Blog Planning a Vacation? Travel Insurance Basics: To Buy or Not to Buy

Planning a Vacation? Travel Insurance Basics: To Buy or Not to Buy

Travel Insurance may seem like an added expense when planning a vacation, but it can save you a lot of money when an unexpected emergency comes up. A travel insurance policy can cover the costs of emergency medical care and various types of cost reimbursements due to medical emergencies while away from home.

Many people may not realize that provincial medicare does not always cover health insurance costs outside of the province of residence, so travel health insurance is a good option.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Travel insurance can cover any range of situations that put you at a financial loss due to unforeseen events while travelling. You can purchase basic travel insurance or policies with options for more coverage.

Here are some examples that help you to understand what travel insurance may cover. These are situations when a travel insurance policy would be worth every penny of the cost, considering how expensive a medical emergency can be.

Small Injury at Not So Small Cost: Travel Insurance Pays

David, 29 years old, purchased a travel health insurance policy for his 37-day trip to Thailand. The premium for the 37-day coverage was $247.00.

After a few days exploring the beaches, David had a cut on his foot that started to become swollen. As a precaution, he made his way to the local hospital emergency room. The doctor who examined him told him the cut had become infected and gave him antibiotics to help clear it up. The bill for the medical visit and the antibiotics came to $1125.00, which was covered in full by his travel insurance.

Travel Insurance Example of Coverage: Adventure Travel

Emily bought a travel insurance policy for $45.30.  At 53 years old, she had never had an accident or had to use travel insurance before, but she bought it to be safe for her 8-day trip to Mexico.

A few days into her trip, Emily was injured paragliding. Her travel insurance covered the costs of an air ambulance and the surgery she needed following her accident. After surgery, she needed to return home early. Her travel insurance covered the cost of the flight home. Since she had to cut her trip short, she also lost her pre-paid trip costs. The travel insurance covers the costs of $72,400, which covered:

  • Air ambulance
  • Hospital care
  • Trip interruption
  • Prescription drugs
  • and more.

Note: Some insurance policies contain exclusions for extreme sports. Before purchasing your travel insurance policy, be sure to ask if activities like mountain climbing, skydiving, bungee jumping, and other adventure sports that have higher risks of injury are covered by the policy you buy.

Travel Insurance for Florida Example

Linda planned a 5-day trip to visit her sister in Florida. She bought a 5-day All-Inclusive travel insurance policy and paid $154. During her trip, 70-year-old Linda fell and fractured her hip. Due to the emergency, she needed immediate surgery and then some rehab before she could be transported home.  The cost of this slip and fall accident would have been more than $100,000 USD. By having travel insurance, Linda did not have to pay it out of her own pocket.

What Kind of Travel Insurance Is Available?

Regardless of your age, whether you are a student, a senior or anything in between, there are specialty travel insurance products that can protect you. Travel insurance is available for:

  • On an annual basis for people who frequently travel throughout the year
  • On a per-trip basis, if you just need coverage for a specific trip.

Standard travel insurance can cover your medical expenses associated with an accident or sudden illness while traveling outside of your home province.

Travel insurance coverage can be broadened by adding coverage for baggage loss and trip cancellation.

Tip: Check your home, renter or condo insurance policy to see if you have coverage when you travel to avoid duplicating coverage for lost or stolen items.

 Limits and Conditions for a Travel Insurance Policy

When comparing prices for travel insurance, be sure to ask about your options. Pricing varies widely according to your age, your pre-existing medical conditions (if any), and the cost of your trip, what you’ll be doing and the length of your stay.  Before choosing the insurance for your trip you should confirm:

  • Policy conditions and limitations,
  • The process to follow in the event of an accident or illness. Some travel insurance policies require that you call the insurance company before obtaining medical services.
  • What to expect with regard to claim payment (do you pay in advance and get reimbursed, or do they pay the costs directly?)
  • Coverage options.

For more information on the best plan to help you stay protected, it is always best to contact a licensed insurance broker who can help you understand how to best protect yourself with a travel insurance policy that makes sense.



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