What to do in case of theft while traveling?

16 December 2016

You are on a trip to Bali with friends to start surfing, sunbathe on paradisiacal beaches and immerse yourself in the Indonesian culture. Returning to your hostel, you realize that the locker in your room, where you left your wallet, your laptop and your camera, was vandalized… The padlock was cut. Your valuables are gone!

How do you react? Where do you start in order to get your stolen items refunded? To avoid panicking unnecessarily, here’s what you need to do step-by-step in the event of a theft:

Procedure in case of theft

1. Stay calm. It is useless to let stress take over. While these are items that have significant monetary or sentimental value, you have to keep your calm and focus on the positive. After all, your life is not in danger, and you did well to have subscribed to a travel insurance.
2. Check that it is theft. Sometimes you move your items from your suitcase to your day bag and you simply forget that you moved them. Before crying wolf, you must take the time to check out what is missing. You can also ask your friends who share your room or your neighbors of the same hostel to check if they were also robbed.
3. Make an inventory of what was stolen. Write a list of items that disappeared while your memory is still fresh. Add as much detail as possible in writing, such as the age and model, in the case of electronic devices.
4. Inform the management of the hostel. Go to the reception of your accommodation and ask to speak to the manager. Explain the situation calmly.
5. Call your insurance agent. Your agent will ask you for more information and it will send you a claim form to complete.
6. Get a police report. You must go into a police station and obtain an official report summarizing the theft. This is a key document for a refund of the missing items. If this is totally impossible, check with your insurance agent for insurance covering the loss of objects.
7. Send the police report to your insurance agent. Once you get the famous police report, you send it immediately to your insurance agent. You can email it by scanning the document, or by fax or mail.
8. Get your refund check. Once the documents are approved by the insurer you will receive a refund check according to the conditions of your travel insurance contract.

Experienced traveler tips:

● Take a picture of your passport, your travel documents and your valuable items in addition to noting the serial numbers of your electronic devices before going on a trip and send the to yourself by email. In case of theft, it will simplify your claim process. Click, click!
● If your passport is stolen, you must immediately inform the nearest passport issuing office. It is possible to get an emergency travel document or a temporary passport in case of urgent need. More information on the Government of Canada’s website.
● If you had your credit card stolen, you must quickly inform the company that issued the card. Your card must be canceled as soon as possible. Your credit card company will guide you in the process of obtaining a new card at home or while traveling.

It is not the end of the world to have items stolen while traveling, but it is certainly not pleasant. You should just know what to do and keep cool. After all, you should congratulate yourself for taking out travel insurance before you went! Well done!

Article by Nomad Junkies team

nomad

5 things to prepare for a ski trip

22 November 2016

Winter is coming fast … Good joke! Winter has already started in many parts of the country. While for some that are in perpetual search of the sun and the heat – it is a curse, others are looking forward to start their favorite sports earlier in the season. The skis are ready, the snow is there, go hop on and hit the slopes!

In recent years, there seems to be a craze for ski trips. Extreme sports on the coast, people are looking for a shot of adrenaline on the biggest mountains such as Mont Saint-Sauveur or even Mont Saint-Anne. The destinations such as Western Canada, the Rockies, the Alps and Japan are ideal places for lovers of skiing and snowboarding.

A ski trip – it’s not like going to an all inclusive holiday. Usually, all you need is your swimsuit and sunscreen and voila. In contrast, for a successful ski trip, there are a few tricks to preparing.

1- Make sure you get in shape

A few weeks (or months) before departure, begin to train your body and the cardiovascular system at the muscular level. The body is generally used to ski days for a weekend and that’s it. During a ski trip, rather it is 4-6 days of sport that the body has to endure. Put the odds on your side by physically preparing.

2- Prepare a list of luggage

It’s rare that I give this advice, but during a ski trip, it is better to bring more than just enough. Some ski resorts in the country require a mandatory helmet so it is always better to bring one. Anyway, it is always advisable to wear a helmet! The ideal is to bring two pairs of glasses in case of breakage. The vast majority of ski centers have shops, but in high season, prices are likely to be exorbitant. Since the temperature can vary from day to day, it is important to provide several layers of clothing, even removing them during the day.

