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Canadian experience with TravelEx, CSA, TravelGuard etc.

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Michelle

 

Will a Canadian company like RBC coordinate benefits with an American company such as Travelex? Any Travelex policy that I have seen for energency medical has a very low limit ie less than 100K for medical care ( as low as $10K) and $150K for emergency evac. The only advantage to the Travelex policy is the pre-ex condition waiver if purchased within a couple of days of making a non refundable payment such as a final payment. Using RBC as an example, a pre ex condition within the 90 days of departure would mean no evac coverage if the pre-ex condition is the cause. In this example the Travelex policy would cover the evac if the policy had the waiver activated. Am I making any sense?? Thanks for your contribution.

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Michelle

 

Will a Canadian company like RBC coordinate benefits with an American company such as Travelex? Any Travelex policy that I have seen for energency medical has a very low limit ie less than 100K for medical care ( as low as $10K) and $150K for emergency evac.

 

The Travelex Travel Max plan has $100,000 for medical and $1,000,000 for medical evacuation. The Select plan also lets you bump up the medical coverage for an additional per policy premium.

 

The only advantage to the Travelex policy is the pre-ex condition waiver if purchased within a couple of days of making a non refundable payment such as a final payment. Using RBC as an example, a pre ex condition within the 90 days of departure would mean no evac coverage if the pre-ex condition is the cause. In this example the Travelex policy would cover the evac if the policy had the waiver activated. Am I making any sense?? Thanks for your contribution.

 

The Travelex pre-existing condition waiver is only available if you buy the policy within 21 days of the FIRST payment on the trip (30 days for the Travel Max plan). Even though the deposit on your cruise is fully refundable up until the final payment date, it still starts the clock running on that 21 day window to get the waiver.

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Hello again Cruiseco, good to hear from you again. The problem with Travelex in Canada ( to the best of my knowledge ) is that the policies you mentioned are not available here. The Travelex web site will not quote to Canadians. The only way to get a Travelex policy is via a TA and those policies max out at around 80K for medical. $100K for a Canadian is not even close to what the worse case situation would cost us in an American hospital. Travel Guard sells here but with Canadian rules and NO waiver, CSA sells here but with a max over all of around $250K as a secondary provider. I am unsure how they would coordinate with the Canadian provincial plans for payment. That is why I started this thread to try and get some Canadian perspective.

Re the waiver, my large American TA advises me that the Travelex waiver ( on the policies they sell ) is available at final payment ( non refundable) and or when travel arrangements are made that are not refundable. CSA also advised me of the same timing. I have read disagreement about that and checked. Doesn't really matter to me nowe becasue we have no dispute resolution mechanism available to us with these companies on this side of the border. Also the Travelex policies sold by this TA have an evac max of $150K.

Cheers

Wayne

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Hello again Cruiseco, good to hear from you again. The problem with Travelex in Canada ( to the best of my knowledge ) is that the policies you mentioned are not available here. The Travelex web site will not quote to Canadians. The only way to get a Travelex policy is via a TA and those policies max out at around 80K for medical. $100K for a Canadian is not even close to what the worse case situation would cost us in an American hospital. Travel Guard sells here but with Canadian rules and NO waiver, CSA sells here but with a max over all of around $250K as a secondary provider. I am unsure how they would coordinate with the Canadian provincial plans for payment. That is why I started this thread to try and get some Canadian perspective.

Re the waiver, my large American TA advises me that the Travelex waiver ( on the policies they sell ) is available at final payment ( non refundable) and or when travel arrangements are made that are not refundable. CSA also advised me of the same timing. I have read disagreement about that and checked. Doesn't really matter to me nowe becasue we have no dispute resolution mechanism available to us with these companies on this side of the border. Also the Travelex policies sold by this TA have an evac max of $150K.

