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Snowbird Travel Insurance - FAQ

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is the most affordable coverage for unforeseen expenses on your trip. Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation and interruption, trip interruption, baggage loss, computer equipment loss or damage, car rentals, accidental death & dismemberment and flight accident. The most common claims for comprehensive also called all inclusive insurance is when you have to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen illness of either of the insured travelling companions or family members. For emergency medical travel insurance the most common claims are illness or injury for children and seniors. The comfort of knowing that you have insurance during a medical emergency provides travelers with peace of mind. You only buy the coverage you need and save time and money using Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. to get the best coverage at the best price.

How is Snowbird Travel Insurance different from other travel insurance?

Snowbird travel insurance is specific coverage for ages 55 and older. Insurance companies know this is a very competitive market and have designed specific policies for seniors that have additional benefits not offered in their other travel insurance policies.

Why should I use a broker to buy travel insurance?

Insurance brokers are unbiased insurance professional that can shop with multiple insurance companies saving you time and money. When buying insurance directly from an insurance company you are only buying their policy without shopping for the best policy at the best price. Using a broker does not cost you a cent since you will pay exactly the same rate regardless of the channel you use to purchase your insurance coverage. If you buy insurance from a travel agent, bank teller, credit union or tour operator you are getting advice from a non-licensed insurance professional.  

Why do I need travel insurance to travel outside Canada?

Traveling without travel insurance can be costly a recent claim on a travel policy set a record of over one million dollars. Purchasing travel insurance is a bargain compared to what a medical emergency costs. A stay in a U.S. hospital can easily run $5,000 a day not including emergency transportation to get you back to Canada. Unless you are prepared to pay for these costly medical emergencies out of pocket buying a travel insurance policy is a wise investment.

Why do I need travel insurance to travel outside my province/territory?

Your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan will not cover all out-of-province medical costs such as incidental hospital room charges, medical appliance rentals, ambulance charges and other medical expenses when traveling within Canada. You will have to pay for any medical emergencies yourself and file a claim with your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan for your expenses, not all your expenses will be covered. 

Emergency medical travel insurance fills the gap in coverage to cover non-medical expenses that your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan doesn’t provide any coverage for such as:

  1. emergency paramedical service including chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist, or podiatrist;

  2. emergency dental treatment;

  3. expenses to bring someone to your bedside;

  4. expenses for meals, hotel, phone calls, taxi or incidental hospital expenses;

  5. emergency evacuation, local & air ambulance and expenses to bring you home;

  6. expenses to bring your vehicle home;

  7. expenses for medical appliance rental;

  8. expenses to bring your children or travel companion home;

  9. expenses related to your death.

Out of province insurance is offered at fraction of the cost of out of country plans. You can also purchase coverage for trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance to protect from financial losses that can arise in the event of a medical emergency or death in the family and in the event that you're Canadian vacation is interrupted mid-trip. 

Is travel insurance mandatory?

Buying travel insurance is a wise investment. Countries like Cuba, Ukraine and many other European countries have made it mandatory to travel to their country. In addition many tour operators and resorts have also made it mandatory to buy emergency medical travel insurance. The trend is more and more countries are making emergency medical travel insurance mandatory. The last thing one needs on their trip is being denied entry for not buying mandatory emergency medical travel insurance.

Who’s eligible to apply for travel insurance?

Anyone can apply for travel insurance. Some insurance policies are more liberal, others have more conditions, please refer to eligibility requirements of the policy being applied for.

Does my Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan cover my trip?

Your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan only covers a portion of your expenses for medical emergencies when you travel out of province or out of country. When you leave Canada you leave most of your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan's coverage behind.  

My credit card already has travel insurance why do I need to buy travel insurance?

Credit card travel insurance is limited and only provides coverage for a specified number of days. The number of days varies by terms and conditions of your credit card and can be only a few days. There are also age restrictions with most credit cards and coverage is limited up to age 65. Credit cards may not cover pre-existing conditions and have strict limitations on their coverage.

My employer benefit plan already has travel insurance why do I need to buy travel insurance?

Employers benefit plans may have limitations on the number of days insured, in addition they may also contain terms and conditions limiting your coverage. We recommend that you review the exact terms and conditions of your policy. If the plan is suitable for your needs but you need additional coverage for your trip that exceeds the maximum number of days covered, you can purchase a top-up. Employers benefit plans do not include non-medical benefits such as trip cancellation and interruption, trip interruption, baggage, accidental death and dismemberment, flight accident and rental car insurance.

