Don’t Make These Mistakes – They Could Void Your Travel Insurance

When you buy travel insurance, you may expect to be covered for all accidents that occur on your trip. However, that's not always the case which is why it’s important to know how to avoid common situations that may cause an insurance company to deny your coverage.

Beware of the Alcohol Exclusion

Many travellers look forward to kicking back and enjoying an alcoholic beverage. An umbrella drink on the beach means you've finally escaped your day-to-day life.

However, travel insurance policies often have alcohol exclusions which allow insurance companies to deny a claim if they determine the event happened while you were under the influence. For example, if you slip and fall because you've had a few too many drinks, you might be stuck with the hospital bill.

The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA) recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 travellers, asking them about their behaviour while on vacation. One-fifth of people surveyed admitted to drinking at least five drinks within a two-hour period, which can increase the risk of injury (and the likelihood your claim will be denied).

Of course, being intoxicated only matters if it's related to the incident. The travel insurance company is unlikely to deny your claim for delayed flights or lost baggage just because you had a few drinks.

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Safety and Selfies

Incredibly, THiA reported that 13% of travellers admitted to injuring themselves while taking selfies. The number is even higher for Millennials, with 18% falling prey to selfie-inflicted danger. If you're posing for a selfie in dangerous conditions, your travel insurance company may deny your claim because you're engaging in high-risk activities.

You might want to think twice before you pose while hanging off a ledge or hugging a wild animal. If you think you'll be rock climbing, scuba diving, or taking extreme selfies, consider purchasing additional coverage for high-risk activities.

Pre-Existing Conditions May Not Be Covered

If you need to go to the hospital for an issue related to a pre-existing condition, your health insurance company may deny your claim. They'll look through your medical records to see if you already had an injury or illness before you left on your trip. To avoid this from happening to you, always be upfront and open about your health history when securing your policy.

Make Sure to Follow the Law

Many travel insurance companies deny claims when the insured was breaking the law during the incident. For example, if you fall and break your leg while trespassing on private property, your injuries could be excluded from your coverage. Some laws might be different abroad, so it's always best to play it safe.

While it's legal to travel with small amounts of marijuana within Canada, you’re not allowed to leave the country with it. According to THiA, 21% of Canadians think it's acceptable to pack marijuana in their luggage, but it’s not. If you want to keep your travel insurance coverage, leave your cannabis at home.

Read the Fine Print

Every travel insurance policy is different, so be sure to read the list of excluded activities before you take off. To find the right combination of premiums, exclusions, and coverage, compare travel insurance rates today to find the best plan for you.


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