOTE OR EMAIL WITHIN 24 HOURS OF BOOKING (EXCLUDING SUNDAYS AND STATUTORY HOLIDAYS). PLEASE QUOTE AGENCY CODE 'WOODTAB' TO ENSURE FILES ARE CROSS REFERENCED.
Over the years I have heard so many horror stories about Canadians travelling abroad without adequate travel insurance. The one that sticks out in my mind as the most difficult involved a couple who were honeymooning in South Florida. With so many things to organize for the wedding the couple forgot to get travel insurance, but they were young and healthy and didn’t think too much about it. Day two of the honeymoon, the groom broke his ankle jogging on the beach and it was a pretty good (or bad) break as far as ankles go, it required surgery and a pin to keep the ankle set. The bill for the two day hospital visit with surgery was just over $25,000. Not a great start to married life.
The reality is that travel insurance is a MUST for Canadians. I tell anyone who will listen to drop everything and go get an annual plan that is set to renew without you having to remember.
Tip number two is to opt for the best coverage. For most of us, the difference in cost is less than $40 or $50, to put it in perspective, our annual family plan which allows for 16 days a year of full coverage out of country is $150. Thankfully, I have never had to use it (insert the sound of me knocking on wood) but it sure gives me piece of mind when we leave Canada.
It always surprises me, especially living less an hour from the US border how most people don’t think of a day trip to go shopping, or play golf, or watch an NFL game as a “trip”. It seems if you aren’t flying or staying over in a hotel than you are not really thinking about travel insurance. Preparing now can prevent a nightmare later.
There are lots of options for coverage.
STORIES ABOUT INSURANCE CLAIMS
Travel insurance is essential for those who plan to travel abroad or spend a sizable part of their budget on their trip. Travel insurance policies can protect against a number of misfortunes, such as medical treatment while in another country, loss or theft of luggage, and even trip cancellation fees. But even if you think you’re properly protecting yourself while travelling by purchasing travel insurance, the devil is in the details. Always make sure you read the entire contract before signing it and more importantly, be honest when answering questions put to the agent, especially questions about your health. you by the agent.
Leon van Witsen of Toronto was not very lucky. The 89-year-old Witsen suffered from congestive heart failure while visiting Texas in June 2011. His medical bills ending up being nearly $65,000 and RBC denied the claim in full. The reason: Witsen had not been entirely honest when answering the medical questionnaire from the insurance company. Van Witsen had answered “no” to two questions about high blood pressure medication when the answer should have been an unequivocal “yes.” If he had simply answered those questions honestly, his premium for the trip would have been $289 instead of $223 for two weeks of coverage, but the $65,000 in medical bills would have likely been covered in full.
Trip cancellation coverage is another perk of travel insurance – it pays for lost expenses when you need to cancel a trip for a variety of reasons, including illness, weather conditions, and airline travel expenses. But the protections vary greatly from policy to policy and it’s important to read the fine details, as one Huntsville, Alabama couple learned in November 2012.
Kristen Torbic and her newlywed husband were scheduled to travel from Nashville to Miami and then on to St. Lucia, where they had booked a week at the Sandals Resort there. However, the Nashville to Miami flight experienced mechanical problems before takeoff and had to return to the gate. The couple was told that the flight had been cancelled and the next flight would be 48 hours later. They decided to cancel the trip and file a claim on the travel insurance policy they purchased. But it turned out that their flight actually left 10 hours later, and was never considered officially cancelled by the airline. Their policy stated that a flight must be delayed for at least 12 hours before coverage kicked in.
This is a tricky situation considering the Torbics were given bad information from the airline before making their decision, but perhaps if they knew about the 12-hour clause, they would have stuck it out in the terminal and ended up being only a day late instead of losing out on the entire $3000 reservation.
What do I need to know?
Lets take a look at the various parts of a travel insurance policy:
The "preexisting condition":
If you have a preexisting medical condition, be careful in your choice of insurers. Some policies (including trip cancellation/interruption) are restrictive in coverage of claims that are related to preexisting medical conditions within various periods prior to your trip. (They may be a good value for someone in good health - because of higher limits, more features and for lower costs.) Some companies will cover problems related to preexisting medical conditions if that condition has been controlled during the period
preceding the trip.
