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“Diana, do you actually know what you are paying for?”

That was the first question that Stacey Aarssen asked me.

Stacey is a financial planner who specializes in educating people about the ins and outs of travel insurance.

Personally, I have a travel insurance policy that provides annual coverage.

It was very reasonable considering I need coverage for up to 30 days or more at a time, multiple times of year, but did I know much more about my policy than that?





Even with all the recent horror stories in the news about denied claims, I was embarrassed to reply, “Uh no, not really.”*

Stacey assured me I was not alone. She says people buy travel insurance but don’t read the fine print hoping they will never need it.




What is your Stability Period?

I had never even heard the phrase Stability Period before!

So Stacey gave me an example.

“Let’s say  your doctor reduces your blood pressure medication a month before you travel.”

“But then on your cruise, you have a heart attack or a stroke and incur expenses. If the insurance can connect the change in medication to your condition, your claim may be denied,” says Stacey.

Why? Because your Stability Period was 3 months, which means your policy was only valid as long as nothing changed in your overall health in that time frame.

In some circumstances that includes any increase or even decrease in medications.


It turns out most stability periods after 55 years of age for annual travel insurance are 6 months.  Mine is.

Something to keep in mind if you are experiencing changes to the circumstances to your health before you travel.


Do You Know Your Exclusions?

“Exclusions are events or conditions that insurance companies will not pay for under any circumstances,” says Stacey. “They are constantly changing and the list varies from company to company.”

I learned about a few exclusions that I had never thought much about —

  • Acts of War or Terrorism — Sadly this is more common than it used to be.
  • Parasailing — I did this once. Hated it.  Never again. Nice to know that accident related injuries from this activity are not something I need to worry about. But if you are taking a cycling trip, a mountain climbing trip etc. be sure to check if you are covered.
  • If are injured while Alcohol-induced — This could definitely be problematic for a lot of people on holiday!


Do You Need A Travel Insurance Checkup?

I am scratching the surface on this topic, but if you are interested, Stacey provides a complementary one-on-one “Travel Insurance Checkup” to readers of this blog.  That is what I did. 

Stacey’s goal is to ensure that people are educated about travel insurance before purchasing it.

She feels denial of claims can be avoided with proper education.

I really appreciate the time Stacey spent with me.


Stacey Aarssen, Ironshield Financial Planning



You can reach Stacey by email at


*Footnote — You know when people say, “I don’t need to buy insurance because I already have it on my credit card!”

I checked my card and discovered something that I did not know. I am insured for medical expenses incurred ONLY  for the first 4 days of my trip including the travel days.

That would work for short business trips but certainly not for long term travel.


The life blood of this blog is hearing from you.  So please comment below and tell us your stories,

What have your discovered on your travels?

How did you find and buy good Travel Insurance?

What questions do you have for Stacey?

You can catch up on previous blogs by going to


  1. Shardie Stevenson on February 16, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Not one of the most glamorous parts of travel but one of the most important!
    I think it’s a great idea to contact Stacey @ before you head out on your next adventure!
    Bravo Diana for highlighting this !!??✈️

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 17, 2020 at 10:01 am

      Thank you Shardie, I appreciate your comments. I look forward to helping others feeling secure about their travel insurance plans, so they are always covered.

    • Diana Bishop on February 17, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      And you would know BF — you have a great trip to Florida! Diana

  2. Lagatta de Montréal on February 16, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Some associations for “Mature Adults” (often 50+, at least for the main association here, the FADOQ) have better rates for travel insurance, but I don’t think most are designed for people who travel as much you do. I’ve joined FADOQ for that reason, but probably need supplemental insurance for a longer trip, such as facilitating at a research institute.

    Is the alcohol-induced defined? Many travellers, myself included, will make nice meals with some wine a pleasant part of a trip, but then you get binge-drinking, and not only among the young. Also other forms of substance misuse – I’m often in Amsterdam, no, not at all for cannabis cafés, but there are a great many tourists who travel there for that purpose (once again, not all are young) and sadly, often get exposed to hard drugs, and are unfamiliar with the consequences and dangers.

    Have you ever worked as a journalist in a war zone or otherwise dangerous area? (that could include high-crime areas such as those controlled by drug cartels).

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 17, 2020 at 10:05 am

      It’s important to understand, every policy has different wording as it pertains to alcohol and substance intake. Also I recommend shopping the market even if an organization promotes a particular segment. Every insurance company takes on their own risk so rates can very greatly. Thanks for your comments. Stacey

      • Lagatta de Montréal on February 18, 2020 at 4:10 pm

        Thank you. At my barely senior age I’m not at all interested in pub crawls, but I wouldn’t want good meals with a few glasses of wine to incur debt I could never repay. I’ll discuss this with a friend who spent much longer periods as a semi-volunteer at a research institute (she was paid a stipend, but like a graduate student, while she was a retired professor with a PhD). Of course we should also request that the NGOs we are volunteering for in retirement address this matter. They are getting a lot of free, highly-qualified labour. We certainly enjoy doing this and meeting enthusiastic young people, but should not be penalised for it.

