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Travellers to West Africa should check insurance

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You or someone you know may be heading off to West Africa to help with the worsening Ebola outbreak.

But a travel expert warns people planning trips to countries hit with the outbreak to check over their insurance policies before they leave.

Brad Davies with Virtually There Travel says most large humanitarian aid organizations have extensive insurance coverage for diseases like Ebola, but that may not be the case for smaller charities.

He is urging travellers to always read the fine print.

“There are certain areas of the world, it could Cholera, it could be Ebola, it could something very similar but just as serious — and so it’s important to note that if those conditions are in place and known before you arrive, in some cases, your medical insurance can be void if you contract something that already has a warning in place.”

His advice is to contact your medical insurance provider if you have concerns.

“It’s really important that if you’re travelling to the developing world to help others or for your own education, just have a really good look at the insurance coverage and that you do go and ask the right questions.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends Canadians avoid all non-essential travel to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

There are special precautions for the Congo and Nigeria where there are just a small number of suspected and confirmed cases of the Ebola virus.