More Canadians are traveling and international travel increases every year.
Traveling is exciting; there’s a possibility for an adventure, you experience new surroundings, meet new people, and get outside of your comfort zone.
But things can go wrong when you’re far from home. This is why many people invest in travel insurance.
But does travel insurance protect you from everything? Surprisingly, no.
While travel insurance covers many traveling inconveniences, many things can go wrong while you’re on the road. Your policy isn’t strong enough to cover everything.
Before investing in travel insurance, know how it will protect you. Here are 15 situations not protected by travel insurance coverage.
1. Trip Cancellation for Certain Situations
One of the most common reasons to purchase travel insurance is to get refunded (or get most of your money refunded) if you have to cancel your trip. But did you know your policy only protects you for certain cancellation reasons?
For example, you can’t book your trip and cancel because the destination has too much pollution.
Unfortunately, some policies don’t cover trip cancellations for common reasons. This includes a work-related conflict, such as issues getting time off.
2. Plane Fare Cancellations
Many of us endured this scenario. You purchased your plane ticket, and for whatever reason, the flight is canceled and the airline refunds your ticket.
If you decide to cancel your whole trip altogether, don’t expect your insurance to refund other expenses you spent, such as lodging and activities.
This is likely due to the fact that the error wasn’t your fault, but the fault of the airline. You can still purchase another plane ticket from another flight or even another airline. In addition, you already received a refund from the airline.
3. You Purchased Insurance After Known Events
This point may be a bit confusing, so we’ll explain with a real situation.
In 2018, Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas in the U.S., specifically popular tourist destination Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.
Let’s say you started planning your Myrtle Beach trip in June of 2018 and your trip fell during the time the hurricane hit.
This was several months before experts knew Hurricane Florence would strike — therefore, your insurance plan would cover your trip cancellation.
However, what if you planned your trip after experts knew of Hurricane Florence, tracked the storm and even gave it a name?
This is called a “known event” since experts and the public are well aware of the hurricane. Your insurance policy won’t cover your trip if you made a last-minute decision to cancel.
4. Certain Sports and Activities
Are you an extreme traveler? Would you rather bungee jump or go paragliding rather than visit the Eiffel Tower or relax on the beach in Barcelona?
There’s nothing wrong with traveling for thrill sports. However, these activities come with a huge risk of injury and other emergency situations.
While extreme sports are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, don’t expect your travel policy to cover any injuries from these activities. Or, you won’t find this coverage in a basic plan.
5. Traveling Within Your Country
Canada offers spectacular sights. From Niagara Falls to Old Quebec and the Toronto CN Tower, Canada offers many opportunities to bask at history, nature, and other beautiful attractions.
If you’re planning on traveling in Canada, some plans may not cover any issues in your home country.
Why won’t insurance policies extend to home country visits? Beyond medical issues, risks such as baggage loss and delays aren’t as severe when you’re close to home.
6. Dental Care
Just about every travel insurance policy has a medical policy. But what about dental care? If you run into a dental emergency while overseas, you may be out of luck.
Keep in mind, insurance policies may see dental trauma as any other emergency.
What is not considered an emergency? Issues such as cavities or root canals that don’t require immediate attention.
This also extends to issues with former procedures. Examples include damaged dentures, dental bridges, braces, mouth guards, and any other former orthodontic procedures.
7. Pre-Existing Conditions
If you have to cancel your trip due to a pre-existing condition, there’s a good chance you won’t be refunded.
But it depends on your diagnosis. Let’s say you purchased insurance while you knew about your condition.
You may not be covered if you cancel. But if you discovered your condition after purchasing insurance, there’s a good chance your cancellation will be covered.
Be careful with proving your diagnosis after purchasing insurance. Even experiencing symptoms before buying insurance can cause you to lose coverage.
8. Treatment for Medical Procedures
Medical tourism is becoming more popular. While this is more common for those living in the U.S., more Canadians are discovering the benefits of traveling for medical attention.
Even with Canada’s affordable and flexible medical care, many Canadians still travel abroad to receive the same medical treatments at a cheaper price.
When trusting a doctor with your health, there’s a possibility of something going wrong. And you shouldn’t rely on your travel insurance plan to cover a medical emergency due to medical malpractice.
Your insurance also won’t cover any of the treatments or procedures overseas unless you were in an emergency.
9. Cancellation Due to a Mental or Emotional Disorder
1 in 5 Canadians suffers from a mental disorder. Those with mental illness know how their mindset interferes with their travels.
What are some common examples of mental disorders? These include depression, anxiety, bipolar, and schizophrenia.
Since a mental disorder isn’t considered an emergency, many travel insurance policies won’t cover a cancellation or issue due to mental illness.
However, some policies will cover you if you need to visit a hospital. For example, some psychotic episodes cause the individual to lose control, and they may require hospitalization to regain stability.
10. Pregnancy and Childbirth
Do you have to cancel a trip because you’re pregnant or are going into labor? Don’t expect your policy to cover you.
In addition, if you have to give birth while traveling, your policy likely won’t cover the birth expenses.
The main reason your pregnancy expenses will be covered by your policy is if you endure complications that require hospitalization.
The best course of action is to be careful when traveling during pregnancy.
Always ask the insurance provider for options before signing a policy.
11. Specific Packed Items
One of the biggest benefits of travel insurance is they cover you for lost luggage — a very common issue when traveling. But what if specific items are lost and stolen, and not your baggage as a whole?
For example, what if you’re carrying home glass souvenirs and they were damaged on the airplane? The insurance policy likely won’t cover those expenses.
Some policies cover loss or damage of individual items but may cap a dollar amount.
What are the items your policy will cover? Common examples include hearing aids, glasses, passports, tickets, cash, keys, and cell phones.
12. Medical Transportation
For those off-the-beaten-path travelers, what if you need emergency treatment but are too far away from a hospital?
If you need any kind of transportation, such as a helicopter or another plane ticket, don’t expect your policy to cover the transportation charges.
This isn’t always the case — it mainly depends on the type of transportation.
For example, you can likely receive coverage for an ambulance. Some policies may offer an add-on for these situations. They will likely be called “unusual medical transportation” or “medical evacuation.”
13. Flights Purchased With Miles, Points, or Other Credit Card Rewards
We all love travel rewards cards. The more you spend, the better the rewards. A common travel card reward is earning miles or points for every dollar you spend.
These can be redeemed for plane tickets, so you get a free or discounted flight.
If you trade in a flight with miles and buy travel insurance, hope nothing happens. You won’t get refunded for the flight — meaning you lost all of those miles.
If this occurs, talk to the airline first. The airline may cancel your flight and re-credit your account. If this requires any fees, don’t worry. Your travel insurance may cover them.
14. Bad Weather
Weather issues are a common traveling burden. Unfortunately, your insurance likely won’t cover any of your travel expense changes due to bad weather.
Keep in mind, bad weather coverage depends on the expense.
For example, a canceled flight due to weather issues is likely covered under insurance. But if you purchased an activity, such as a balloon ride, that had to be canceled because of a weather issue, don’t expect a refund.
If you purchased activities or other expenses that can fall victim to weather cancellation, discuss your coverage options with the insurance provider.
Are You Looking for Travel Insurance Coverage?
Now that you know what travel insurance doesn’t cover, are you still interested in purchasing a travel insurance coverage plan?
Learn more about us and how we can help you find the best travel insurance plan.