You’ve mapped out a list of activities you plan on doing on 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 actually void your travel insurance and leave you footing the bill.
Below we’ve rounded up a list of activities that will typically void a standard travel insurance policy, as well as some other items that could nullify your coverage.
1. Skydiving, bungee jumping and high-risk adventures
Skydiving, bungee jumping, and even running with the bulls is considered an extreme or adventure sport and is thus not typically covered under a general travel health insurance policy. If you’re travelling and you plan to partake in any excursion that is high-risk, make sure you speak with your insurance provider to ensure you’re receiving adequate coverage. You want to make sure the policy is specific. 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 as a result of scuba diving is unlikely to be covered in your insurance policy. As with extreme sports, 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 woven into your coverage.
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 obtain an injury while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You definitely want to compare policies if you plan on consuming alcohol.
4. Ignoring travel warnings
Pay attention to travel advisories issued by the Canadian government. 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 decide not to provide coverage.
5. Not getting vaccinated beforehand
If you opt against getting vaccinated and 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 sounds obvious, but if you engage in criminal activity including drinking underage, buying drugs, or anything else then you will not be covered under 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 not likely pay out for expenses accrued as a result of an assault that you initiated.
8. Taking part in a protest
If you plan to take part in 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 you have, then your insurance will likely not cover any claims related to that condition.
10. Not telling the travel insurer your full travel agenda
These days, it’s common for people to visit several destinations within one trip. If you’re visiting one place but stopping over for a few days in another, for example, make sure you let your insurer know your itinerary. If you have to submit a claim in a country that your provider didn't know you were visiting, you run the risk of a rejected claim.
Remember: Cheaper Doesn’t Equal Better
A cheap travel insurance policy might sound good on paper, but make sure you read the policy details including all exclusions before making your purchase. It is possible to get the coverage that’s right for you, including for extreme sports, as long as 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.