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Travel Insurance

Majority of Canadians do not Purchase Travel Insurance

When you travel, buying travel insurance should be your first priority. It is probably an easier decision than where you will travel to. In reality, however, many Canadians do not buy travel insurance before they leave. We’ve all heard of cases where medical expenses from accidents in foreign countries have resulted in families having to file for bankruptcy.

CBC News found in 2009 that Canadians made nearly 40 million day trips or overnight outings to the United States.1 This number only includes personal trips and doesn’t include the people going abroad for business functions.

In 2012, the Toronto Sun found that 60% of all travelers2 do not talk to travel insurance providers and arrange coverage before leaving Canada. Traveling without proper insurance coverage is a gamble and because of that, Canadians have been forced to pay tens of millions of dollars each year for unanticipated illness or injury that requires immediate hospital care in the country they are in; even if only for a day trip.

Why Buy Travel Insurance?

Nearly everyone in Canada, not just Ontario, insures their homes, lives, businesses, and vehicles case there is an accident, natural disaster or fire.

So why are so many Canadians unwilling to buy travel insurance for the same reasons? There are those that think buying travel insurance is unnecessary; particularly younger people who are generally in good physical health. Many simply will convince themselves that it’s too costly... that is, until they go through something negative during their trip. Seniors are particularly vulnerable. That is why they should always buy seniors travel insurance. Below are a few important reasons that you 'should' buy travel insurance:

  • The Ontario government only minimally covers expenses for out-of-country healthcare. It can take months or even years to settle those.
  • Accidents are common. They do not choose who and where they will happen. It could be as simple as a broken leg, but it could cost as much as of $20,000.00 in foreign medical expenses.
  • In some countries, there are medical facilities which will not treat those that show up at their doors without proper travel medical insurance coverage.

Travel Insurance Providers

Various travel insurance providers can design a travel insurance package that is determined on the length of travel, age of the traveler(s) and any pre-existing medical conditions. Travel agents, credit card companies, and insurance brokers offer different types of travel insurance, but it is essential that you know the terms and conditions as well as any exclusions that the policy may carry. A few of the many questions to ask are:

  • Does the policy have nonstop coverage while you are away? And is it renewable if your stay ends up being longer than you originally planned?
  • Does the travel insurance provider's underwriter have a 24-hour, emergency contact number in English or French language?
  • Do you have to pay for all related expenses yourself, and claim later? Or do they pay the institution up-front, saving you out of pocket expenses?

According to the Government of Canada's own website, the following incident shows why its important to buy travel insurance: 'Gabrielle had insurance that lapsed three weeks before she was involved in an accident. Her Canadian family had to raise $300,000 over a three-day period to cover the costs of medical treatment and evacuation. Fortunately, she survived, but her family is left with a hefty debt to repay.' 3

There are many types of travel insurance plans available. They all depend on what you need. Whether it is a single trip or multi-trip policy, or seniors travel insurance policy. There are also annual premium policies available. If you are flying abroad, many travel insurance plans also cover trip cancellation, loss or damage of luggage, flight and travel accidents and more.

Enjoy peace of mind and buy travel insurance in Ontario for you and your whole family. Don't risk the trip without coverage.

1 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/the-canada-u-s-border-by-the-numbers-1.999207
2 http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/07/most-canadians-dont-buy-travel-insurance-study
3 http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/07/most-canadians-dont-buy-travel-insurance-study

**Insurance Products available to Ontario Residents only.