The unfortunate case of Anna Leibenko, the Canadian woman who slipped off a catamaran in Croatia and ended up in a coma, is a perfect example of why every traveller should purchase full medical travel insurance before they go on holiday. Here are seven things you should bear in mind when looking at purchasing your policy:

You may deem it unnecessary to purchase cancellation or trip interruption insurance. What is at stake, however, is the value of your trip -- and perhaps the cost of an additional plane ticket. You should always buy medical insurance. Accidents and injuries are random and can happen to anyone. The financial hardship, depending on the medical attention you need, could be crippling.

1. Check the fine print and understand what you are covered for. If your credit card offers you some coverage, it is likely not enough. There are also some general exceptions to coverage to watch for such as people who are travelling to play certain sports or travellers who get dangerously drunk may be denied coverage.

2. Carry your travel documents, policy number and emergency contact number for your insurance provider with you at all times. Sometimes, travellers are required to call the emergency contact before going to the hospital or else you might have to pay part of the bills.

3. A person can buy coverage per trip or annually. It is inexpensive. For one week of travel adequate travel medical insurance should cost about 30  to 40 dollars.

4. If you have a pre-existing medical condition ensure that you fully disclose the details to your provider. If you lie it could lead to a claim being denied.

5. If you’re 60 years of age and or older you will likely have to fill out a health form for your insurance provider. Ensure you fill it out correctly. If you’re concerned about not doing it correctly, get your doctor to assist you.

6. Routine health checkups and non-emergency care is normally not covered. Good policies will cover all emergency care, which is defined as a sudden event that makes it necessary to get immediate medical treatment.

Loren Christie