  3. Trudy Van Buskirk on February 16, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    I haven’t been physically able to travel far (I can go from Toronto to see my family in London, Ontario!) but I used to travel a lot. Back then, I always assumed my car insurance would cover me on short trips. Hmmmm something to “read the fine print” on for my retired friends who travel.

    Thanks for the reminder Diana.

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 17, 2020 at 10:08 am

      HI Trudy, I’m glad you found the article valuable. If you ever have other questions, please reach out.

    • Diana Bishop on February 17, 2020 at 12:58 pm

      Trudy Hi — Thanks for commenting. I appreciate that you do so regularly.
      I discovered during this process that my current car insurance actually covers me in the U.S.

      I do have to get additional car insurance if I travel to Europe though. And as I mentioned I am covered for medical insurance on my Business TD Card
      but for only 4 days of travel. That I did not know before. Best to you, Diana

      • Lagatta de Montréal on February 18, 2020 at 4:11 pm

        I don’t drive, so at least that is one less thing to worry about!

        • Diana Bishop on February 19, 2020 at 1:33 pm


  4. Juliette Wood on February 16, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    This is so important, and I have recently been very diligent in checking out all theses fine points, especially as we turned 70+ which is also a turning point in coverage from many insurers including provincial! So the result of health and age changes is the need to pay more for the appropriate coverage and continue to travel! Nothing beats traveling with confidence!
    Adios from our current sun-escape, California!!


    • Stacey Aarssen on February 17, 2020 at 10:11 am

      Hi Juliette, Although age does make a difference in cost, it can still be affordable in your 70’s. I see a bigger jump into the 80’s, and major health issues are the biggest cost factor. I’m glad to see you’re travelling. Have fun. Stacey

    • Diana Bishop on February 17, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      Lucky you… I love California. Enjoy your trip! Diana

  5. Maggie Sutrov on February 16, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    The 3 or 6 month clause is an eye opener for me. I usually figure the insurance will only reimbursement me for travel expenses anyway. Thank you, Diana, for encouraging us to read the fine print.

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 17, 2020 at 10:17 am

      HI Maggie, I’m so glad you read this article and now aware of this clause. This is the #1 reason for denial of claims. I’m so thrilled. My moto, is if i help one person understand the complexity of insurance, I’ve done my job. Thanks for sharing. Stacey

  6. Hope McFall on February 16, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Fabulous and timely info. I’m that person who thought that my credit card covered my insurance needs. I’m off to Mexico next month. Thanks Diana.

    • Diana Bishop on February 17, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      Hey Hope — Mexico eh? I am so glad to hear that! Yes, you want to make sure you are covered for that trip.
      Have a wonderful time. Diana

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 18, 2020 at 9:52 am

      I’m so glad you you checked before your travels. Thank you Diana for enlightening more people. Enjoy your trip. Stacey

  7. Barb Guilfoyle on February 17, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Great blog Diana. Also your credit card will not cover you after you turn 65. Many people are unaware of that.

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 17, 2020 at 10:19 am

      Hi Barb, Thanks for your reply to Diana’s blog. Credit card travel insurances are all different. Some do cover after 65; they may be less days. It’s very important to read the coverage. details. Thanks for sharing Stacey.

    • Diana Bishop on February 17, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Barb, Great hearing from you…
      See Stacey’s reply to your comment above.
      Best to you, Diana

  8. Stacey Aarssen on February 17, 2020 at 10:08 am

    HI Trudy, I’m glad you found the article valuable. If you ever have other questions, please reach out.

  9. Christine Kowal on February 17, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for that. Not travelling today. But when I have travelled the insurance has always flummoxed me. I thought it was just me. Next time I’m travelling I will give Tracey a call.

    Love and Light
    Christine And the Animals

    • Diana Bishop on February 17, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Christine — I know. Me too. There is so much to learn these days and one can always be protected but we have to educate ourselves! Thanks so much for the comment. I do not hear from you often enough!!! Diana

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 18, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Hi Christine, I look forward to connecting on your next trip. Enjoy your week!

  10. Gabrielle on February 17, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Excellent information, especially the Stability Period–I’d never heard of that before. (Always check the fine print!) I’m passing this along to my retreat attendees.

    • Stacey Aarssen on February 18, 2020 at 9:57 am

      Hi Gabrielle, I’m so glad you read this article. I was approached a few years ago by a gentleman that was denied a claim and asked for my assistance. I told him there was not much I could do after the fact, but we can share the word to others so it doesn’t happen to them and I was able to speak at his Rotary club. Thanks for your comment. Stacey

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