Can I buy travel insurance with my Air miles?

Unfortunately travel insurance cannot be purchased with air miles. However you can still use your air miles to purchase your airfare.

Can I apply for travel insurance for my pet?

We do not sell individual travel insurance for pets. Some policies include pet returns in their insurance coverage.

Does travel insurance provide coverage for business travel?

Travel insurance includes business travel. Some policies have specific add-on benefits for business travel that can be purchased with your policy. If you are planning to travel to destinations that the Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory warning you will no longer be covered. If you require coverage to these excluded destinations with travel advisory warnings we can arrange coverage. Please contact us directly for a quote.

Can I purchase coverage for computers and laptops when I travel?

You can purchase coverage for your computers and laptops when traveling.  Please refer to the policy for terms and conditions of coverage.

What is a deductible?

This represents the amount of eligible medical expenses that must be paid by the insured before the insurance company begins to reimburse for covered expenses. There are two different kinds of deductibles, per-claim and per-policy period. A per-claim deductible means that the insured must pay a new deductible for each separate claim. A per-policy period deductible means that the insured must pay the deductible only once during the policy period.

What are exclusions?

All travel insurance policies contain exclusions and limitations of coverage.  Exclusion is what the travel insurance policy does not cover, hence is excluded from insurance coverage on the travel insurance policy. The most common exclusions are as follows:

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions that are not stable

  2. High risk activities such as sports, stunt activities

  3. Traveling to destination with advisory warnings  – including acts of war, terrorism, kidnapping, strike, riot or unlawful visit to any country. For advisory warnings please visit Government of Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for a list of destinations where a warning has been issued to avoid all travel and non-essential travel to that city, region, or country.

  4. Losses while sane or insane – depression, self-inflicted injury, suicide attempt, emotional, mental or nervous disorder

  5. Pregnancy , childbirth or complication thereof, including high risk pregnancy

  6. Death or injury while under the influence of alcohol, prohibited drugs or any other intoxicant, non-compliance with prescribed treatment or misuse of drugs

  7. Air travel other than a passenger on a commercial aircraft.

Can I buy additional coverage to cover the exclusions?

You can buy insurance to cover exclusions, not all exclusions are insurable.   

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Means a sickness, injury or medical condition, whether or not diagnosed by a physician:

  1. for which you exhibited signs or symptoms; or

  2. for which you required or received medical consultation or treatment including medications; and 

  3. which existed prior to the effective date of your coverage 

Can I buy insurance to cover my pre-existing medical conditions?

We offer emergency medical travel insurance from insurance companies that include coverage for stable pre-existing medical conditions. In order for the pre-existing medical conditions to be covered insurance companies require a stability period of 90, 180, or 365 days. Refer to the policy wording for exact definitions of pre-existing medical conditions coverage, exclusions and limitations. Not all stable pre-existing conditions can be insured however you can still purchase emergency medical travel insurance. The majority of claims being denied are due to unstable pre-existing medical conditions. We are insurance brokers not medical practitioners. Consult with your doctor to determine if the policy will cover your stable pre-existing medical conditions and if your health permits travel. Traveling against the advice of your doctor automatically makes you ineligible to purchase emergency medical travel insurance.

What is not covered and how to avoid having your claim denied?

Emergency medical travel insurance does not cover everything all policies contain a list of exclusions and limitations in their policy wording, please read your policy carefully including the fine print. Insurance companies have a great track record of paying claims. The majority of all claims submitted are paid. The number one reason why claims are denied is due to an error or omission when providing medical information on the emergency medical travel insurance application.

If you are fortunate and don't have any pre-existing medical conditions this is not an issue and you can save money by purchasing travel insurance that excludes coverage for stable pre-existing medical conditions. If you do have pre-existing medical conditions, provide all the information on the medical insurance application or to your insurance broker submitting an application on your behalf over the phone or in person. If you are unsure get your family doctor to assist you to fill out the application and to determine if the insurance policy provides the medical coverage you need.

Insurance companies will deny non-medical claims if the medical questions were not answered truthfully. If your stable pre-existing medical conditions have changed between the application date and the effective date which is your departure date you must notify us to have the policy approved for the new pre-existing medical conditions. This may be a new prescribed medication or just a consultation with a doctor. Non-disclosure will automatically make the policy you purchased null and void.

What is a high risk activity?

High risk activities include but not limited to heli-skiing, ski jumping, skydiving, sky-surfing, scuba diving, white water rafting, street lugs, skeleton activity, mountaineering, rodeo activity, and other sports activity.

