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Travel insurance: Test your knowledge!

November 1, 2021

Travel insurance is one of those topics where fiction is all too often confused with fact. During this pandemic, beliefs are just as easily mixed with truthful information. Before you hit the road, test your knowledge.1

1. When a medical problem occurs while you’re travelling, when should you reach out to your insurer for travel assistance?

  1. Before you go to a hospital or clinic.
  2. As soon as you’re hospitalized.
  3. When you leave the hospital.

1. Whenever possible. Otherwise, you may have to pay a percentage of the fees. Note that in the United States, an overnight hospital stay can cost as much as US$9,3002!

What about COVID-19?

If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 during a trip, your insurance may cover medical expenses incurred.

2. How many days per year can you stay outside Quebec/Ontario without losing coverage under your provincial plan (Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec [RAMQ] or Ontario Health Insurance Plan [OHIP])?

  1. Quebec: 65 days / Ontario: 84 days
  2. Quebec: 182 days / Ontario: 212 days
  3. Quebec: 124 days / Ontario: 186 days

2. If your total absences exceed 1823 or 212 days (depending on your province of residence) per calendar year, you cease to be covered by RAMQ or OHIP for the year you were absent. To be eligible for travel insurance, you must be covered by the health insurance and hospital insurance plans in your home province for the duration of your trip.4

3. Associate the country or state with the common reason for requesting travel assistance.5

a. Repatriation of a recreational vehicle following a motorcycle accident

b. Indigestion or food poisoning

c. Roadside assistance

d. Sprain

e. Sunstroke

f. Fall

g. Pneumonia due to the contrast between the plane’s air conditioning and the country’s climate

h. Scooter/Tuk-tuk accident

  1. Spain, Portugal
  2. Florida
  3. Mexico
  4. Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Utah
  5. Asia (Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam)

a. 2 and 4 - Don’t drive recklessly in these American states.

b. 5 - Make sure the water is safe before drinking it while travelling.

c. 2 - Our snowbirds don’t hesitate to call roadside assistance when needed.

d. 1 - The pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela is certainly to blame.

e. 4 - Remember to hydrate in hot or desert climates.

f. 3 - Watch where you step during your vacaciones.

g. 1 - Most pneumonia cases don’t require hospitalization, but it’s still a bummer while travelling.

h. 5 - Make sure you stay vigilant and follow road safety rules, even in breathtaking settings.

4. Which of these factors affect the price of your travel insurance?1

  1. The destination
  2. Past claims
  3. Frequency of stays abroad
  4. Age
  5. Overall health (for people age 61 and over)
  6. Duration of stay in the contract
  7. The coverage selected in the contract

4, 5, 6, 7. In fact, the destination, claims made during past trips, or frequency of travel are not factors that affect the price of travel insurance.

5. You booked and paid for your trip a few weeks ago and learned that a number of COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the hotel where you’ll be staying. Is this covered by your cancellation insurance?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

b. No. If you’re afraid to travel because of increased COVID-19 cases, this is unfortunately not a recognized cause for cancellation. Cancellation fees will only be covered if the federal government issues a level 3 (avoid non-essential travel) or level 4 (avoid all travel) advisory for your destination AFTER you’ve purchased your trip.

Good to know

However, since cancellation insurance normally covers you if you fall ill suddenly and unpredictably, you may be covered if you contract COVID-19 before your departure or if you’re denied boarding due to a COVID-19 symptom.

6. Which of the following activities are not covered?6

  1. Surfing
  2. Desert rally
  3. Cage-diving with sharks
  4. Jet-skiing
  5. Waterskiing
  6. Zip lining
  7. Heli-skiing

2, 3 and 6 are considered too high risk. Also note that travel insurance will cover the medical expenses of covered activities if the activity isn’t a cash-prize competition or one for which you would be paid directly.

Good to know

Inclusions and exclusions

Take the time to read your contract and ask your insurer questions to understand its scope. Read about your destination and its characteristics so you arrive well prepared.

1. Travel insurance policies vary from one company to another. The examples and exclusions mentioned in the article are based on Desjardins travel insurance.

2. Source:

3. Trips lasting 21 days or less aren’t included in the 182-day total, nor are departure and return days.

4. Source:

5. Desjardins Insurance data.

6. The examples of exclusions are based on Desjardins travel insurance.