posted by Odin on Dec 24, 2009
'Insurance Disclaimer' by andrew steinmetz, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
I hate the insurance industry. To me, it represents the ultimate form of corporate dominance over the consumer. However, I understand that insurance as a service is needed and is here to stay, and so we have to deal with it and accept it.
Today I want to talk a little about travel insurance in particular. Is it worth getting when traveling outside of Canada? According to a poll mentioned in the Gazette some time ago, nearly 40% of Canadians do not purchase a policy when traveling to the United States.
I've only actually purchased travel insurance once in my many travels. And the time I did purchase one was actually because I was required to do so, not because I thought it could be useful. To keep a long story short, when I moved to France for work about two years ago, the French government had me buy a supplemental health insurance to cover me while I was there (the Quebec coverage was not enough). So I went ahead and paid a little over $600 for a one-year policy.
While in France, I went to see a doctor on one occasion, where I paid him in cash. The next day, when I called my insurer, I was told I would not be reimbursed because I was supposed to call ahead of my doctor's visit to get the reimbursement authorized. Are you kidding me? That kind of puts the whole "emergency" concept into question!
Apparently, I was supposed to read the fine print in the policy booklet! To quote Jerry Seinfeld: "Have you seen the size of this thing?", or George Costanza: "Should I quit my job?"
But then you hear about the exorbitant prices for medical care in the United States, and you think to yourself "maybe it is worth insuring myself". According to that same article from the Gazette, a one-day stay at a hospital south of our border for a broken arm for example could cost over $30k! Of this astronomical sum, only $500 would be covered or reimbursed by our government!
Forget about traveling outside of Canada. Even for travel within Canada, most people ignore the reality of our coverage situation. Our provincial health insurance does not actually cover us outside of Quebec for everything, and when it does, it may not pay in full.
So, to sum up, I would say that in THEORY, travel insurance sounds like a safeguard worth purchasing. The reality, however, is that there are so many circumstances and exceptions that can stop you from getting what was promised, that you might be better off traveling without any insurance.
Just cross your fingers, and hope nothing serious happens to you while abroad!
Leave a Comment
about the blog
MTLRants© is Seek Odin's brand new blog, bringing you entries from our staff and other contributors. The blog will cover topics and issues related to SeekOdin's central themes. Mostly, it will deal with the difficulties and frustrations of dealing with service-related businesses in Montreal.
|browse by tag|