Finding a flight with an attractive fare is tough enough these days. On top of the far you’ll more than likely pay additional taxes, surcharges, and baggage handling fees, the last thing you’re looking to do is spend more money by adding travel insurance to your already expensive trip.
You’re not alone though, according to a survey conducted by InsurEye found that roughly 15% of Canadians do not purchase travel insurance while traveling to the South and only 39% of Canadians get it when going to States!
Most travelers don’t considers travel insurance for three reasons:
- They believe that travel insurance is expensive.
- Travelers don’t trust that the purchased travel insurance will work in a foreign country.
- Lack of education on travel insurance on how it works, and how it can be used in case of an emergency.
Despite the fear of others, you should never leave travel insurance to determine your trip affordability, you’re already spending hundreds of dollars on your vacation, so you want to ensure you’re protected abroad in case of any medical attention you may need. Though you may not be someone who often pays for a little peace of mind, travel insurance can help you cut your losses in many circumstances such as:
- Medical Expenses
- Trip Cancellations
- Damage to Rental Properties (such as car rental)
- Lost Luggage
Do You Need Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance hasn’t become a mandatory purchase when traveling. It’s up to the traveler to protect them selves or simply forgo the whole insurance idea. No one can make you use the travel insurance, but countries such as Cuba are requiring all travelers entering the country for vacation purposes to be accompanied by travel insurance, that of which primarily covers any health coverage needed in the country. But when you consider the high cost of travel and the potentially low cost of insurance, travel insurance often becomes a no-brainier.
When traveling it’s worth asking yourself: Can I afford potentially spending thousands on hospital expenses abroad, or would I rather spend a few minutes researching and purchasing appropriate travel insurance for less than 10% of the total cost of my trip? The choice is pretty clear for most, unless you’re made out of money.
Consider Unexpected Emergencies
Travel insurance protects more than just the expense of your flight. It can also help cover expenses associated with other risks of traveling, like needing medical care when abroad. Despite Canadians having one of the best public health care coverage in the world, there still are certain things that are not covered, and need to be paid out of pocket. Any travelers traveling outside of Canada are not covered for any medical emergencies unless they opt for some form of private travel insurance.
There are three main reasons to consider travel insurance if you’re on the fence:
- Traveling to a third world country.
- You’re heading onto an adventure trip where you’ll be in remote areas and possibly doing slightly more dangerous activities such as hiking, mountain climbing or surfing.
- Visiting a dangerous political climate – A country with a high crime rate or political problems.
Travel Insurance Options
Earlier it was mentioned that travelers often stay away from travel insurance because they’re unsure about the type of insurance they get, and what they’re covered for. Shop around for travel insurance, instead of rushing the insurance decision while booking your tickets, this way you have a better chance of spending less money and getting more coverage.
Although each policy is different, they’ll all cover medical emergencies and evacuations. Most travelers never consider that they might have to spend time in a foreign hospital—but this is actually one of the most compelling reasons to buy travel insurance.
Most travel insurance policies are one time deals that cover the traveler for the duration of their trip. If you’re a frequent traveler, you can get an annual travel insurance policy that covers you for all your trips throughout the year.
Furthermore, there are many customized personal plans for you or your family, and your business. While you’ll be able to choose between domestic and global policies, you can also take advantage of cost-effective policies that limit your coverage to the specific area where you’ll be traveling.
One word of advice would be to check if you have any travelers insurance prior to purchasing. Check if you have a credit card which already comes with Travel Medical Insurance. Also check with your home insurance to see if you’re covered abroad for any items that may be stolen during your travels. Much like your home insurance, if anything is stolen from your home, you’ll need to provide proof of ownership. I’d advise you to take pictures ahead of the things you may be bringing with you as proof of ownership.
I’d strongly encourage you do not travel outside of your home province without travel insurance. There are many places to get your travelers insurance online, but having travel medical insurance is a bare minimum. Ensure that you have a solid understanding of the policy you’re purchasing and understand all the details of your coverage! Know who to call, what to say, and how to react in case you ever run into an emergency.
Finally, I’d recommend you check out a great Canadian website called Insurance Hunter that offers ’3 Quotes in 3 Minutes’ on car insurance, home insurance, and of course travel insurance. In less than seven clicks of a button I was able to find affordable travel insurance for an upcoming vacation that I’m planning.
Have you purchased travel insurance before? What were you covered for? Did you ever have to use the travel insurance or know of someone who has?
This blog post was brought to you by our friends at Insurance Hunter. The thoughts and opinions expressed are of the writer.