Travel insurance in Switzerland : North American cover
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Before buying an insurance policy, check that you’re not already covered. Canadian provincial health plans typically provide some overseas medical coverage. Holders of official student/teacher/youth cards are entitled to accident coverage and hospital in-patient benefits – the annual membership is far less than the cost of comparable insurance. Students may also find that their student health coverage extends during the vacations and for one term beyond the date of last enrolment. Homeowners’ or renters’ insurance often covers theft or loss of documents, money and valuables while overseas.

After exhausting the possibilities above, you might want to take out a specialized travel insurance policy; your travel agent can usually recommend one, or see the box above.

Travel insurance policies vary: some are comprehensive while others cover only certain risks (accidents, illnesses, delayed or lost luggage, cancelled flights, etc). Note that most North American policies will only cover items lost, stolen or damaged while in the custody of an identifiable, responsible third party – hotel porter, airline, luggage consignment, etc.

The best premiums are usually to be had through student/youth travel agencies; STA Travel Insurance’s worldwide coverage comes in packages covering 7 days ($35), 15 days ($55), 1 month ($115), 45 days ($155), 2 months ($180), and 1 year ($730) – add an extra $30–40 for each additional month of longer stays. You’ll pay slightly more for shorter stays if you go through one of the other travel insurance companies listed in the box above; with these, expect to pay around $65 for a week, $75 for 2 weeks, and $105 for a month, with an additional charge of around $65 for each additional month.

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