3- Predict if you want to use your own equipment or rent

The majority of ski centers offer equipment rentals on site. In contrast, if one wants to use their own equipment they must be prepared for the transportation costs and the risks it can cause. It would be unfortunate to arrive on site with some equipment damaged in transport, for example. It is also recommended to shop around for a good carry bag. If this is the first time the equipment will be used in the season, make sure to set it up prior to departure or find out where it will be possible to do so once you have reached the destination.

4- Plan ahead to save money

Several resort centers offer discounts when lodging and lift ticket are combined. It is therefore appropriate to plan a few weeks to months in advance to book the whole lot together, especially in high season. Ski centers are recognized for the astronomical prices they charge in their restaurants and snack bars, so it is important to bring snacks to give an energy boost during the day.

5. Do not go without insurance

As with all other types of travel, it is recommended to take out travel insurance before the departure. To cover the risk of accidents and flights cancellations due to several factors, like say an avalanche! It is important to confirm with the consultant certain aspects of the cover, as it is a sport and a riskier type of trip which is obviously more expensive. Here are some points to keep in mind regarding coverage:
– What is the destination and length of travel?
– Does it also cover leased equipment or only for your own equipment coverage?
– Is it the same cover for a skier or snowboarder?
– In an accident on the mountain, does that coverage includes repatriation by helicopter to the nearest hospital (if necessary)?
– Does it cover the smaller objects (such as lost or stolen ski passes)?
– Are the different types of activities like skiing off-piste or terrain parks covered?
– What are the terms for the stolen, lost or damaged equipment coverage?
– Is post-trip care for injuries resulting from an accident, such as physiotherapy, for example, covered?
– Is heli-skiing covered?

Article by Nomad Junkies team

How to make a travel insurance medical claim?

18 October 2016

The bad press when paying insurance claims

Every insured person has already heard it said that the insurance companies do not always properly repay when an accident occurs. Even if the reimbursement rules are specifically listed but due to the fastidious way of insurance contracts, there may remain an afterthought on the risk of not receiving the coverage to which one would be entitled by paying the premium insurance.

This bias may come from several sources. One of the situations is that the insured person has misinterpreted the cover which he thought he had. The role of a broker or insurance representative is crucial because they are the privileged interlocutor to understand the needs of a traveler and to adequately inform the guarantees but also the restrictions and exclusions. Another situation is that the traveler is exposed to a risk of which he had forgotten that was not under his travel insurance policy. A final situation is sometimes the insured traveler did not correctly assess his condition beforehand from the conditions agreed in the travel insurance policy for emergency medical care abroad.

Complaints are perhaps not always easy to complete, but if the rules were well set out in the sale of insurance and where they were being followed by the insured, there is no reason that an insurer does not pay during a disaster.

The restrictions and common exclusions in travel insurance

Whether with travel insurance or without medical questionnaire, any contract includes provisions regarding the prior state of traveler health before his departure date or the date of entry into force. In addition, any traveler must keep in mind some general exclusions on most products. Many travelers are unaware of them and therefore this opens the door to a dispute at the presentation of a medical claim.

The travel insurance does not usually cover

  1. sports risks;
  2. the activities of paid professional sports;
  3. speed or endurance races;
  4. piloting an aircraft or a flight as a paying passenger in another public transport method;
  5. countries, regions or cities in which Canada’s Foreign Affairs issue a warning not to stay;
  6. and in some cases paid work (some insurance travel products for the Snowbirds do not cover people working against remuneration).

Exclusions that can be felt more by all travelers:

  1. an optional treatment (medical care that can wait for the return trip);
  2. a trip undertaken for the purpose of receiving medical treatment;
  3. concealment or deliberate misrepresentation regarding insurance or the presentation of a claim;
  4. drug use, abuse of drugs or alcohol that directly or indirectly leads to a claim;
  5. attempted suicide or self-harm;
  6. mental or emotional disorders, anxiety, stress or depression unless you need to be hospitalized. Here it should be noted that some travel insurance products never cover mental or psychological problems because they are not considered a medical emergency.

Of these exclusions, the one that causes problems most often is the abuse of alcohol.

If you go to the emergency room following a banal accident from a fall causing a blow to the head, a cut above one eye or a sprained ankle, and if they think you exceed the permitted alcohol limit and after a blood test result are above the legal limit, the insurance company has the right not to pay your medical expenses related.

