Travel Underwriters’ CEO Patrick Robinson shares how Canadian travellers can ensure their travel insurance claims are paid out. Have you seen the news about travel insurance customers getting stuck with huge medical bills because of mistakes on medical health questionnaires? I wanted to provide some tips on how you can avoid this, so that your life savings do not go down the drain.-
How to Protect Yourself When Answering a Medical Health Questionnaire (MHQ)
1) Review it with your doctor, especially if you have a condition or are taking medication. No condition is too small. Taking aspirin for your heart? Include that.
2) Get a hard copy of your MHQ and fill it out. Some questionnaires get filled out over the phone, and you may not even see a copy. Some details may get left out this way. If your health isn’t as black and white as, say, a sprightly young 18-year-old, get a copy and fill it out yourself. If you need help, ask your doctor or travel insurance provider.
3) Include all medications. Not sure if it’s important or “major” enough to include? Include it anyway, even non-prescription ones. This will give you peace of mind that you’ll be covered if something happens while travelling.
If All Else Fails…We’ve Got You Covered
We’ve found unintentional mistakes or omissions on MHQs a big reason claims get denied, so we’ve created a safeguard to protect you. Our 50 years of experience in the travel insurance industry has allowed us to adapt our products based on our customers’ experiences.
Our Freedom policy allows you to pay a medical health questionnaire deductible if you’re faced with a huge medical bill but would traditionally be denied coverage because of an unintentional mistake. What this means is that we show some understanding when it comes to an oversight on your MHQ. We are one of the only major Canadian travel insurance providers to address this. Rather than deny your claim based on an error, we will apply a deductible if the claim was otherwise payable. Consequently, the largest financial loss will be that deductible.
Although the deductible isn’t cheap (it’s $10,000 for our Freedom policy), it will make a huge difference if your medical bill is in the tens, or even hundreds, of thousands. You’d be surprised how quickly the bills add up if something happens abroad; a $100,000 claim isn’t uncommon.
Knowing your options is the best way to protect yourself. Pass this on to your loved ones, especially those who have complicated health issues with plans to travel. Here are some travel insurance claim tips.
My last bit of advice—read your policy. Yes, policies can be lengthy but your travel insurance provider should make it easy for you to ask questions. Here are the 5 essential questions you need to ask your travel insurance broker.