Can I buy insurance to cover high risk activities?

You can purchase individual coverage for certain sports activities We also offer group coverage for team sports.

What is a travel advisory warning?

This is any destination where the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government has issued a warning to avoid all travel and non-essential travel to that city, region, or country.

Can I buy travel insurance to destinations with travel advisory warnings?

Travel Insurance coverage can be purchased to destinations with travel advisory warnings. If travel is non-essential it is advisable to avoid travel to these destinations. If you are a missionary, require travel for business, work or have been sent to an unsafe destination by the Canadian Government we can arrange coverage on a case by case basis. Please contact us directly and a licensed insurance broker will be happy to assist you. 

Is Family coverage available?    

Yes, Family coverage is available. Family coverage covers you, your spouse and your dependent children. Age and other restrictions may apply please refer to policy terms and conditions.

What if I need or want to stay longer than planned?    

To extend your coverage, you must make a request before the expiry date of your policy or the date you were scheduled to return home. If you do not have a new medical condition or pending claim on your current emergency medical travel insurance policy, an extension may be issued upon request. If you have a new medical condition or pending claim, the extension is subject to approval by the insurance company. Please refer to the exact terms and conditions of your policy.

How long can I travel without losing my Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan coverage?

It depends on your province of residence, usually six or seven months.  Please refer to your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan's coverage for exact time limits.

Can I buy insurance if I lose my Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan coverage?

Yes, you can buy travel insurance if you lose your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan coverage. If you are retuning back to Canada or traveling outside Canada for an extended period and are no longer covered by your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan you can purchase inpatriate or expatriate  emergency medical travel insurance. 

When does my coverage start?

For emergency medical single trip plans which can include optional benefits such as baggage, trip interruption, flight accident, accidental death and dismemberment and rental car insurance, coverage starts on the departure date. For multi trip annual plans coverage which can include optional benefits that are available for a single trip, coverage starts on the effective date which is the departure date of your first trip during the period of coverage. For trip interruption and cancellation coverage starts on the application date, this benefit is not available for multi trip plans and must be purchased separately for each trip.

What is a deposit date (applicable to trip interruption and cancellation coverage)?

The deposit date is the first date that your payment for your trip becomes non-refundable and/or deposits and reservation charges are no longer 100% refundable. When purchasing trip cancellation and interruption insurance companies restrict your purchase within a few days of your deposit date, please refer to the exact terms and conditions of the policy you are purchasing.  

Are refunds available?

Refunds are available for emergency medical travel insurance subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. An administration fee may apply. There are no refunds available on any trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage.

How can I fill out an application if I am not in Canada?

An application submitted online or an application taken over the phone by an insurance broker is the same as a paper application you fill out when purchasing travel insurance from a bank, trust company, credit union or travel agent. The only difference with Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. we shop with multiple insurance companies, compare policies and save you time and money. You don’t need to sign a paper application.

Can I get a discount on Travel Insurance?

There are many ways to get discounts on travel insurance. Consider a deductible it can save you up to 45% on travel insurance. A multi trip or annual plan is much cheaper than buying travel insurance for each individual trip. Buy a health and dental plan and include travel insurance in your plan. If you are interested in a stand alone health and dental plan or a company group benefit plan contact us for a quote.

What payment options are available?

The only payment options available for travel insurance online or over the phone purchases are credit cards. If you don't have credit cards please contact us directly and we will arrange for an alternate payment method. Some insurance companies accept cheques.

How do I get my policy delivered to me?

After we complete you're online or over the phone purchase your policy is instantly issued and delivered to you by email. You can save your policy on your computer or smart phone and print it.

What do I do with my policy?          

Please read your insurance policy and confirmation of coverage. If you made an error contact us to correct the information. Keep a record of your policy in more than one place, you can print it, leave a copy at home and take one with you. Make sure you send it to someone who can be contacted in case of emergency.

What do I do with my wallet card?

Please carry it with you at all times. If you require medical attention please call the emergency assistance hotline number on your wallet card.

 


Disclaimer: The FAQ  information provided is for general purposes only, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information. Each Insurance Company Policy contains the actual definitions, eligibility requirements, benefits, exclusions and limitation on their respective policies. Insurance Policies are subject to change without notice by the Insurance Companies. If there is a discrepancy between the information provided in the FAQ and the actual insurance policy/certificate of the Insurance Company, the policy /certificate of Insurance Company will override. The information provided does not constitute any insurance, accounting or legal advice please use at own risk.  







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