Cheers

Wayne

 

Yep, Travelex and the other major insurers have been known to design plans for the specific needs of an agency or a group of agencies. Apparently, that's the situation with your TA. The trade-off for getting a more favorable pre-existing condition waiver can often be lower limits on the medical and emergency evac coverages. I think Travelex might actually even have one plan floating around out there that does not use age-based premiums -- everyone pays the same regardless of age. Unfortunately, only clients of those agencies can normally get the coverage.

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Re TA specific policies, yes, that is what appears to be going on here. Even though American policies do not seem to serve Canadians very well, the waiver still intriques me as a potential means for a Canadian traveler with a per-ex condition to get "some" coverage including evac. Such a policy would have to be a primary policy such as TravelEx provides. The lack of a dispute resolution mechanism is a risk factor that the traveler would have to take into account.

In my post a little further back in the thread I was looking for answers of how or if a Canadian company would coordinate payment with an American company. Probably not an issue since the Canadian policy would have everything except the pre-ex condition covered up to as much as $3M. The only claim against the American policy would be for something related to the condition ie an emerg evac but a Canadian in that situation would probably want to be evacuated directly to Canada. Not sure the American policies would do that.

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Hi Wayne & Brenda,

 

I will try to find out at work from our claims office how the cross border coordination would go. It's hard to say as it's not something I've come across in several years there. I'm pretty sure that it would work but may require you to file both claims or fill out both claim forms at least.

 

I do know that the pre-ex waiver is a very interesting proposition. It's not something Canadian insurers offer to the best of my knowledge. The trouble with many US insurers is that they will only evacuate back to the US and then will not cover the treatment there. Also, their maximums tend to be fairly low. I know that $100,000 will seem like a great deal, but I've seen a great many medical claims go well over that within 3-4 days depending on the medical condition.:( It's often cardiac or severe respiratory issues which require admission to an ICU and sometimes surgery. Medical care in the US in particular can be extremely expensive and in many other countries as well. Canadian travellers are often surprised at prices they are asked to pay in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

 

Is there a specific medical condition you are trying to ensure is covered or is this just to make certain you're covered?

 

Honestly, even with the pre-ex waiver, you can still be declined for medical coverage. Most policies will still contain wording excluding treatment for a medical condition for which it was reasonable to expect to have to seek treatment for. Which is a little ambiguous and hard to define.

 

The purpose of these exclusions is really to prevent some of the "interesting" claim calls that come in like:

 

Hi, I broke my arm 4 weeks before I flew to California and now I need to go in and have the cast removed. You'll pay for that right?

 

or,

 

Hi, I have bronchitis and my doctor gave me antibiotics a few days ago. Now my cough is worse and I think I should go to the doctor here in Mexico to have it looked at.

 

Both reasonable requests unfortunately neither of them covered as there was a pretty good reason to think you'd be seeking treatment on the trip for those conditions.

 

Oh, and keep in mind, that RBC policy you mentioned, the exclusion for pre-existing conditions doesn't mean you can't have one. You could have, let's say high blood pressure, and as long as it's been stable, it would be covered. Each policy you look at should have a detailed explanation of what stable means for that company. Usually it's along the lines of no new symptoms, no change in symptoms, no new medications/treatment, no change in medication/treatment, no pending tests/investigations whether completed or not.

 

Whew, I'm starting to feel pretty long winded here:o If you have any other questions, just let me know.

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Hi Wayne & Brenda,

 

I will try to find out at work from our claims office how the cross border coordination would go. It's hard to say as it's not something I've come across in several years there. I'm pretty sure that it would work but may require you to file both claims or fill out both claim forms at least.

 

I do know that the pre-ex waiver is a very interesting proposition. It's not something Canadian insurers offer to the best of my knowledge. The trouble with many US insurers is that they will only evacuate back to the US and then will not cover the treatment there. Also, their maximums tend to be fairly low. I know that $100,000 will seem like a great deal, but I've seen a great many medical claims go well over that within 3-4 days depending on the medical condition.:( It's often cardiac or severe respiratory issues which require admission to an ICU and sometimes surgery. Medical care in the US in particular can be extremely expensive and in many other countries as well. Canadian travellers are often surprised at prices they are asked to pay in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

 

Is there a specific medical condition you are trying to ensure is covered or is this just to make certain you're covered?