Look for the carefully worded section of the brochure entitled "Exclusions" or "Preexisting Conditions." The ground rules may be different for the health/accident portion of the coverage and the trip cancellation/interruption portion. "Controlled" usually is defined as "exhibiting no symptoms or not requiring the adjustment of treatment or medication."
Even then, a change in the prescribed dosage of your medication in the months before your trip would jeopardize your coverage for a related problem.
Don't be intimidated by "fine print"; most brochures clearly describe the principal details and exclusions. Take the time to read carefully before you sign up.
Tour company offerings:
Tour companies are increasingly offering trip insurance (or its equivalent) that covers medical and/or cancellation features; look for the same "controlled" preexisting-condition language. These plans can seem to be a good value if the price is significantly lower than standard insurance policies. But what are you getting really?
If the tour company is making the guarantees instead of an insurance underwriter, the guarantee would be of questionable value if the tour company suddenly closed up shop.
Discuss this with your travel agent you can spend an unreasonable amount of money trying to insure against every single possibility.
Trip cancellation/interruption insurance:
Health and accident problems are the most common causes for claims under these coverage's. The preexisting-condition exclusions and recommendations are especially important here. Look for a policy that will provide coverage for rescheduled flights
home; many tour packages utilize special fares that do not provide for schedule changes. Also be aware that frequent-flyer-supplied flights are not insurable (refundable) by the insurance company. Also most only cover to a certain limit of approximately $1500 per person, and you may need to out of pocket those expenses in hopes of reimbursement.
Trip cancellation/interruption insurance on its own is rather expensive: 5% to 8% of the insured amount. A couple spending $2,000 each for a trip will pay $200 to $300 for cancellation coverage. We have a product that covers this and more that no other company can touch!
In considering travel insurance, make a choice with which you will be comfortable. Then you can enjoy your trip, confident that you won't be worrying about "What if?"
Follow the Scout motto of "Be prepared." You can go without additional coverage, go "bare-bones" or buy a "deluxe" package that will cover you even if you should get bitten by a penguin in the Amazon (slight exaggeration)
Check any health policies you already have very, very carefully. Find out if your coverage extends to emergency medical services outside the country, what that coverage entails and whether that coverage is adequate if something goes terribly wrong on your holiday. Then begin shopping for any extra protection you might need.
Don't take chances. Understand, that whether you are out of the country for two hours or two months, accidents are never planned and ill health can come on very suddenly . You could find yourself too sick to travel home for medical treatment and we all know how expensive even a short hospital stay can be. Be aware that you can't just buy your insurance when you start to feel badly. Policies must always be paid in full prior to your departure.
Do your research . Allow the same time and consideration for picking your policy as you would to deciding on a destination, shopping for your airline ticket or buying a backpack that's just right for you. The wrong backpack can mean a sore back. Choosing the wrong insurance could mean thousands and thousands of dollars in unnecessary debt!
Personalize your policy. Think carefully about the kind of coverage you need. Are you pregnant? Is this a skiing holiday? Are you traveling with children? Are you a diabetic? All of these factors will play an important role in your choice of policies and they must be considered very carefully. For example, did you know that many policies don't automatically cover pregnancy-related conditions or nursery care for premature infants?
Every insurance company should provide an agreement booklet that outlines in detail what type of coverage they offer in each of their policies. Ask for a copy of this contract before you commit yourself. This is a perfect way to compare benefits.
Remember, you get what you pay for! Never buy your policy based solely on the amount of the premium. If one insurance company is charging far less for premiums than another, be wary. This is the time to ask a lot of hard questions because chances are the coverage will be far less, too.
Never lie! Emergency health insurers have very stringent rules in regard to pre-existing medical conditions. Discuss these carefully with your insurance company. It's absolute folly to go off without advising them of your medical problems because, in the long run, you will probably lose your coverage and no payments will be made.
Ask about the company's emergency procedures. What happens if you become injured and need medical assistance immediately? Is their Assistance Center staffed 24 hours a day? How quickly and effectively will their medical staff react to your particular needs? If their 800 emergency number doesn't operate from where you are, will they accept collect calls? Will the person at the other end of the line speak English?
Find out about the non-medical services your policy provides. If you are traveling with a child and you're the one who's hospitalized, will there be provisions for the interim care of the child? Will they help if your passport or airline tickets are lost? You tend not to think about these things as you're setting off on holiday but they become so important when you actually find yourself in trouble.