Travelling on the edge

By  | December 7, 2014 | 0 Comments | Filed under: Travel

Okay this isn’t a story about how I hiked the Inca trail, and almost lost it on a ledge that would most likely have led to my death. That’s a friend of mine and a story for a different time.
When I say travelling on the edge I mean travelling without cancellation or out of province/country medical insurance. I know you are thrilled already. I was going to do my column on different Christmas traditions around the world. That is until I read the story about “The Million Dollar Baby.” A lot of people have weighed in on this couple’s story, and felt either they weren’t smart or they got bulldozed by the insurance company.
Here is the thing with travel insurance, they have guidelines. They spell out their guidelines very clearly.
Now here is the rub-do not assume that you know what they are spelling out. If you don’t know call.
If your situation changes from the time you book your holiday to when you depart, you better check to see if
you and yours are covered for complications. You may not be. Your condition may well be considered a pre-existing condition. You have to read the fine print.
That said, this couple said they did read the fine print, and that she suffered a bladder infection prior to departure, not any complications with her pregnancy. Yet the insurance company denied her claim. All of her claim was denied. I actually understand the insurance company not looking after the infant. The infant wasn’t part of the insurance, even though he/she been born it was before they would have been listed on the policy. So a weird gray line there. The person should have asked a “what if” of the insurance company.
As in “what if I give birth prematurely?” “Would I and the new child be covered?” “What could cause me/us not to not be covered?”
I have another couple that travel on vacations, he has serious heart issues. Seriously, nitro serious. They don’t take medical insurance. I ask, they always say no. They live on the edge! When it comes to heart disease when you are out of province or out of the country, 10 days can be a half million large! Really, and who is going to bring you back to Canada for continued care?? Air ambulance costs are incredible. “You didn’t think they were going to drive you home from Cuba, did you?
Here is the sad fact about all insurance you don’t need it until your house is on fire. Plain and simple. Many folks feel that they understand their own condition, and of course believe they are covered. They ask questions, and they get satisfactory answers. Here is the rub, if an insurance company is looking to enforce their policy to the letter of the law, they will look into your medical records. Sometimes your condition is described in such a way that “yes” you do have a pre-existing condition. Sadly it is the words of the attending physician that may sink you. When was the last time you read your medical records. Any of us? Did you remember that they altered your medication just a fraction last month? All of these things change the picture.
My thing is this, if you are going to live on the edge, make sure it’s for at the very least a great story, likehow you skydived over Monument valley, how you climbed Kilimanjaro at the age of 50. Or zip lining fromone mountain to another….
Better to go out with your boots on, then with wallet hanging itself over failed travel insurance.
Have a good one and do get some insurance if your travelling out of Province during Christmas.

Brenda Goodsell
Preston Travel Centre

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