The importance of calling the emergency phone number before any medical consultation

Failure to call the assistance center before consulting (unless a serious medical condition or admission to hospital in extreme emergency) can create unpleasant surprises for you, such as non-payment of the claim. By contacting the support center, the speakers will tell you immediately how to proceed, so you do not make a mistake. The emergency numbers to call are listed on your insurance certificate and your insurance policy detailing the exact scope of coverage purchased.

The importance of having a valid health insurance card

Whatever your province or territory of residence, you will normally have a registration for a public insurance plan. This gives you a health insurance card. It must always be in place, because during a claim when traveling abroad, the insurer verifies if you are in good standing. If unfortunately, your card is no longer valid, your medical claim is likely to be refused or the level of reimbursement of benefits may be drastically reduced.

The best way to avoid problems in medical travel claims is to read your insurance policy before departure and ask all relevant questions to your broker or your insurance representative.

7 keys to understanding international driving permits

2 October 2016

1. What is an international driving permit?

The international driving permit or IDP has information from the usual driving license translated into ten languages. The languages are English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, German, Arabic, Italian, Swedish and Portuguese. The holder thus has a new photo ID in addition to his other identity documents. In addition, most car rental companies will ask for an IDP, although it is not required to drive in the country visited. The international driving permit is not valid in the state or province where the holder has established his main residence. This should cover the formalities for obtaining regulatory permits for the state or province of residence. The international driving permit or IDP is a title of conduct where one is qualified as non-resident.

2. Does a Canadian motorist need a IDP in North America?

The international driving permit was created as part of a UN convention on road traffic in 1949. This document is recognized in all the signatories to this agreement. Even though some have not signed it, IDP is often accepted in their territory.
For Canadians, the IDP is usually required outside of North America. Normally, the Canadian driver’s licenses are sufficient to circulate in the United States or Mexico. Unfortunately, without explicitly requiring this famous international driving permit, some US states have adopted legislation that did not accept licenses not in English. This has a direct impact for residents of Quebec.

The US state of Georgia is almost a must for those traveling by car to Florida. Many Canadian retirees, commonly called snowbirds, were likely to be confronted with local laws regarding driving licenses. Indeed, any motorist driving in this state should have a driving license in English. This led de facto impossible for Quebecers to ride locally with their driving license denominated in French. The Georgian authorities seemed rarely fined motorists holding only allowed Quebec. Getting suspended since this law will be repealed end 2016, which will allow Quebec drivers to present their passport and driving license of Quebec when needed. From January 1, 2017, Georgia will no longer require that its agents present international driving permit if the lead held permit is written in a language other than English. The presentation of the Canadian passport with the Quebec driver’s license written in French is only admissible for local authorities. There will be no need for Quebeckers to have an international driving permit in Georgia.

3. How to get information about permits for the countries visited?

In addition to the travel advisory, the Department of Canadian Foreign Affairs informs about whether or not to obtain a prior international driving permit. The information is specified in the “Laws and Customs” tab of each country profile. To view the information by country, please follow the following link: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

4. Where to get an international driving permit?

For Canadian residents, the CAA is the only Canadian jurisdiction authorized to issue and to deliver international driving permit.

An international driving permit is valid for a period of one year from the date of issue. Motorists must reapply each time another IDP is required.

5. What are the conditions for an IDP?

A Canadian traveler wishing to use a road vehicle in a country requiring an international driving license must be at least 18 years. He must also hold a valid and unrestricted Canadian driving license. The Canadian drivers who can not get an IDP are those who hold only a temporary permit (or learning) and those who were stripped of their license because of violations of the code of the road.

The international driving permit does not apply to the category of vehicles which the Canadian license held by the motorist does not authorize driving.

6. What is the cost of this license?

The Canadian motorist can report to their local CAA Club with the required documents (two-sided photocopy of the driving license in good standing issued by the province of residence, two passport photographs and the IDP application form for the CAA).

The cost is currently $ 25 (subject to change without notice from CAA).

You can also apply by mail. A request sent by mail must include the payment of fees by credit card or by bank draft, money order or check in Canadian currency from a Canadian financial institution payable to your local CAA Club.

Note that IDP will not be issued earlier than a month before the departure date. The IDP is valid for one year from its date of issue. No need to be a member of the CAA to apply!

