December 3, 2018

Everything you need to know about travel insurance for extended stays

Leaving for an extended period of time requires precision planning, starting with your travel insurance. These FAQs will shed some light on extended stay travel insurance.

Q. What exactly do we mean by an extended stay?

A. Generally speaking, a trip abroad or to another province or territory is considered an extended stay if it exceeds 30 days. The same insurance coverage is required for extended stays as for shorter trips. It’s simply the pricing that changes because the longer you plan to be away, the greater the risk of having to use the healthcare system in your host country.

Remember that a provincial or territorial health insurance plan, e.g., RAMQ or OHIP, your group insurance or a credit card generally offer limited coverage for medical expenses incurred while travelling.

Private insurance helps you avoid unpleasant surprises.

Q. What does this insurance cover?

A. As with traditional travel insurance, travel insurance for extended stays covers emergency medical expenses, some transportation expenses and repatriation. It can also cover an emergency round-trip. This coverage offers the possibility of returning home to Canada in case of an emergency and then back to your holiday destination to resume your trip.

Please note your transportation expenses will be reimbursed under certain conditions, namely in the event of a death in your immediate family, hospitalization lasting at least seven consecutive days, or damage to your house that renders it uninhabitable.

Q. What is the most common optional coverage?

A. You can add an option to your long-term coverage that allows you to temporarily return home during an extended stay. For example, this would allow you to return home for the holidays or a special event and then travel back to your destination.

It would be worthwhile to choose annual coverage if you intend to make several trips in the same year. The main advantage of this type of coverage is that you only pay once, regardless of the number of trips you take during the year. You can save more when you combine your annual insurance coverage with travel insurance for extended stays.

Are you interesting in buying all-inclusive coverage? It is easy to add baggage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance to your individual insurance. Family or group coverage is also available. Ask one of our representatives for more information.

Q. What do I need to enrol?

A. First of all, you will need a provincial or territorial health insurance card that is valid for the duration of your trip. Keep in mind that you can benefit from your provincial or territorial health insurance plan for trips of 183 days or less.

If you are travelling for a longer period, consult RAMQ or your provincial or territorial health insurance plan to find information on the exceptions and provisions that might apply to your situation.

Next, depending on your age, you must provide accurate and complete information about your health. You will then be asked to fill out a medical questionnaire that determines your eligibility and the cost of your insurance coverage.

It is vital to answer all the questions on the questionnaire. When in doubt, consult your physician for the appropriate answer.

You will also need to provide a complete list of your prescription drugs. Know their names and what you are taking them for.

If you have a pre-existing condition, check with your representative to confirm that it will be covered. It is really important to be familiar with your state of health and the stability period for each of your medical conditions.

Q. Is there anything else I absolutely have to know?

This advice applies to all insurance purchases: read the fine print in your policy. Indeed, the document contains several exclusions and definitions that could modify your coverage or your eligibility to be reimbursed. It is so much easier when you know what to expect!

To conclude, our representatives are always available to answer your questions about travel insurance. Give them a call! They will be happy to take the time to review your situation with you and find the best solution to fit your needs.


Note: This blog post is provided for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional legal, financial or fiscal advice. For advice specific to your personal situation, always speak with your financial advisor. cannot be held responsible for any decision made as a result of reading this blog post.