 

Honestly, even with the pre-ex waiver, you can still be declined for medical coverage. Most policies will still contain wording excluding treatment for a medical condition for which it was reasonable to expect to have to seek treatment for. Which is a little ambiguous and hard to define.

 

The purpose of these exclusions is really to prevent some of the "interesting" claim calls that come in like:

 

Hi, I broke my arm 4 weeks before I flew to California and now I need to go in and have the cast removed. You'll pay for that right?

 

or,

 

Hi, I have bronchitis and my doctor gave me antibiotics a few days ago. Now my cough is worse and I think I should go to the doctor here in Mexico to have it looked at.

 

Both reasonable requests unfortunately neither of them covered as there was a pretty good reason to think you'd be seeking treatment on the trip for those conditions.

 

Oh, and keep in mind, that RBC policy you mentioned, the exclusion for pre-existing conditions doesn't mean you can't have one. You could have, let's say high blood pressure, and as long as it's been stable, it would be covered. Each policy you look at should have a detailed explanation of what stable means for that company. Usually it's along the lines of no new symptoms, no change in symptoms, no new medications/treatment, no change in medication/treatment, no pending tests/investigations whether completed or not.

 

Whew, I'm starting to feel pretty long winded here:o If you have any other questions, just let me know.

 

Galipemi: This is a great post and exactly the kind of info I am looking for. In my case I am now over 50 and "stuff" is starting to happen. So more frequent visits to the Dr and tests, in most cases "just to be sure because this or that test result is a tick low"!! Another reason is that the medication I am on requires routine tests to verify that the meds are not harming things like kidney function or liver function. I am interested in all of this to try and make sure I am covered. Don't want a problem and then have coverage refused because I had this or that test done or this or that test is pending. Also I and everyone else need to understand when the doctors visit means you are travelling without coverage for a particular condition. Or understand that the med change even in the down direction means no coverage. Or understand that a test even if not pending " should reasonably be pending" therfore no coverage. All very annoying.

 

I also suspect that Canadians are buying the American policies without understanding the limitations with those policies.

 

Wayne

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Perhaps I sould add, that all the "legal" ins and outs of these policies makes it very difficult and confusing for us the average consumer that just wants a little vacation time on a cruise ship. Of course we need insurance in the event that we have a medical problem that requires care. Getting into the nitty gritty of these policies and identifying where the insurer has given themselves an out is beyond the patience level of most of us. I know it has been "stroke inducing" to me reading these policies and thinking through the possibilities. The independant resolution mechanism is therefore very important when the insured misunderstands the policy and needs outside help to try and settle a large claim. Perhaps I am wrong but it seems to me that this mechanism is not available to Canadians using American companies. That is not a dogmatic statement but my read of the situation. I am unsure how the industry has performed when by the letter of the policy they do not have to pay out. Or when the wording is vague. How much flexibility have they shown when settling claims?

 

As a follow-up to one of your comments about medical evac when holding an American policy. Does a Canadian have to have a Canadian policy to be emerge evac'd back to Canada?

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An update to my last post. I still don't really know the answer to the last question but I have learned that being a "member" with Medjetassist http://www.medjetassist.com/ will get the injured or ill Canadian evac'd from anywhere in the world back to the hospital of choice in Canada. Medjetassist does not own any aircrafts or employ medical personnel but instead coordinates with over 50 associates to provide the medical transport back to Canada. They claim no pre-ex condition exclusion except when a traveler has been re-hospitalized for a condition that required hospitalization before departing.

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I have heard good things about MedJet Assist and while I hope you'll never have to use them, if you do, I hope all goes well.