7. What will happen if you stay abroad for over a year?

If the stay abroad exceeds one year and your IDP expires, you can request a new one, provided that your Canadian driving license is still valid. Your new international driving permit will be posted abroad, at your expense.

6 disregarded realities of travel insurance

2 September 2016

Multi-trip insurance cannot be interrupted

If a traveler subscribes to an annual travel insurance plan, also called multi-trip insurance, this type of plan is not refundable as soon as it comes into force. It provides insurance coverage for unlimited travel for a certain period, in the course of 365 consecutive days. If the insured has availed of that once or several times during the annual period, the insurance premium does not vary. The argument of non-payment is that the insured can use it later as the contract is valid for one year from the start date of their first insured trip. Obviously age of the insured traveler, certain medical conditions may not be covered if it does not respect the stability period required at each new start. Usually, anyone planning to travel outside their province of residence repeatedly should consider the option of an annual plan of travel insurance. It will prove more economical than several unique travel insurance.

 

A deductible can be applied several times a trip

Some travel insurance for all and travel insurance for travelers 55+ offer the possibility to choose the application of a deductible in order to lower the insurance premium. The exact application of the deductible depends on each insurer. It is important to refer to the section of the insurance policy that details the conditions of application of the deductible. In general, the medical deductible applies to each new event (accident or illness). For example, if a traveler consults for early bronchitis, they shall pay the amount of the deductible in their travel insurance policy. If they then consult for a broken ankle, the deductible applies again because they are two separate events.

 

But increasingly, the deductible also applies per visit to an emergency room or hospitalization even if connected to the same medical condition. If the insured returns for a follow up planned by the treating physician, the deductible will not apply. But if he returns to an emergency room due to a sudden relapse of his condition, some contracts apply the deductible again.

 

When purchasing travel insurance, you must check the General Conditions carefully.

 

The number of prescribed medications can influence the insurance premium

The number of drugs prescribed at the pharmacy regularly are subject to a medical question on contracts for travelers wishing to cover their pre-existing conditions. This criterion is found in either the admissibility or the medical questionnaire. The answer is involved in determining the premium. It is strongly advisable to check with your doctor if certain medications taken as needed or nonessential could not be replaced by OTC drugs. Thus, the number of drugs decreases. This can give access to more insurance products or avoid elongated medical questionnaires which must be approved by the medical team of insurance companies. This process is more difficult because the traveler must provide exam results, so for him it involves costs, waiting time and therefore stress.

 

The partial reimbursement of the insurance premium for shortened travel is subject to conditions

Any traveler making a hasty return to his country or province of residence can claim a refund for unused days. This possibility is not offered on annual insurance nor if insurance includes cancellation coverage or trip interruption.

 

When the travel insurance policy so authorizes, reimbursement for early return is subject to certain conditions. No refund is possible if the insured traveler consulted in order to obtain medical services during their stay abroad. This restriction is always described in the conditions of the travel insurance policy wording. If the traveler has made any medical claims and has no medical claim form to be submitted to the insurer, it can claim a refund of the unused insurance days. Administrative charges are applicable. They are usually specified in the insurance certificate originally issued. These fees vary slightly between insurers. It is also asked to provide proof of valid return to his country or province of residence.

A group plan to cover the beginning of your journey brings some disadvantages

It may be advantageous to cover the beginning of your journey through a group insurance or a credit card that gives the holder travel insurance coverage. It is the responsibility of the traveler to check out the number of days covered and the required stability. If the trip undertaken exceeds the coverage offered in duration through group insurance or credit card, it should be complemented by a unique travel insurance. Should the latter be purchased prior to the date of departure in trip and the two insurance periods must follow each other without interruption.

 

If the traveler extends the coverage offered through group insurance or card credit, it is essential to check that the first insurer authorizes to extend its plan with another insurer. The standards are sometimes quite different. For example, some require group plans to use the predetermined number of days of insurance, without possibility of extension. Or some credit cards must be extended by the same insurer unless with special permission.

 

Finally, if a medical event occurs during the first period of insurance (one in the group coverage or that of the credit card), it causes a change in medical stability with regard to the insurer completing the second period of coverage. Accordingly, an accident or illness during the first period of insurance becomes an exclusion for pre-existing conditions for the second period of insurance.

