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Travel Insurance: What you need to know before you go

December 13, 2023


Planning a winter getaway? Here’s a travel insurance checklist, to get you ready for your trip.

Before your departure

Read your travel insurance coverage prior to travelling outside the province. Your booklet will give you a clear idea of what is and isn't covered when travelling. If you have any questions about your coverage, limitations or exclusions of the contract, reach out to Beneva. You can also print out proof of travel coverage in the Beneva client centre.

Duration of the trip

The duration of an out-of-province trip is of the utmost importance. Check the details in your booklet to make sure that you are insured for the entire duration of your trip, including the day of departure and the day of return. If the duration of the trip exceeds the duration of the coverage, you will have to take out an extension of coverage before departure to be insured for the portion not covered by the plan.

A stable state of health

Travel insurance covers accidents, injuries and sudden, unexpected medical conditions. Make sure your health is stable before you leave on your trip. Expenses related to a known medical condition or under investigation prior to departure may not be eligible in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Ask yourself:

  • Has my health changed in the last year?
  • Has my medication dosage gone up or down?
  • Have I received a consult about a medical issue?
  • Have I undergone medical tests? Am I waiting for results? Do I need more tests?

It is important to note that a family doctor and an insurer may have different criteria for defining a stable state of health. Contact Beneva before departure if you have any concerns.

Government advisories

Not all tourist destinations are safe! In a world where the political situation in a region or country can change rapidly and without notice, it's vital that you check whether your destination is subject to a travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada before leaving. If the government recommends avoiding non-essential travel to a country or region, your insurance coverage may not be valid.

Who is covered by travel insurance?

If you are traveling as a family, you need to determine who is covered by your travel insurance: your spouse? your dependent children? your adult children? just yourself? Check with Beneva before your departure.

Prescription drugs

It's very important to bring enough medication to cover the entire trip. Since a medical visit to renew medication is not usually covered by an insurance policy, bring a little more medication than you think you will need, just in case your return is delayed.

Tip: Don’t pack all medication in your checked luggage. Keep some in your carry-on! This way, you will have access to medication in the event of airline delays or lost luggage.

Cash and credit card

Bring a credit card or cash in the currency of the country you’re visiting, in case you need to pay for emergency hospitalization. Research the best way to exchange currency before your trip.

Travel assistance provider contact information and policy/certificate number

Make sure you have the phone number for your travel insurance provider handy, in addition to your policy and certificate number in the event of an accident, injury or illness while traveling.

During your trip

If the unexpected happens, whether it's an injury, accident, or illness, the first thing you should do is call your travel assistance provider. They are best suited to refer you to the best place to consult according to your medical condition, whether it’s a clinic, a hospital, or a consultation by phone. This will maximize the chances of your insurer assuming the consultation costs, and lower your risk of having to pay out-of-pocket.

Another advantage of contacting the travel assistance provider is that they will be able to facilitate the entire hospitalization process thanks to the frequent contact they will have with the attending medical team. If repatriation is required, the travel assistance provider's medical team will also take charge.

By contacting your assistance provider directly, as soon as possible following a medical event outside their home province, you will experience a smooth and efficient medical billing process.


  • Never give your passport to a hospital, as they may demand large sums of money to return it, jeopardizing your scheduled return date.
  • Always keep the travel assistance provider informed of any expenses incurred at a hospital or clinic, including whether a deposit is required.
  • Request your complete medical report, including the results of any tests performed, in order to forward it to your family doctor.
  • Demand to receive all detailed bills (this includes the names, addresses and signatures of the health professionals who provided the services, as well as the names and addresses of the health care facilities visited).
  • Request a detailed description of all medical care and services received (date and cost).
  • Make sure you have proof of payment of all amounts paid out.
  • Request a note from the hospital confirming that you are fit to fly, as some airlines require this when they are informed that a plan member has been hospitalized.

After you return home

Even if the travel assistance provider responsible for your travel insurance coverage has paid all the bills, it's still important for you to fill out a claim form. This form will enable them to complete your file and recover the amounts paid on your behalf and those covered by the health insurance plan of your province of residence.

Bon voyage, we hope you have a safe and happy trip!