Travel insurance gives you a piece of mind. But not having to submit a claim is better, especially if you have a loss that is excluded from coverage.
9 Travel Insurance Exclusions
1. Just like in-country private medical insurance, pre-existing conditions are not covered under travel insurance.
2. Injuries or illnesses that occur in a war-torn country are usually not covered. Sometimes, only claims as a result act of war are not covered and non-war related injuries may be covered. Confusing right? Double-check the policy.
3. An injury resulting from severe intoxication or consumption of illicit drugs will not be covered. If you want to party, do it responsibly and legally.
4. Biking with a BMX on the apex of a mountain is a definite insurance exemption. Extreme and adventure sports are not covered under most policies. Bungee jumping can be done with a jump master, scuba diving can be completed up to certain depths, and white water rafting is only allowed in certain grades of rapids. Sports and their degree of difficulty have limited coverage.
5. An injury or illness occurred in a country where your government issued a travel advisory may result in a denied claim. Examples are countries with a recent natural disaster or an epidemic.
6. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are illnesses that may not be covered. So be careful with exchanging bodily fluids. No glove, no love.
7. Unattended and unlocked belongings stolen are not covered. During long-haul bus rides, many travellers leave their belongings unattended and go outside for air, food, or use the washroom during stops. Only to find out it was stolen.
8. Mental illness is a serious concern as more and more awareness is brought to the issue. Insurers know this. Injuries sustained due to a mental illness (e.g. self-inflicted) will result in a denied claim.
9. I salute human rights activists marching in a protest. However, travelling abroad to take part in a protest can be risky. Injuries resulting from participation in a protest are usually not covered.
When You Don’t Need Travel Insurance
Sometimes, group health insurance covers foreign travel. In this case you don’t need to buy an individual travel insurance policy.
If you have health benefits under your employer, spouse’s employer, or parents, then check with the insurer for travel insurance coverage and save money.
All travel insurance policies are different. The above content is general information to help you not make a stupid decision with your life or finances. As always, and expected from any insurer, use common sense and double-check your travel insurance policy for limitations and exemptions.