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Murphy Battista Blog

January 9, 2013

Snowbirds (and Other Travellers) Beware. Accurate Medical Disclosure Critical When Buying Travel Insurance.

J. Scott Stanley, a lawyer at Murphy Battista LLP, was recently featured on the CBC news and information show “Marketplace”. “Marketplace” bills itself as “Canada’s Consumer Watchdog” and prides itself on vigorously tackling issues that affect Canadian consumers.

The episode that Scott was interviewed for focused on travel insurance and the associated perils of incorrectly filling out insurance application forms: particularly medical documentation. Scott was featured on the show due to his extensive experience in the field of insurance law. Before joining Murphy Battista in 2007, Scott worked for firms that handled personal injury claims on behalf of both victims and insurers.

The episode of “Marketplace” featuring Scott highlighted the experiences of various individuals who were denied compensation from travel insurance based on errors in their medical disclosures. In some cases, these individuals were instructed to fill out these forms incorrectly by travel agents who were unaware of the complications that can arise from improperly completed medical disclosure documents.

Scott noted that this is not rare in the field of travel insurance disputes, indicating that he has heard plenty of stories of travel agents counseling victims incorrectly. In the interview, Scott provides some sound advice for travelers who might otherwise make mistakes when purchasing travel insurance. Namely, Scott recommends reading through the forms thoroughly, and referring to the glossary of terms in the documents to better understand what exactly the forms are referring to.

You can view the entire Marketplace episode entitled “Tripped Up” on the CBC website.

This issue was revisited as recently as this past week on in featured a story on two Canadian Snowbirds who ended up hit with hefty medical bills rejected by travel insurers who had “1 strike” clauses. Read Kathy Tomlinson’s article “Hefty medical bills rejected by travel insurance firms.”

The financial consequences of even honest mistakes can be significant. If you have questions or you are concerned about your travel insurance we encourage you to ask questions and keep asking until you are sure you understand exactly what is required in terms of medical disclosure. Need help? Call us.


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