WFJ: Emergency Travel Insurance – March 2016


Do You Have Travel Insurance When You Leave the Country?

Do You Know What Emergency Travel Assistance is?

Your Choice in Providers DOES Make a Difference.

As a brokerage, we don’t sell travel insurance. We can, however, point you to a choice of providers that do offer it. In addition, we try to provide you with enough information that will assist you in making an informed decision on which provider to choose and how important Emergency Travel Insurance is. This post points out some important things to keep in mind when choosing your assistance. I am available for questions at anytime as well so email me or call me at 604-230-4782.

Medically Stable:

Did you know that most travel plans do not cover health issues related to pre-existing health conditions You should always check your policy and know what you’re covered for.  In addition, you must always ensure you are medically stable before your trip.

I planned a once in a lifetime vacation for my family. There were 15 of us, including five grandchildren under 6 years old. We started in Disney World and finished off with a Disney Cruise through the Caribbean. The trip was in the works for just over a year. With a few months to go until we were scheduled to leave, I had a health issue arise. Yes, I am fine, but I came close to not being medically covered to leave the country. In the meantime, I had people ask if I was going to take the risk and proceed as planned without the insurance coverage. Without my history, maybe my answer would have been yes; however, I have been witness to some life altering accidents in people’s lives where everything could have been different if only they had purchased emergency travel insurance. Lucky for me I was given the green light and labeled as medically stable right before the trip.

As I said, being an insurance broker, I hear from people who have had unfortunate, totally unforeseen medical incidences happen outside of the country. Your Canadian health plan won’t come to the rescue if you don’t ensure you are properly covered by travel insurance before you leave. I know it’s a pain but please ensure you cover yourself. This article will touch on some important factors to take into account when choosing your travel insurance provider and your emergency travel plan.

This travel bulletin from Manulife provides information about Allianz Global Assistance- which is Manulife’s emergency travel service provider. The article sheds light on some important things to consider about your travel insurance provider and reminds you how you will probably need assistance during an emergency health situation. The article also reminds you of the out of pocket cash incurrence you may be responsible for if you don’t choose the right provider. Lastly, they mention that some countries require proof of coverage before you enter. I have outlined some important points below and included the bulletin link so you can have a look for yourself.


 Do you already purchase travel insurance? Do you know what coverage it includes? I suggest you look into it and take into consideration these things:

Accident and Emergency sign.



  1. Are medical records required for a claim? Even if it’s claim specific, do you have a team that will try to expedite the process?
  2. What kinds of forms are required of you? Do you have a team that can help to gather, assist, and explain these?
  3. Are you asked to pay up front during a medical incident?
    1. Is this something that you will be able to do?
    2. Is there a 24 hour number you need to call before paying fees of any sort?
    3. Also keep in mind that sometimes, depending on the medical provider, no matter the insurance you have, you may have to pay upfront. Make sure your provider work hard to try to cover the upfront cost.


Important points to keep in mind:

    1. Contact your insurance provider immediately upon incurring any expenses due to a medical emergency. Their number is on your travel/health card.
    2. NEVER surrender your passport to anyone due to medical emergency.
  • Check travel advisories before your trip. Some carriers don’t cover expenses in countries that have a travel advisory.


  1. Make sure you know just what to expect when entering the country that you have decided to visit, especially vaccination recommendations and possible health risks.
  2. Pay close attention to the exclusions on your coverage plan. Again, check with your provider if you have concerns. Their number will be on your health/travel card.
  3. If you are taking medication with you, ensure you have ample supply and they are in their original packaging.

Other than that, make travel a priority, especially with family. Time is precious and so many of us let it go by without taking the time to enjoy our family in this wonderful world that we live. Take care. Call me if you have any questions at all.

John      Click here to read the Manulife Travel Bulletin