Alberta is home to a large population of senior citizens, many of whom are spending their retirement years travelling. Travel insurance is essential for voyagers of all ages, but particularly for older residents. Even a short hospital stay can result in thousands of dollars in financial costs if you don’t have the right kind of coverage.
Best of all, Alberta travel insurance provides a long list of essential protections. Before you book your next trip, be sure you’re fully aware of all your insurance options.
What It Covers
Here’s a closer look at the types of situations travel insurance covers:
- Emergency medical expenses. If you need to see a doctor, go to an emergency room or spend any time in the hospital during your trip, travel insurance will provide you with coverage up to your stated limit.
- Trip cancellations. If last-minute complications force you to change your plans and you didn’t opt in to the airline or travel company’s refund program, travel insurance can reimburse you for your costs.
- Lost baggage and damage to personal items. While airlines and other transportation providers usually offer financial assistance in the event of lost baggage or damaged personal items, it is usually very limited and far less than your actual costs. Travel insurance is there to bridge the gap.
- Rental car damage waivers. Finally, travel insurance can be configured to protect you from liability for damages to any rental vehicles you may use during your trip.
Most of these endorsements are optional (you can purchase some or all), but experts stress that you should never leave Alberta without medical travel insurance. Your provincial health insurance plan will only offer very limited protection once you’re away, and you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable to the massive expenses you can quickly rack up if you need treatment while you’re away from home.
What About Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?
Many Alberta retirees and seniors assume that they cannot travel because they have pre-existing medical conditions. While some travel insurance providers may not offer coverage to people with known health conditions, others have more generous policies. For example, it is fairly common for providers to offer coverage to individuals whose medical condition has been stable for a set length of time, which usually ranges from three to 12 months.
However, you should be aware that the presence of a pre-existing medical condition does create a larger risk for the insurance company. As such, your premiums will usually be higher. You should also expect to fill out a questionnaire that details your current health and medical history while you’re being evaluated for a new policy.
Going Away for an Extended Period of Time?
If you’re going to be headed out of town on an extended trip, you should think about your home insurance as well as travel insurance. Many homeowners don’t consider it, but home insurance providers have specific occupancy standards that must be met in order for your coverage to remain continuous. If they’re not met, your policy may only provide limited protection, or it may be automatically cancelled altogether.
Avoid this situation by checking with your home insurance provider in advance if you’re planning to be away for more than 30 continuous days. You may need to get a special waiver allowing your home insurance coverage to remain valid for the duration of your absence. Your insurance provider will also advise you on other requirements you may need to meet, including:
- Having someone check on your property on a regular basis (usually about once a week)
- Draining your pipes and turning off your water supply
- Installing sensors that can protect you from accidents that could cause major damage
Each home insurance provider sets its own policies, so be sure to check yours for the specifics that will apply to you. As a general piece of advice, it’s also a wise idea to install lighting timers that will create the impression that someone is home, and have a quality home security system installed. These will reduce your chances of being victimized by a burglary.
Trust Lane’s for All Your Travel Insurance Needs
Lane’s Insurance is a full-service brokerage, offering excellent resources and outstanding customer service and claims support to all its clients. We’ve partnered with the most trustworthy carriers in the province, so you can rest assured your interests are protected no matter where you may be heading.
Visit Lane’s Insurance online today to get a free travel insurance quote.