Travel Insurance vs Complications Coverage
We get a lot of calls from people looking for complications coverage if they are traveling for medical treatment. This can often times be confused for traditional travel insurance. You will quickly find that they are not the same kind of coverage. Below we will explain the difference:
Travel policies were created to cover the cost of damage to personal property, for instance, baggage, rented equipment such as rental cars, trip cancellation, acute medical expense coverage, accidental death and/or flight accident coverage. Other things it might cover could be emergency assistance for lost passports, cash wires, and re-booking of canceled flights.
There is also a different kind of travel insurance called interruption coverage. This is to cover you should there be an illness, death in the immediate family, sudden business conflict or weather related issues. This coverage will reimburse you for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses.
Keep in mind that there are all kinds of clauses and exclusions to these polices. One important one is the misunderstanding that ‘medical coverage’ is available for pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure Nearly all of these policies exclude pre-existing conditions. If you are traveling for a scheduled surgery, this kind of policy will not cover you. If you have a heart disorder and have a heart attack while traveling, this policy will not cover you. What it will cover are instances where accidents occur and need immediate attention such as a fall that required stitches or a car accident that required medical care.
The best advice is to read your contract in full detail to know and understand what is and what is not included.
When you realize travel insurance will not cover a scheduled surgery, you will likely spend hours looking for options that will. We can save you a lot of time. There is only 1 company we know of that provides complication coverage to Canadians traveling for medical care due to the uniqueness of the travel. That company is called Global Protective Solutions (GPS). It is designed to cover you should there be complications as a result of a scheduled surgery.
The policy will cover you for up to 180 days post initial surgery. Additional medical or surgical treatment must be completed within a 270 day period.
Like most policies, there are limitations. For example, if you do not follow all of the pre and post operative medical instructions, you will not be covered. If you have an aesthetic procedure and you do not like the outcome, you will not be covered. Just like a travel policy, read the details close to know what is an acceptable reason for reimbursement.
Also keep in mind that most coverages on either kind of policy have maximum benefits for each specific need. Key take away, be sure to read the policy fully. If you do not understand a certain clause, contact the company for clarification.