Travel insurance: What you need to know when planning a trip
When booking a trip, either online or through a travel agent, you will likely be offered the option to purchase additional insurance. But is it really necessary? Before topping up your travel insurance, it is wise to see what coverage you already have for yourself and your dependants.
Do I have travel coverage as part of my group benefits plan?
Health coverage under your group benefits plan for eligible members includes coverage for emergency out-of-country treatment due or related to a sudden, unexpected injury or new medical condition. This coverage is provided for the first 60 days of a trip while travelling outside your province of residence.
Details of your travel coverage can be found in your benefits booklet under the Out-of-province/Out-of-Canada section. This covers key definitions and information on topics such as emergency travel assistance, medical emergency assistance, non-medical assistance, and travelling with pre-existing medical conditions. It is particularly important to understand your benefits as they relate to emergency travel assistance – what you need to do and who you need to call if you need medical aid while travelling.
Learn more about the steps to access your benefits booklet.
Does my provincial health plan cover me on trips outside the province?
While many people believe their government health insurance plans will cover them when they leave their home province, the truth is that these plans have limits. Even within Canada, if you have an accident or become ill while visiting another province, not all the costs associated with your medical care are covered by your provincial health plan.
For travel outside of Canada, your government health insurance plan covers only limited amounts of the cost if you are to receive emergency health services while in another country. Visit www.ontario.ca/page/ohip-coverage-while-outside-canada to see what is/is not covered when travelling to other provinces, territories or outside of the country.
How do I know if I need extra travel insurance?
There are many things to consider when deciding whether you require extra travel insurance. First, you need to know how much coverage you have under your group benefits plan. Then, you need to decide if you want to purchase additional coverage to pick up where your group benefits plan leaves off. This might include an increase in the number of days you want coverage for, any increases in overall dollar amounts or maximums, and if you want to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
Do I need to carry proof of insurance when I travel?
In most cases, your provincial health card and your OTIP benefits card are all that you need. If you have a medical emergency while travelling, simply follow the instructions on the back of your OTIP benefits card. If you are required to have proof of coverage, contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1-866-783-6847 before you leave. They will send you a letter or email confirming your out-of-country travel health insurance through your group benefits plan. Carry both this letter and your benefits card when you are travelling.
What do I do if I require medical attention while travelling?
If you require emergency medical attention while travelling, call the 24-hour emergency phone number on the back of your OTIP benefits card. This will connect you to Allianz Global Assistance, the travel insurance provider. Please use a landline where possible, as you might not be able to reach Allianz using your mobile device. If you are unable to make the call yourself before seeking treatment, your travelling companion or family member must call as soon as possible once you are at the medical clinic or hospital. If you are asked to pay up front, call the 24-hour emergency phone number immediately. Allianz will attempt to arrange payment directly.
If you have any questions about your travel coverage, please contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847.