 

The return date of an insurance contract is based on the time of arrival of the flight

When a passenger makes a request to provide a package holiday, it is important to know the dates and times of departure and return. Time to return to the country or province of residence is crucial. Often return flights will be quite late in the evening. For travel insurance it is very valid, it must be taken out until the date of the next day if the flight ends after midnight.

Understanding medical stability

12 August 2016

What is medical stability?

A well-informed traveller should carefully consider their needs when reviewing different possibilities of travel health insurance. The verification of conditions, restrictions and requirements of insurance policies must constitute the central elements of their approach. In fact, the limitations on pre-existing medical conditions vary from one insurer to another. The terms of medical examinations and treatments received are also defined differently.

In the end, whether a pre-existing medical condition is covered by travel insurance or not, any traveller must understand the concept of medical stability.

Understanding medical stability

In a travel insurance policy, it is the time required by the insurer during which the traveller’s state of health must remain exactly the same, without any change, in terms of medication, treatments and consultations. The stability period is expressed in days or months depending on the travel insurance companies.

Medication

Any increase or decrease in the dosage of a medication is considered instability and more so, the beginning of taking or discontinuation of medication. It is mainly the discontinuance of taking a medication that raises the most arguments. The reason is simple. Most people believe if they no longer take the drug, they will consequently declare themselves cured. One should know that in the beginning of a medication being taken, as it is judged, may have side effects. Taking a new drug prescribed by their doctor or stopping the prescription of a drug leads in both cases to a change in the patient’s health. As such, the history of their medication is an integral part of the concept of medical stability.

Treatments

The term “treatment” is any health problem or symptom for which a physician has a diagnosis and has recommended a medical response. All treatment received to control a medical condition (medication, chemotherapy, surgery, hospitalization etc.) is also subject to a period of stability which varies according to age, duration of the trip or the type of treatment itself.

Medical consultations

The term “consultation” is defined as any visit where you ask them to see you for a health problem that creates discomfort and worries you, even to the point of presenting to the emergency department of a hospital.

In contrast, the annual medical examination with your family doctor does not fit into the category of medical consultations affecting medical stability. Instead, insurers see travellers who had a health check within 24 to 36 months before the travel departure date favourably. The medical situation of the traveller is therefore known and possibly better controlled. Consequently, a surcharge applies on some travel contracts for travellers aged 55 and over who have not had a health check for more than two or three years. They are considered higher risk by travel insurance companies.

Term stability

As mentioned previously, the age of the traveller is an important point for the criterion of a period of stability. Depending on their age, the clauses in the contract require stability times ranging from 7 to 365 days. The insured person must refer to the required stability time for their age group at the date of departure for their trip.

Particularities

Some medications, such as insulin and coumadin, are considered stable even if the dosage varies. With this type of medication, we consider only the starting or stopping of taking the drug for stability.

The category of minor ailments includes any illness, injury or health problem that does not require the use of medication for more than 15 days and not more than one follow-up visit to the doctor. For a condition to be considered minor, the insured person should not be hospitalized or undergo surgery, or be referred to a specialist (the definition is always described in the insurance policy). The health status must remain stable up to 30 days before departure date. However, a chronic condition, or any complication related to a chronic condition, is not considered a minor ailment.

The features may be slightly different from one travel insurance product to another, so it is important to read the policy. If in doubt, the best way to know if your stability has been acquired before departure is to check w

Clarifying 4 myths on baggage insurance

5 July 2016

1. My luggage is covered only during the trip to my destination

The term baggage is used by airline companies, rail or road carriers to designate the personal belongings which accompany you during your journey. Throughout your entire trip, your baggage can indeed be delayed, damaged or even lost. Baggage insurance therefore covers in case of loss, theft, damage or delay. Nevertheless, baggage insurance will remain in place throughout your stay at destination. Your personal belongings are insured against a number of risks which could occur, such as a break-in the hotel room or a mugging. For example, the loss or theft of important documents such as passport, driver’s licence, birth certificate or travel visa entitled you to financial compensation for expenses incurred to replace them.

2. Personal belongings are always poorly refunded

Reimbursement levels on baggage insurance varies significantly from one insurance company to another. The perception of poor coverage often comes from baggage insurance which refund limits are below the value of the items that accompany us when traveling. It is important to understand the sub-limits inherent to baggage insurance. In fact, behind the maximum amount of coverage, other provisions can significantly reduce the range of guarantees. This may be the presence of a deductible, a maximum amount per article or even an overall limit for a category of personal items. Usually, jewelry and electronic devices are personal items that have most restrictions in the baggage insurance.

