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Why do we recommend purchasing travel insurance?
Travel insurance exists to safeguard you from certain financial risks and losses that can occur while traveling. Depending on the plan you choose, travel insurance will protect you from financial hardship that could result from an unexpected event interfering with your trip.
What types of travel insurance can Eagle-Eye Tours offer to clients?
We are a Canadian based tour operator and, therefore, can offer the following to our clients:
If you are a Canadian Resident, we can offer you Emergency Medical insurance, Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance as well as All-inclusive policies for your trip within Canada or to any other destination of your choice.
If you are living outside of Canada and are travelling to Canada for your trip, we can offer you Medical Emergency insurance as well as Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance.
If you are living outside of Canada and your trip destination is outside of Canada, we can only offer Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance.
What types of travel insurance do we recommend?
We strongly recommend that you invest in travel medical insurance to cover emergency medical expenses during the tour. Knowing that you have Emergency Medical insurance, which can reimburse eligible medical costs in case of a medical or dental emergency, should give you piece of mind when seeking medical help during your tour.
We also recommend Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance.
Travel insurance with trip cancellation and interruption benefits can reimburse you for non-refundable, pre-paid trip costs (up to the amount of your plan limits) should your participation in the trip be canceled or interrupted for a covered reason. All our Eagle-Eye tours are pre-paid tours. According to our cancellation policies, your payment to us will become non-refundable if you cancel your participation after the deadlines outlined in our policies.
In general, Trip Cancellation insurance reimburses you for non-refundable expenses if you are unable to join the tour. Trip Interruption reimburses you for the unused portion of your tour if you have to leave partway through a tour and it also covers some additional unexpected expenses incurred during your travel (e.g. additional hotel of flight costs due to weather delays or other delays that are not covered by your airline).
Here’s an example for a Trip Cancellation insurance claim:
Let’s assume you break your ankle two days before you are supposed to depart on our trip to Costa Rica and you can no longer join the tour. Because you have cancelled less than 60 days prior to one of our land tours, your payment to us is 100% non-refundable. If you have Trip Cancellation insurance in place, you would then make a claim with your insurance provider to recover your financial loss.
Here’s an example of a Trip Interruption insurance claim:
Similar to the scenario above, you break your ankle half way through a tour and need to leave the tour. As per our policies, we cannot reimburse you for the unused portion of your tour and you would make a claim with your insurance provider to recover the unused portion of your tour (50% of what you paid for the tour).
When is it best to buy travel insurance?
You do not have to buy the insurance right when you sign up for your trip, but you can get additional benefits if you do!
Buying travel insurance at the same time as signing up for your trip is especially beneficial when purchasing Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance. It allows you access to an additional benefit called ‘Cancel for Any Reason’. Essentially this provides a partial refund if you have to cancel for a reason that is not covered by your insurance policy. With one company (Manulife) this Cancel for Any Reason benefit is included if you buy right away (within 72 hours of paying your deposit), but with another company (Allianz) you pay an additional surcharge to get this benefit and you still have to purchase the insurance within 24 hours of paying your deposit.
If you are looking to buy Emergency Medical insurance for your trip, it is best to buy it when you are in good health and with no assumption that that may change.
We believe that the best practice for buying All-Inclusive and Cancellation policies is to purchase the policy at the same time as submitting your booking. You can insure the full cost of the tour or keep the amount insured for cancellation at the non-refundable portion of your deposit and set your travel days to match your tour. Upon tour confirmation (typically between 120-90 days prior to our land tours) we can then adjust your travel days to cover your entire trip and increase the amount insured to match your payment. In this way your travel investment is appropriately insured throughout the booking process and a financial loss due to an unforeseen cancellation is minimized. If you only insure the amount of your deposit but then increase your coverage before you pay the balance owing you can still be eligible for the Cancel for Any Reason benefit on your balance payment.
Can you tell me more about the ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ benefit?
Sure, if you can think of something that may force you to cancel your trip and that something is not a covered reason listed in your policy you may want to purchase insurance with a ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ benefit.
Here are a few examples that we can think of:
Your dog has fallen ill and you are not comfortable leaving him in someone else’s care. This is not a covered reason but may be a legitimate reason for you not to go, you may file a claim under you Cancel for Any Reason benefit and recover some of your pre-paid travel arrangements.
You may change your mind about travelling more than 2 weeks prior to departure, even though we would not be able to refund your payment at that time, you could recover a portion of your payment through a claim under your Cancel for Any Reason benefit.
If you are worried of being exposed to COVID-19 in your trip destination and therefore would like to cancel your participation in the tour. COVID-19 is currently considered a known event and is, therefore, not eligible as a covered reason under policies without a Cancel For any Reason benefit. You could, however, make a claim for the Cancel For any Reason benefit for a partial refund if it is included in your policy.
The ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ benefit is not a get out of jail for free card. It still comes with a significant financial loss on your end. If you cancel your trip 14 days or more before the departure date shown on your confirmation, your insurance provider will only pay up to 50% or 75% (depending on the policy) of the covered amount to reimburse your non-refundable payments.
What about pre-existing conditions?
Most insurance policies cover pre-existing conditions that are stable for a period of time prior to when the policy becomes effective. For Cancellation and Interruption insurance policies, pre-existing conditions would have to be stable prior to purchase of the policy. For Emergency Medical insurance policies, pre-existing conditions have to be stable prior to the start of your travels. The stability period is often 90 days, but varies depending on your personal situation. We can tell you more about the stability period that applies to you and please read your policy to understand what is and is not covered.
Are insurance premiums refundable?
It depends, generally medical emergency premiums are refundable if your trip will not take place. Cancellation and All-Inclusive policies are generally non-refundable if you cancel your trip. If you cancel your trip it is assumed that you will make a claim to recover your non-refundable travel arrangements, assuming you are cancelling for a reason that is covered under your policy. If Eagle-Eye Tours cancels the tour and you receive a full refund or travel credit from us and the Cancellation and All-Inclusive policy is therefore no longer needed, you can receive a full refund of your insurance premium.
Have more questions?
When you are considering an investment in insurance, we are happy to have a conversation with you about your situation and what policies might be the best fit for you.