How to get good travel insurance in Quebec?
July 9, 2007 5:45 PM   Subscribe

How can I, a resident of Quebec, get private travel medical insurance for a round-the-world trip lasting ten months? And how can I get a good deal?

I've been doing some research, but can't seem to find any advice particular to my situation. Every insurer I've looked at refuses to insure a trip longer than 187 days. They tell me this is because my provincial health care will expire if I'm out of the country for six months.

However! The Régie tells me that since I'll be leaving on Aug 1 and returning on Apr 30, I'll be gone for only five months in 2007 and four months in 2008, and as a result, I get to keep my provincial coverage. This page confirms it (all the stuff about "calendar year"), and the Régie has assured me it's true.

But the insurers don't seem to recognize this fact. They say six months. I'll try to convince them, but if I can't, how can I get full coverage for my entire trip?

The other part of my question is, how can I get a good deal? The best quote I've found so far was with PC Financial, but they don't offer the travel insurance to Quebec residents. The price offered by Scotia was almost double. I haven't had much luck elsewhere. Any ideas?
posted by Succa to Travel & Transportation around Quebec, QC (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Many years ago I travelled to Thailand and Laos for a full academic year (ie Sept-June) and bought coverage through Blue Cross Canada. My public insurer then was OHIP but I cannot believe that the Régie will give you a worse deal than the one dispensed to the tete-carré, s'ti-crisse

Note: I am a tete-carré.

Croix-bleue website here. Good luck.
posted by docgonzo at 5:50 PM on July 9, 2007

Huh. I tried your dates and got: "Unfortunately we cannot process your request as your trip exceeds the maximum number of days that your provincial health plan allows for a Canadian resident to be outside of the country, without prior consent. If you have received prior consent, and would like to purchase travel coverage, please contact one of our personal sales representatives at 1-877-909-7686 toll free for a quotation or to purchase."

posted by docgonzo at 5:51 PM on July 9, 2007

You should understand that other provinces talk about not leaving the province for more than six months out of any 12-month period - no talk of a calendar year. So that's why the insurer isn't used to writing policies for more than six months.

Seems like you should follow the procedure, get a letter from The Man confirming your provincial health insurance will stay in effect, and then you'll probably be able to obtain travel insurance by faxing that letter around.
posted by jellicle at 6:00 PM on July 9, 2007

This site is a bit expensive but appears to offer coverage for up to a year.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:07 PM on July 9, 2007

Oh! The other thing you should consider -- many, many insurers let you insure on the spot. So what you could do is get insurance through January 2nd, and then on the 1st just get insurance from another provider for the remainder of your trip. They will both see these as legitimately short stretches of time.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:09 PM on July 9, 2007

Lots of Ins Co's will give you 12 months of travel insurance but will nail you on the 6 month rule. If you do manage to get the insurance for a year make sure you get written confirmation that they (insurance Co) understand you will actually be out of the country for longer than six months.You don't want to give them any reason to deny your claim.
We had a huge problem a few years ago that left us with a $2 000 000 medical bill. My regular group insurance paid for everything under an "emergency out of province" clause but the separate travel insurance claim for a measly $2000 dragged on for over a year.
posted by Umhlangan at 7:34 AM on July 10, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I'll keep shopping for a good deal, but I'm relieved that I have options at least.
posted by Succa at 2:59 PM on July 11, 2007

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