3. The insurer compensates only in monetary form

Baggage insurance provides financial compensation for losses in accordance to the terms and conditions outlined in the contract. It is also necessary to be aware that the insurer reserves the right to repair or replace damaged or lost property with another of the same quality and value. The insurer’s guarantee is limited to the actual value of the goods. However, if it is the baggage registered with a carrier or for missing luggage left under the responsibility of a hotel, the insurer reimburses eligible expenses only in excess of those reimbursable from other sources, such as the hotel’s civil liability.

4. Making an insurance claim for my luggage is complicated

As with medical claim, the insurer will request proof of the damage sustained to the baggage and personal belongings. It is this step that seems unacceptable for the traveler who wishes to assert his right to compensation under the baggage insurance.

If the damage occurs while travelling, the carriers offer a service counter for travelers who are experiencing delays, lost or damage of their property and personal belongings. The transport agents will then give the traveler a receipt stating the damage. It simply is the responsibility of the insured to contact the assistance center for procedure to follow to declare its claim and attach the receipt.

In the event of burglary, theft or wrongdoing, you must notify the police as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours after the fact and obtain written proof to support the loss incurred. If you do not report to the police the incident, you could lose all rights to the insurance coverage.

For more information on baggage insurance

It is very important to understand the guarantees and specific exclusions of your contract. Check with an Accident and Sickness Insurance Representative about the general conditions of baggage insurance.

Credit card insurance – Limitations when traveling

5 July 2016

When you leave on your trip, do you think you are sufficiently insured by your credit card? The following are some explanations to fully understand the limitations of credit card insurance and the importance of taking out international travel insurance.

There are two types of benefits: non-medical benefits (luggage, cancellation, delay and civil responsibility) and medical benefits (death/disability, medical costs in case of accident or illness, medical repatriation, etc.)

Your credit card abroad

Each card has its special conditions. Make sure you understand the benefits/limitations of yours.

Ask the right questions

• Must you pay your trip in full with your credit card to take advantage of its coverage?
• Are you covered for pre-existing medical conditions?
• Does coverage vary according to age?
• What is the period of stability?
• What is the maximum amount of travel insurance coverage for medical costs?
• Is there a deductible to pay?
• If you decide to extend your stay, will your protection be extended?
• Are there conditions?
• What is the maximum number of days covered for a trip?
• Is the cancellation or trip interruption provided by the plan?

Who is covered by your credit card?

Most cards cover the cardholder, spouse and dependent children, meaning: your child or your grandchild or those of your spouse, being older than 15 days and younger than 18 years. If the child attends an educational institution, he will be considered in your charge if he is 24 years old or less. To be covered, you must travel with the cardholder.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for guarantees, you must generally have paid for your trip in full with the credit card (according to banks), and very often, these guarantees are optional, being a supplement, or can be limited to a maximum amount. It is essential, before paying for medical costs abroad, to make contact with the insurer. Otherwise, the insurer may decide to reduce the refund amount for the expenses that he has not authorized. Generally speaking, if your account is in arrears, you may not be eligible for guarantees.

Limitations for coverage

• You are covered only for your trips in which the duration is equal to or less than the number of days indicated on your credit card’s protection chart. For example, depending on your age, with Desjardins Odyssée credit card, a person who is 59 years-old or younger is entitled to 48 days of coverage; from 60 to 64 years, the maximum is 23 days; from 65 to 75 years, the maximum is 15 days; from 76 years and older, this card does not cover you for medical expenses.
• The amounts related to cancellation insurance are often fixed at a maximum amount, in several cases $2,000.
• Protection for baggage provides for compensation only in cases where luggage has been registered with a public transporter.
• It is not possible to cover your pre-existing health conditions that were not stable in the six months prior to your departure date.

The advantages of buying travel insurance with Escapade Travel Insurance

• You receive personalized coverage, advice and service from our expert consultants.
• The baggage insurance offers coverage for your personal items in case of theft, loss or damage during your trip and at destination.
• By subscribing to a cancellation guarantee, you are covered for a large number of cases for canceling your trip and the guarantee limits are much higher.
• You can be insured for your unstable health conditions.
• You can travel the number of days you wish, without limitations with respect to your age.

