Taking a vacation? Here are 10 ways your travel insurance can become void

You’ve booked your flights, hotels, and mapped out the itinerary for your upcoming vacation. But before you take the leap you might want to review your travel insurance policy.

Many activities that seem like vacation staples may be excluded from your travel insurance, leaving you to foot the bill from unexpected events, illnesses, and injuries.

We’ve rounded up a list of activities that will typically render a standard travel insurance policy void, as well as some other items that could nullify your coverage.

1. Skydiving, bungee jumping, and high-risk adventures

Skydiving in Dubai, bungee jumping in New Zealand, or even running with the bulls in Pamplona sound splendid. But all these activities fall under extreme or adventure sports and are typically not covered under a general travel health insurance policy. If you plan to join in any excursion that is high-risk during your travels, make sure you speak with your insurance provider to ensure you’re receiving adequate coverage.

You'll want to go over your policy with a fine-toothed comb. If it uses a blanket term like "hazardous" or "extreme," make sure you find out exactly what that means and what it includes. You may need to take out an additional policy to cover your specific pursuit.

2. Scuba diving

Unless you’re certified by an internationally recognized program, any injury or sickness you endure from scuba diving is unlikely to be covered in your insurance policy. Make sure you read the fine print to ensure you’re covered if you plan on checking out life under the sea. Let your insurance provider know beforehand so it can be included in your coverage.

3. Drinking

Nothing says vacation like a couple of Mai Tais on the beach, but it’s important to note that many travel insurance policies have exclusions stating you are not covered for medical expenses if you are injured while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You should definitely compare policies if you plan on consuming alcohol.

4. Ignoring travel warnings

Pay attention to travel advisories issued by the Canadian government. Travel advisories are issued in the event of war, civil unrest, high rates of crime and violence, natural disasters, or health risks in certain destination countries. If you plan to visit a country where the Canadian government has recommended you avoid all travel or all non-essential travel, then your insurance provider may nullify coverage.

5. Not getting vaccinated beforehand

If you opt against getting vaccinated for COVID-19 or any other illness, but it’s an entry requirement for the country you're visiting, you won't be able to rely on your trip cancellation insurance for the costs incurred when you're turned away at the border.

6. Engaging in criminal activity

This one is obvious, but any criminal activity that you engage in, like drinking underage or buying drugs, will not be covered by your travel insurance policy.

7. Starting a fight

The same is true for fighting. Unless you’re able to claim self-defence, insurance providers will likely not pay for expenses accrued as a result of an assault that you initiated.

8. Taking part in a protest

If you plan to join a protest while abroad, you run the risk of voiding your coverage if things get out of hand and you're injured.

9. Hiding pre-existing conditions

If you’re not forthcoming about any existing medical conditions – like high blood pressure or diabetes – that you may have, then your insurance will likely not cover any claims related to that condition.

10. Not disclosing your full travel agenda

These days, it’s common for people to visit several destinations within one trip. If you’re touring around different countries, make sure you let your insurance provider know your itinerary. Otherwise, if you submit a claim in a country that your provider didn't know you were visiting, that claim may be rejected.

Remember: Cheaper doesn’t equal better

A cheap travel insurance policy might look good on paper, but make sure you read the policy details including all exclusions before making your purchase.

It’s possible to get the coverage that’s right for you. Including one that covers extreme sports — just make sure you’re transparent with your provider and purchase the appropriate policy.

Compare travel insurance rates and plans today to find the plan that’s right for you and your vacation.

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