Does travel insurance cover doctor visits?

Insurance Insights | November 25, 2021

Does travel insurance cover doctor visits?

doctor visit

Since March 2020, most of our travel plans have been put to a halt. To ensure the health and safety of everyone we’ve all done our part to keep as many people safe throughout this pandemic. As the world slowly goes back to normal more and more people feel comfortable travelling.

Over time, we’ve learned more about COVID-19 and how it spreads. We now know how to better protect ourselves from getting ourselves and others sick. With knowledge comes power and this gives us the freedom and option to travel more safely. However, we are humans after all and we’re not immune to every disease or injury that can occur while we’re away. This is why it’s important to obtain travel insurance if you’re thinking about taking a vacation.

Protect yourself from the unexpected

We know everyone is eager to get on a flight and explore the world but we also recognize how expensive is it to travel. You’ve waited so long and worked so hard to be able to treat yourself to a getaway or do a semester abroad. The last thing you want to be worried about is whether you’ve got the right coverage to protect you from the unexpected.

Travel insurance is meant to protect you from unexpected medical emergencies, among other things. However, the key to making this lock turn is that doctor visits are unexpected. For instance, if you trip and fall while hiking and damage a tooth, your insurance may provide coverage for a visit to a dentist. But you’re not covered if you’re going for a general dental check-up or any other regular appointment while on vacation.

Additionally, you’re granted only one follow up visit after the initial emergency. This may occur when the doctor doesn’t have time to see you during your first visit and could schedule your testing for another day or ask you to return for a follow-up in the next two weeks. Even if that second visit is related to the original emergency, this will still count as a separate visit and may not be covered by your insurance policy.

Travelling without knowing your insurance policy can cost you

As you can see, it’s very easy to use up your “quota” of hospital visits and doctor appointments. You can risk losing coverage should you develop new symptoms or your condition flares up again and require medical attention from a doctor. But if the doctor recommends a follow-up visit, you may wish to arrange that with your regular doctor in Canada to avoid paying out of your own pocket.

To that end, your policy may potentially cover your flight home. If your insurance provider determines that it would be preferable for you to return home, they may offer to pay for your return flight. Then it’s up to you whether you want to cut your vacation short, because if you don’t, and your condition reoccurs, you may not be covered.

What can travel insurance cover?

Depending on the travel insurance type there is a slight difference in the coverage. It’s important to thoroughly read through your policy so that you can ensure you take full advantage of your coverage should you need to use it while you’re away.

Student Travel Insurance provides coverage for medical care such as hospital and physician visits, ambulance fees and emergency dental services during your time away from home. This is typically offered to students who decide to take a semester abroad and require coverage during their stay.

Travel Insurance provides coverage for:

  • Trip cancellation & interruption

  • Baggage

  • Emergency medical

This type of insurance is usually recommended to people who are going on vacation outside of their home country.

Final thoughts

There are several reasons to obtain travel insurance but the most important one is access to medical assistance if required abroad. The key takeaway is to call your insurance provider as soon as you are able in case of a medical emergency on vacation. This is because beyond insurance considerations, delaying a doctor’s appointment may end up damaging not only your finances but also your health. 

For one or multiple trips, it’s nice to know you’re covered in the event of emergency illnesses or injuries while travelling. The Shepherd Group offers Travel Insurance and Student Visa Insurance. Reach out to our team today! Our brokers are ready to walk you through this process and help you select the right travel insurance type for your needs.