To learn more about credit card insurance

To learn more about guarantees and specific exclusions to your credit card, check your financial institution’s website, and more specifically their travel insurance section.

Demystifying yellow fever when traveling

5 July 2016

If you anticipate traveling to a tropical zone in a Latin American or an African country, vaccination against yellow fever will probably be a requirement in the countries you will be visiting. Protecting oneself against yellow fever by a vaccine should be carried out at least 10 days before your departure in order to be effective. Yellow fever is a disease caused by the Amaril virus which is transmitted from a bite of an infected mosquito. It takes its name from the yellowing of the skin and eyes which occurs when the virus attacks the liver.

Yellow fever is endemic in several countries. To be admitted to their territories, certain countries therefore require the presentation of an international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever. According to WHO, every year yellow fever affects around 200 000 people and will be the cause of 30 000 deaths. During the preparation of your trip, check if a yellow fever vaccination is necessary.

How does one identify the symptoms of yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a virus which, like malaria, is transmitted from bites by mosquitoes carrying the virus. These infected mosquitoes, of the Aedes and Haemogogus types, are responsible for the transmission of the disease. They normally bite during the day, especially at sunrise and sunset.

After an incubation of seven days on average, the first symptoms of yellow fever will manifest. The body becomes feverish. Muscular pain, shivers and headaches are felt by the person who has contracted the disease. These symptoms are similar to other viral-type infections. In its early stages, it is difficult to diagnose yellow fever. In severe cases, yellow fever evolves to a second phase which can be fatal. Acute symptoms are vomiting, a yellow complexion, hemorrhagic syndrome or even kidney problems.

Where does yellow fever strike?

Africa is the continent most affected presenting each year more cases of infection. The disease also occurs in South America. In total, there are 44 countries in which more or less elevated risk of yellow fever transmission is identified.

Endemic zones in Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Togo.

Endemic zones in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Vaccination against yellow fever

Vaccination is currently the best means of protecting oneself against yellow fever. The centers for vaccination against yellow fever have been designated by the Public Health Agency of Canada for Canada in order to satisfy the requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR).

It is recommended to renew the vaccination every 10 years. The yellow fever vaccination is not recommended for children under 9 months, pregnant women, people with serious immune-deficiencies and people with serious allergies to egg protein.

International certificate of vaccination

Customs authorities in certain African countries require every traveler to present an International certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis upon arrival, which is valid for 10 years. This certificate is issued when you are vaccinated against yellow fever.

Currently, 20 countries that systematically require proof of yellow fever vaccination are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, French Guiana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tomé and Principe, Sierra Leone and Togo.

In several other countries, travelers from countries where a risk of yellow fever transmission already exists must also provide an International certificate of vaccination.

To see what an International certificate of vaccination looks like, find the document provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Traveling abroad with cell phones

5 July 2016

The cell phone became an essential item of the daily life and now travels with you anywhere you go. It allows you to stay in touch with family and friends while abroad but traveling abroad with your cell phone can also lead to unexpected expenses, especially for smartphone users.

Many features and applications can be very costly. On the other hand, the cell phone gives you peace of mind in the event of a need for assistance. How can you make the most of your trip without generating a large bill?

Customized packages and effective settings

The first things to check are the conditions for using your cell abroad. Your provider may offer you a package that will be adapted to the country you will be traveling to. Once you’ve reached your destination, try to avoid the use of internet or uploading data because it can drive up your bill quickly. Instead, enable the Wi-Fi connection from your smart phone and disable the 3G connection. By doing that, you will benefit from the available local networks while reducing the use of data. Beware of incoming calls, you may be charged if someone calls you.

Practical alternatives

How to avoid unpleasant surprises? For smartphone users, applications such as Skype, Viber or Facetime allows you to call free of charge. For phones without these advanced features, you might consider sending a text message instead: it costs less than a long-distance call and allows you to communicate quickly. There are also phone cards, usually easy to find in major city centers. Finally, if your phone is unlocked, you have the option to purchase a local SIM card.

Tips before you leave

• Save your travel insurance policy number and the assistance center’s phone number in your phone.
• Also save the phone number of the person you wish to be reached in case of an emergency.

Be vigilant and beware of pickpockets.

For more information about travels with cellphones

Please consult this international cell phone guide.