Don’t leave home without it!
Travel Insurance that is.

Trips abroad can be expensive. Travel Insurance will cost a little extra but it could save you a lot of money.

When you leave Canada, even if it is only for a few hours, you are exposing yourself to financial risks that are hard to imagine. Medical costs could add up quickly. US hospitals - for instance - can charge up to $5,000 per day for in-patient care.

Here are some real life examples:-

Julien, age 30 had an accident and was treated for compressed vertebrae in Ciudad Valle, Mexico. Air ambulance and emergency care fees totalled $38,383 and his provincial health insurance reimbursed him $500. For a premium of $136 all costs would have been covered.

In another incident Isabelle, age 42, developed diarrhea in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Her total hospitalization and return flight amounted to $10,608. She was reimbursed $800 from her provincial health plan. A premium of $198 would have covered all of the costs.

Asian Elephant

On a positive note (relatively speaking), one young man avoided a hefty $20,000 medical evacuation fee when he was trampled by an elephant in a parade in Thailand. That’s because he bought $50 trip insurance.

Check with your provincial government and any benefit plans you have through your employer to determine what medical expenses will be covered when outside of Canada.

Some credit cards cover basic health insurance. Find out exactly what your coverage is so that there are no surprises when you are faced with an unexpected medical emergency.

Travel Insurance plans generally pay eligible medical bills directly. They also pay emergency medical transportation, multilingual coordinators, and a 24-hour toll-free emergency number.

It’s important to confirm that your plan also covers the following items:-

  • Coverage renewable from abroad and for the maximum period of stay.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions – get an agreement in writing that you are covered otherwise you could find your claim 'null and void'.
  • Medical evacuation to Canada or the nearest location with appropriate medical care.
  • A health care provider to accompany you during evacuation.
  • Preparation and return of your remains if you die abroad.
  • Emergency dental care.
  • Emergency ambulance services.

Other benefits

Trip cancellation and/or interruption and lost luggage can also be covered. And your costs may be reimbursed if you have to cancel your trip because of a variety of reasons.

These may include:-

Illness or death in the family; a missed connection on your way to your final destination; a flood in your home a couple days prior to your departure; an accident on the way to the airport or; the airline you have a flight with goes bankrupt.

There are many travel insurance providers and it’s worth doing some research to find a company that will offer you the best coverage at the best price.

Prices start to rise for travelers age 65 and older. Individuals who have pre-existing conditions or serious health issues such as asthma, heart trouble or are in remission from cancer may also encounter higher premiums.

No one takes a trip assuming the worst. But should something happen, it's good to know that you and the people you care about will be protected.

The insurance can seem expensive but knowing that you have help if the unexpected happens provides you with peace of mind and may save you a lot of money.