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Monday, June 18, 2007

Is there any company that you could buy coverage on a yearly basis?? 

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"Dear Ai, my wife and I like to travel and we travel a lot to Europe and Asia and we do a lot of cruises. Can you suggest or know of a good company that provides Health coverage while traveling out of the U.S ? Is there any company that you could buy coverage on a yearly basis? Thank you" James & Jenny

Hello, James and Jenny. Thank you for your e-mail. I am glad that this question is connected to my last Dear Ai post. Most government health insurance plans will pay only a small portion of expenses if you are sick or injured while outside their country. I see many students cry when they have to pay thousands of dollars a day because they didn’t buy insurance in their country. Some students don't know that they can still buy insurance after they arrive in Canada. It is not too late to consider buying insurance if you stay in Canada or travel inside or outside of Canada.

It seems like both of you have traveled a lot. I am not sure at this point if you are Canadian or American. I deal with students in Canada mostly, so I’m only familiar with Canadian medical systems and health/travel insurance.

If you are Canadian (both International students and Canadian Citizens), TIC Travel Insurance (http://www.travelinsurance.ca/) and Bridges International Insurance Services (http://www.iiacanada.com/) are good insurance companies to deal with. They both have insurance for international students, visitors and Canadians. You can buy insurance by dates up to a year and you can choose a plan according to your needs.

If you are not Canadian, I would recommend you to visit local travel agencies where you usually buy your flight tickets or cruise tickets. I sometimes use “Flight Centre” (http://www.flightcentre.ca/) when I fly to the US and they always ask me if I would like to buy travel insurance. (of course, my answer would be "YES!") You can also visit banks and insurance companies. Also, Bridges International Insurance Services (http://www.iiacanada.com/e/iti.html) have travel insurance for citizens around the world.

Have fun traveling!

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