 

As to being evacuated to Canada vs. the US if you hold a US policy. Well, I think it would depend on the individual policy. Some state they return you to the US, some to your state of residence, some to your departure point. I'd take a close look at the wording.

 

Sorry, on this one, I can't be too much help:(

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I have heard good things about MedJet Assist and while I hope you'll never have to use them, if you do, I hope all goes well.

 

As to being evacuated to Canada vs. the US if you hold a US policy. Well, I think it would depend on the individual policy. Some state they return you to the US, some to your state of residence, some to your departure point. I'd take a close look at the wording.

 

Sorry, on this one, I can't be too much help:(

 

Thanks Michelle : Every little bit helps, I keep adding to my body of knowledge. Most don't expect to use any insurance policy that they have but know that it is possible, that is why we have insurance :) The risk comes with age so In my case like to be prepared and know what the financial risks are. I like the Medjet idea since it limits any problems due to pre-ex conditions but they don't pay for the pre-transport hospital stay. I read on another thread that a 4 mile ambulance trip in Juneau cost $650 recently. The overnight hospital stay for possible heart problems was $K's. No problems were found. In this case insurance paid but could a simple Blood Pressure med change or a pending appointment for a heart investigation test within the "look back, look ahead" period have meant a denial of coverage even though no condition was apparently diagnosed?

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Hi there,

 

I will be going on my first cruise to the Mediterranean in August. I am a Canadian citizen who lives full time in California, age 32, and in good health.

 

Are there fellow Canucks out there who also live in the States full time? Which travel insurance companies have you used? I have non-resident status in Canada -- should I only consider American insurance companies?

 

Here's another quirk in my trip -- I will be leaving for Europe from and returning to Toronto.

 

For previous posters -- when I lived in Toronto, I've used John Ingle (now Ingle International, I think) as a student, and TD Travel Insurance (yearly, multi-trip plan) as an adult. Never had to file a claim, thank goodness, but I recall that they have pretty comprehensive coverage.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Hi there,

 

I will be going on my first cruise to the Mediterranean in August. I am a Canadian citizen who lives full time in California, age 32, and in good health.

 

Are there fellow Canucks out there who also live in the States full time? Which travel insurance companies have you used? I have non-resident status in Canada -- should I only consider American insurance companies?

 

Here's another quirk in my trip -- I will be leaving for Europe from and returning to Toronto.

 

For previous posters -- when I lived in Toronto, I've used John Ingle (now Ingle International, I think) as a student, and TD Travel Insurance (yearly, multi-trip plan) as an adult. Never had to file a claim, thank goodness, but I recall that they have pretty comprehensive coverage.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

Because you are a full time US resident and therefore not enrolled in any of the Provincial plans you will have to use an American plan. All of the Canadian Policies require that you be enrolled in a provincial plan before you are eligible to purchase the plan.

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Because you are a full time US resident and therefore not enrolled in any of the Provincial plans you will have to use an American plan. All of the Canadian Policies require that you be enrolled in a provincial plan before you are eligible to purchase the plan.

Thanks for the clarification!

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Well my husband and I had to go our separate ways for travel health insurnace. Our credit card company was able to cover him and exclude his pace maker.

I did so much research and CARP or my credit card or Manulife would cost me more because of my age and my high blood pressure. CARP has been very good for the past 7 years. But their plans and policies change early last year so they were out.

Since I have my cancellation/trip insurance with RBC I contacted them. And, behold they had a great plan for me.

I was able to get an 18 consecutive days and a year coverage for our trips to our Cabin in PA. So it pays to research.

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Well my husband and I had to go our separate ways for travel health insurnace. Our credit card company was able to cover him and exclude his pace maker.

I did so much research and CARP or my credit card or Manulife would cost me more because of my age and my high blood pressure. CARP has been very good for the past 7 years. But their plans and policies change early last year so they were out.

Since I have my cancellation/trip insurance with RBC I contacted them. And' date=' behold they had a great plan for me.[/size']

I was able to get an 18 consecutive days and a year coverage for our trips to our Cabin in PA. So it pays to research.

