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Travelling to beat the winter blues? How to make a travel insurance claim 

By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday January 2, 2024

Updated : Wednesday December 20, 2023

Whether you’re travelling to escape the cold or to find the best snow, many of us take some time during the winter to get away from home. Which is why it’s important to know how to make a travel insurance claim should the need arise. It’s also important to note that even if you’re travelling within Canada, if you are leaving your home province, you still need travel insurance.  

Do I Need Travel Coverage When Travelling Within Canada?

Before you go  

There are a few pre-trip tasks that will help ensure that making a travel insurance claim goes smoothly. First, remember to review your travel insurance policy and confirm what is and is not covered. Some policies will have trip cancellation coverage, or emergency transportation for a caretaker or stranded family members.  Refreshing your knowledge of what is available makes it easier to determine if a claim can be made. 

Secondly, download and/or print a copy of your travel insurance ID card. Remember to print the back – oftentimes, the emergency number will be printed there. Many insurance companies also provide a downloadable app for your android phone. If available, download the app as an alternative way to access the ID card and other pertinent information. Another option is to bookmark your insurer’s travel information webpage. 

Lastly, every traveller should know where to find each other’s travel insurance information. This includes fellow travellers, as well as any family and friends you are visiting.  

If an emergency occurs – how to make a travel insurance claim 

If anything should happen while you are travelling, there is no time to waste!  

1. Immediately call the emergency travel assistance phone number

This is usually located on the back of the ID card, or found on the insurer’s website or app. Do this if you injure yourself or find yourself ill and in need of medical attention. If you are unconscious, this is where having your companions’ familiarity with your travel information comes in handy. Someone in your travel party must call the travel insurance provider.  

The earlier you report your emergency the better.

This is for several reasons: 

2. Complete any claim forms that are sent to you as soon as possible

Again, the timelier you are with submitting claims information and receipts, the quicker your claim can be processed, and the easier it is for the insurer to confirm the information. Always follow the instructions provided by the insurer. This will give you the best opportunity to get well and have a smooth claiming experience.  

3. Keep all of your receipts

Remember to keep them for both medical expenses as well as food and lodging if applicable. Not all claims will be eligible for food and accommodation, so it’s always best to check your policy and confirm. Circumstances where you may be eligible for further reimbursement of travel expenses will be discussed with your claims coordinator. (the person working for the travel insurance company that is handling your claim). 

4. Keep records of any correspondence

Keep emails and letters, and write down times of phone calls between you and the claims coordinator or insurer, as well as between you and your medical service providers. If you have any scans completed, remember to keep a copy of any results if possible. Retrieving medical records and scans from a foreign hospital can sometimes be tricky. 

5. When in doubt, follow-up

If you are unsure of anything, reach out to the claims coordinator and ask questions. They want to make sure you are receiving the best possible care, and staying in contact with them on a regular basis can help make that a reality. 


The travel insurance claim process may vary depending on your insurance provider and the specifics of your claim. Your experience will also be determined by your communication and action along the way. Which is why it is so important to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by your insurance company. And, to understand your travel insurance policy and what is covered prior to leaving. 

Ready to learn more about what is covered under a travel insurance policy?

What is Travel Insurance and What Do I Need to Know Before Travelling?