Did you know that most Canadians do no purchase travel insurance when they travel? Purchasing travel insurance is one of the easiest things you can, and should, do before taking a trip anywhere. Even if it’s a day trip across the border into the US.
The reality is that when Canadians who do not purchase proper coverage before they travel and get into medical distress, they may end up with huge medical bills that they can’t afford, forcing some families into bankruptcy.
In 2009, a CBC News report found that Canadians made nearly 40 million single day trips or overnight outings into the United States.1 This number doesn’t include the number of travelers crossing the border for business trips.
Further, in 2012, the Toronto Sun reported that 60% of travelers 2 do not purchase travel insurance when leaving Canada. Traveling without insurance can be hazardous because recent studies show that Canadians have paid tens of millions of dollars every year for unexpected illnesses or injuries that resulted in hospital care in the country they travelled to; even if only for a day trip.
Why Buy Travel Insurance?
We know that everyone insures their vehicles, and most people also have life and home insurance in case there is an accident, a natural disaster or even a fire. But why are Canadians unwilling to purchase travel insurance for these same reasons? Some people think travel insurance is unnecessary; especially younger Canadians who are usually in very good physical health, or those that are just crossing the border for a day. Others simply cannot defend the cost, especially if they are taking a longer trip. They can’t defend it, that is, until something happens to them when they are traveling.
Here are a few reasons that you should consider in investing in travel insurance for your next trip abroad:
- The most obvious is that there are multiple border crossings within a few hours drive of the Lower Mainland. That makes it tempting for a lot of people to take a “quick trip” across the border for gas, groceries, or just to get away for a day.
- Provincial governments, including BC, cover very few expenses for out-of-country healthcare. Many times, when claims are made for those expenses, it can take months or even years before you are reimbursed, if at all.
- Accidents are commonplace. They do not discriminate for anyone. They happen where and when they do and no one can predict them. Even something as trivial as a broken leg can cost more than $20,000.00 in foreign medical expenses.
- In some countries, some medical facilities can, and do, refuse to provide treatment for those that do not have medical or travel insurance coverage.
Travel Insurance Providers
Various institutions can provide travel insurance that is based on the duration of your trip, your age and any pre-existing medical conditions you have. Insurance brokers, travel agents, and even credit card companies offer different types of insurance but it is imperative that you comprehend the various terms and conditions, as well as any exclusions that those specific policies may carry. A few of the many questions you should ask are:
- Does the policy have non-stop coverage while you are away? And if so, is it renewable if your stay becomes prolonged?
- Does the underwriter of the insurance policy provide a 24 hour, English language emergency contact or toll free number?
- Must you pay for all applicable expenses up front, and claim later? Or do they pay the institution up-front, saving you the out of pocket expense and stress?
If you still aren’t convinced that you need travel insurance for your next trip, consider this story:
According to the Government of Canada’s website, the following recently happened:
‘Gabrielle had travel insurance which had just lapsed three weeks before she was involved in an accident. Her family back in Canada was forced to raise $300,000 over a short three-day period to cover the costs of not only her medical treatment, but also her emergency evacuation home. Luckily, she survived, but her family was left with a substantial debt to repay.’ 3
There are various types of travel insurance plans available to residents of the Lower Mainland depending on your requirements. We offer single and multi-trip policies in addition to annual premium policies if needed. If you are flying abroad, you will find that most of our travel insurance plans also cover trip cancellation, loss and/or damage of your luggage, and even flight or travel accidents.
Enjoy peace of mind with travel insurance from your local insurance planning specialists for you and your whole family. Don’t risk the trip without coverage.