 

Great news. Can I ask if RBC is covering you without exclusion for pre-ex conditions? IE blood pressure or has the BP been stable long enough? Does the plan have a name that can be checked out by others that might be interested?

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Hi everyone! I've been following this thread with interest. Just wanted to mention that many of my clients have used and will endorse BCAA (CAA) for their pre-existing policies re travel insurance. Apparently you don't have to be a member to purchase the insurance as well.

Maybe worth a call!

Cheers

Christine

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The CAA policies and plans are underwritten by Manulife. The Pre-ex exclusion clause reads like many other Canadian Policies. Better exclusion stability period than the credit cards, 3 months vs 6 months, or for older folk, 6 months vs 12 months. This difference is standard, the credit card stability requirements are in general twice what a purchased policy requires. In the case of CC member "C'estsibon" RBC provided the best product for her. I hope she can share what the policy product name is or if it was custom to her.

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Great news. Can I ask if RBC is covering you without exclusion for pre-ex conditions? IE blood pressure or has the BP been stable long enough? Does the plan have a name that can be checked out by others that might be interested?

 

So much to say. Firstly, because my Trip cancellation insurance is with RBC this may or may not be a factor.

Correction: covered for 15 consecutive days and not 18.. My error.

We are cruising in September in Europe. The cruise cancellation was quite high because of the cost of the cruise and airfare. I am 72 years young and my blood pressure is under control. I needed to answer yes for that question. And since my blood pressure is UNDER CONTROL the 90 day concern does not bother me. The answer to all the other questions were NO. So age and blood pressure were the only issues. So I am under Caterogy B If I need to be away for longer than 15 days we just top it up. We travel to our Pine Log Cabin in PA once or twice a month. Our stay is not longer than 15 days. If we travel to Florida for a month, once again we top it up. My cost was just under 300.00 Canadian. This was very good compared to other companies. And remember I am are covered for the year.

. I initially went on line and completed the questionnaire reviewed everything then contacted RBC by phone. I am pleased to share this information with You

 

Individual Multi-Trip Annual 15-day Plan

Length

Start-up Date: 20 Jul 2010

for multiple trips, each lasting up to 15 days

This insurance does not pay for any expenses incurred directly or indirectly as a result of:

1. Your medical condition or related condition (whether or not the diagnosis has been determined), if at any time in the 90 days before you depart on your trip, your medical condition or related condition has not been stable.

2. Your heart condition (whether or not the diagnosis has been determined), if at any time in the 90 days before you depart on your trip:

a. any heart condition has not been stable; or

b. you have taken nitroglycerin more than once per week specifically for the relief of angina pain.

3. Your lung condition (whether or not the diagnosis has been determined), if at any time in the 90 days before you depart on your trip:

. any lung condition has not been stable; or

a. you have been treated with home oxygen or taken oral steroids (prednisone or prednisolone) for any lung condition

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Thanks C'estsibon: Very glad you found a product and price that meets your needs.

The Pre-Ex clauses are often different and THE difference between policies not to mention price. Some are very specific and detailed while others are less so. The CAA policy underwritten by Manulife is an example of a less detailed clause. The frustrating parts are when medications change or the doctor decides to check something out " to be sure". If these things happen in the stability period then the condition or related conditions are not covered. Another clause for the readers to watch out for is the general exclusion clauses which in some cases exclude such popular activities as Scuba diving or require you to be a certified diver. Not sure if the general exclusions against rock climbing includes the ship climbing wall.

 

Cheers

Wayne

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Thanks C'estsibon: Very glad you found a product and price that meets your needs.

The Pre-Ex clauses are often different and THE difference between policies not to mention price. Some are very specific and detailed while others are less so. The CAA policy underwritten by Manulife is an example of a less detailed clause. The frustrating parts are when medications change or the doctor decides to check something out " to be sure". If these things happen in the stability period then the condition or related conditions are not covered. Another clause for the readers to watch out for is the general exclusion clauses which in some cases exclude such popular activities as Scuba diving or require you to be a certified diver. Not sure if the general exclusions against rock climbing includes the ship climbing wall.

