4 steps to securing your travel health insurance

November 6, 2014

Dealing with an illness or accident while on vacation can easily ruin the entire trip, but if you prepare yourself ahead of time with travel insurance, you can feel safe and secure while on your next vacation.

4 steps to securing your travel health insurance

1. Before you leave

To stay safe and secure abroad, you should take some basic precautions before you leave the country.

  • Make copies of important travel documents and store them in your hand luggage to make replacement easier in the event they are lost or stolen.
  • If you have a medical condition, pack enough medicine to last the duration of your trip, along with a spare supply in case your medicine gets lost or stolen.
  • To help avoid falling ill abroad, visit your physician for a full health check at least six weeks before travelling.
  • Even if you get clearance to travel, remember that things can go wrong and having travel insurance can help if you run into problems.

2. When you arrive

  • When you arrive, register with the Canadian embassy in your destination country. Doing so will enable government officials to contact you and assist you in the event of an emergency.
  • During your stay, remember you can contract many illnesses through contaminated food and water. Reduce your risk of falling ill by drinking plenty of bottled or disinfected drinking water and avoiding raw fruits and vegetables, and rare meat and fish.
  • Although bottled alcoholic drinks with an intact seal are usually safe, avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol to protect your health and guard against accidents that may occur due to impaired judgement.
  • Always carry identification with you, as well as a card with basic medical information and the contact details for your next of kin.
  • If you suffer from a medical condition that may require you to seek a specific treatment in an emergency, be sure to wear a medical ID bracelet.

3. In case of emergency

  • If you fall ill or get injured abroad, seek immediate medical care and contact your insurer's emergency helpline for support and assistance.
  • If you are admitted to a hospital, contact the Canadian embassy as they will be able to inform your relatives and arrange for an interpreter to help you communicate with your medical providers.
  • Keep any incident reports created by the emergency services as you will need these to make a claim on your insurance.

4. When you get home

  • On your return, contact your insurer to update them about your claim and ensure that your medical bills are paid.
  • Visit your physician to seek any necessary follow-up treatment.

By taking steps to protect yourself against illnesses and accidents, you can enjoy your next vacation stress, and hopefully injury, free.

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