Risk & Business Magazine Cooke Insurance Magazine Summer 2018 | Page 31

TRAVEL INSURANCE Thinking Beyond Travel Insurance L ike most people, when getting ready to go on vacation and planning a trip, you think about many things: What should I pack? What will I need? What time do I need to be at the airport? And then there’s the dreaded security line, making sure your itinerary is in order, and of course, making sure your passport and travel insurance information are on hand. So did I, until my last vacation at least. Let me briefly describe the event: I was sitting in the hotel lobby FaceTiming on my phone with family at home. When I stood up after the call, I didn’t realise that the glass top on the coffee table ahead of me had a broken corner. I caught my leg on the corner and, looking down thinking nothing at first, I saw the damage to my leg—a pretty wide gash opened up. This resulted in a trip to a medical clinic where I needed stitches to close it all up. After getting back from the clinic to the resort where we stayed and talking with our travel group, we got to thinking beyond travel insurance. We started to think about ancillary facts like who knew their blood type and who among those they travel with might also know if that information was ever needed? What about medical history? What if a transfusion was needed by someone? When traveling, we end up miles away from home. In my case, we were in a country where English wasn’t their first language and, let’s face it, my Spanish is more than limited. How would foreign medical staff access any medical history? They couldn’t unless it was given to them. How would that impact treatment? While your travel insurance is an essential piece to plan for before traveling, this personal experience taught me that it is also a great idea to write down some of your up-to-date medical history and make sure your spouse or traveling companion also has it in case you are in a position where you couldn’t provide it yourself. Danny Corriveau, President of Cooke Capital, has a passion for consulting with businesses, large and small, seeking customized Group Health Plan solutions. His experience serving a broad client base enables Danny to respond quickly to the unique needs of both employers and employees enhancing long-term prosperity for his clients.  BY: DANNY CORRIVEAU, COOKE CAPITAL Think about things like medications, blood type, any chronic problems you may have (diabetes, etc.) and anything else that may be relevant to medical providers if you are away from home. From an insurance perspective, if you are part of a group plan, make sure that you know the stability clause on any preexisting conditions before traveling. If you are unsure, make sure you communicate with your insurance company prior to your trip—things like changes in medical conditions or medications. If you are pregnant, how far into the pregnancy are you still allowed to travel? Are you going to a region where the Government of Canada has issued an advisory? These are all potential pitfalls that can create issues when claims are made. Avoid the surprise and find out before you leave. What do all of these things have in common? They are things many people don’t think about until it is too late to do anything about them. Even taking travel out of the equation, keeping a medical information sheet on your person is just a good habit to have. Do you have a travel information kit with your medical information in it? It can be as simple as keeping a card with your medical info in your wallet or purse. Who knows? Someday it could be something handy to have. Give me a call at 902-566- 5666 if you have any questions. + 31