 

Cheers

Wayne

 

The 90 day clause is the kicker. Since my health is good and I had a check up recently, I believe I am o.k. But then one nevers knows.

Julie

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To the Canadians monitoring this thread, I was recently exposed to a company that I had not heard of before. They make lots of interesting claims about what and who they will cover. The name is PrimeLink based in Windsor Ontario. Not sure there is anyting really different with these guys but are probably worth a look. If you are over 55 with pre-ex conditions or those that have had their meds changed at the last minute by your friendly doctor. I am under 55 and the meds issue is one that bothers me. I'm not making any recommendation, just pointing them out.

http://www.primelinkinsurance.ca/

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Hi fellow Canadians. I just booked our 1st ever cruise on October 1, 2010 and my final payment is November 18, so I've been looking at insurance for the past few days. I believe I have until Nov 18th to purchase. My husband and I have medical insurance through our employers, so I'm looking to purchase trip cancellation/interuption. My main concerns are if one of us gets sick and can't travel or a family member gets sick, or something happens while we are away and we must fly back home.

 

We're going on Oasis of the Seas (Feb 26, 2011) but will be flying in two days earlier.

 

I did read all the posts here and was ready to book with an American company (I understand Insure my Trip has a Canadian site), but would feel better if the actual company was based in Canada.

 

 

A few companies are not open today (Sunday), so hope I can find time at work to book something before this Thursday.

 

The only other thing I'm concerned about is my father in law has cancer but is stable right now. I'll discuss everything with the rep over the phone as well.

 

The only question I have right now, which I can't ask since the companies are closed on Sundays is how to add my flight and hotel in, since I have not booked those yet.

 

Thanks for staring this thread!

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Hi fellow Canadians. I just booked our 1st ever cruise on October 1, 2010 and my final payment is November 18, so I've been looking at insurance for the past few days. I believe I have until Nov 18th to purchase. My husband and I have medical insurance through our employers, so I'm looking to purchase trip cancellation/interuption. My main concerns are if one of us gets sick and can't travel or a family member gets sick, or something happens while we are away and we must fly back home.

 

We're going on Oasis of the Seas (Feb 26, 2011) but will be flying in two days earlier.

 

I did read all the posts here and was ready to book with an American company (I understand Insure my Trip has a Canadian site), but would feel better if the actual company was based in Canada.

 

 

A few companies are not open today (Sunday), so hope I can find time at work to book something before this Thursday.

 

The only other thing I'm concerned about is my father in law has cancer but is stable right now. I'll discuss everything with the rep over the phone as well.

 

The only question I have right now, which I can't ask since the companies are closed on Sundays is how to add my flight and hotel in, since I have not booked those yet.

 

Thanks for staring this thread!

 

I contacted RBC about insurance. I was told that I can add my hotel and flights to the policy once they're booked (I just have to call them), and I'd pay the extra premiums at that time. They were able to tell me approximately what the total premiums would be.

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The policy that we have is the Manulife Cover Me Multi-Trip plan. It's an annual policy that covers you for an unlimited number of trips. You buy the package for 4/10/18/30 days depending on the average length of your trips.
We travel frequently and have decided to switch to an annual multi-trip insurance policy. We've narrowed it down to ManuLife or Pacific Blue Cross. The issue for us is the trip cancellation/interruption component of the plans, which max out at $5k/trip for ManuLife ($7k/policy) and $4k/trip for PBC (no policy limit). There is no top-up provision to increase that amount on either policy and we would have to purchase a separate policy to get additional TC/TI coverage. Would appreciate any insight on how you have dealt with this limitation. Otherwise, these multi-trip policies seem to be an excellent option. Thanks for any input.

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