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What Snowbirds need to look out for when buying travel insurance this season

1. Buying your travel Insurance early does not lock in insurability. Many people think that if they buy their insurance and then have a change that they are covered. Nothing could be farther from the truth. One change in medication or investigation, changes everything and could be considered a pre –existing condition and not be covered. Travel insurance coverage is all about your health, the day you leave each and every time during the year.

2. A change in health, can make an annual plan worthless for future trips.Just because you bought an annual does not mean you’re covered all year. A simple change in health could leave that condition uncovered, for future trips.
Ask about a Future Insurability option offered in some plans, which will allow you to travel even with a change.

3. When one wants to come home early for whatever reason there is NO refund of unused days if a claim has been made

4. You may not be able to top up or extend an annual or single trip , if a claim has been made on the initial policy

5. You need to call the insurance company when going to the hospital.
Some insurers have specific hospitals they want you to go to, and if you go to another hospital, the bill may not be covered

6. A pending test or investigation, to be done at a later date can cause a denied claim. Try to get back all test results, and avoid booking any tests to be done when you get home

7. When an insurer wants to send you home after an illness, take the offer. Failure to do that will result in the insurer taking future coverage on that condition off the table

8. Typical emergencies allow 1 follow up visit. It's important to note the insurer is not there to pay for ongoing visits, therapies , or follow-ups

9. Failure to disclose one condition , can lead to the non-payment of a claim totally unrelated to the non-disclosed condition

10. Buy your insurance prior to milestone birthdays. For instance before turning 70, 75, 80,85 etc, you can lock in much lower rates by saving your age to get the better rates, even if its months before you are travelling. It's your age at time of application that counts

11. It is important to understand how many days stability your plan requires. Typical plans can be 90 , 180 , or 1 year. There are plans out there that allow you to reduce the stability period, to as little as 7 days by purchasing a rider

12. Try to make sure you schedule annual Dr. check-ups long before travelling season. This will avoid a problem, such as a minor change in prescriptions etc to be pre-exed when you go away.