Common myths and misconceptions about travel health insurance: Going on a trip and think you're covered? Don't think it, know it. Otherwise you could be in for a shock. Going on a trip and think you're covered? Don't think it, know it. Otherwise you could be in for a shock.

When you go on holiday and buy travel health insurance do you read the policy? If you don't sit down with your booklet and go through it, you may be surprised to learn (often too late) that what you thought to be true, isn't. With help from Allianz Global Assistance, we've compiled some of the most common myths and misconceptions travellers have about their travel medical coverage policy.

Travel insurance is like your government health insurance plan

False. Travel insurance is for emergencies only. No matter what travel medical insurance policy you buy, chances are there's a line in there that says, "Travel insurance is designed to cover losses arising from sudden and unforeseeable circumstances due to an emergency." Note there's no mention of ongoing care, check ups, voluntary treatments or elective surgeries.

You'll never have to pay first

Not necessarily. There may be times when you have to pay first and then submit a claim. Hospitals, in general, are used to working with the travel insurers and will often bill the insurer directly; however, smaller clinics might request payment upfront.

Tip: The best way to avoid having to pay upfront is to call your travel insurer's toll free number. Every travel insurer featured through has an assistance line that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The folks on the other end of the phone can direct you to health care providers who deal with insurers, improving the odds that you won't have to pay first.

Travel insurance covers travelling while pregnant

It depends. So long as there are no known issues or complications, and the pregnancy is not considered high-risk, many policies will provide coverage for travel that occurs during pregnancy-however, there's a limit. Your policy will specify the limit, but it is not uncommon for a policy to exclude coverage (and therefore not provide the protection you want) when travel occurs within 3 to 4 months of your due date. Plus, don't forget, travel insurance only covers emergencies; it will not cover routine pre-natal care you may need while travelling.

If injured while taking part in an extreme sport, you'll be covered.

It varies. If you're planning on taking part in high-risk activities while on holiday like scuba diving, bungee jumping, parachuting, skydiving, or hang gliding (there are others, these are just a few) then you'll want to read the policy before buying. Some policies may extend coverage, may limit coverage, or may not cover you at all. Don't risk it, read it.

Prescription refills are covered

Possibly. It depends on why you have the prescription. Is the prescription related to an emergency you've had while on holiday? Then yes. But, if you simply forgot to refill the prescription before you left for your travels and you've run out, then no, you'll have to pay out-of-pocket for that oversight.

Travel insurance offered through your credit card will cover the entire trip

Maybe, maybe not. How long are you going away for, and how old are you? We (your friends at KANETIX) looked at one of the popular travel rewards credit card we had in our wallet and noticed we're covered for 15 days if under the age of 65, and 4 days if 65 or older. It likely varies by card, but if planning to go away any longer, top-up travel insurance would be needed.

Travel medical insurance includes trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage

Nope. Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance is an entirely different policy all together and is not included with a standalone travel medical policy. If you want emergency medical and trip cancellation/interruption, you can buy them separately, or you can buy them as an All Inclusive policy. All Inclusive policies typically include emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation/interruption, coverage for baggage loss or delay and potentially more.

Debunk the myths that you have about travel insurance

Travel insurance is one of the most important items you can pack when you go on holiday, but make sure it covers you the way you expect. Debunk the myths that you have about your policy and read it before you head out on your travels.

"Most travel insurance policies include a 10-day free look, which is your opportunity to read through your policy and make sure it cvers your needs," says Karen Cullen, Director Business Development, Eastern Canada for Allianz Global Assistance." If you have questions about your coverage, you can also use that time to ask your travel insurance representative or travel insurance provider for clarification."

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