Why vacation travel insurance is a must

May 20, 2015

You’ve chosen a beautiful destination and hotel for your holiday. But did you also wisely choose the right travel insurance to prepare for a lost possession, accident, illness or theft? While on vacation the right travel insurance is a must, even if you're staying in Canada. Here's some advice to help you choose.

Why vacation travel insurance is a must

Most travellers never consider a worst-case scenario. That’s completely understandable – you’re off to have fun, relax and enjoy. The last thing on your mind is a broken leg or someone stealing your credit cards. Accidents and other unexpected crises do happen, and travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself and have peace of mind when you’re a long way from home.

How travel insurance can help

Travel insurance can help cover you and your family in a variety of unforeseen events, including the costs associated with:

  • Medical emergencies.
  • Property damage and theft.
  • Vacation cancellations and delays, including non-refundable purchases like airfare.

Choosing the right travel insurance for you

There are a number of factors that will help you pick the best travel insurance for yourself and your travel companions. Some things to consider include:

  • Refund policies – how late can you cancel the insurance and still get your money back?
  • International recognition – does your insurer have an affiliate at your travel destination?
  • Personal liability – if you accidentally injure someone else, is it covered?
  • Your medical condition.
  • Legal aid.

You should check into the cancellation policies for the travel and events you’ve booked ahead of time. Cancellation fees might be so low (or if you’re lucky, there are none) that you would waste money by insuring them.

As far as getting extra health insurance coverage goes, as Canadians we tend to believe that if we travel within our country it's unnecessary since the government pays for our healthcare. But beware: if you're travelling in another province and require medical treatment there's no guarantee that the government of the province in which you reside will reimburse you (either partially or in full) for the costs incurred upon your return since rules and regulations vary from province to province.

  • Even if you're travelling withing Canada, it's a good idea to make sure that you have sufficient additional health care coverage to avoid any unexpected surprises should anyone in your group need medical assistance.

Make sure you understand your policy

There can be a lot of fine print when it comes to insuring your trip. Be sure to read it all.

  • What is the payout limit for each type of event?
  • Exactly who is covered?
  • What kinds of occurrences won’t qualify for insurance protection?

Absolutely ensure your travel insurance company offers 24-hour service.

  • You do not want to be knee-deep in a middle-of-the-night emergency and be told to call back during normal business hours!

Types of insurance that cater to your needs

A lot of travel agencies and insurance providers have prepackaged travel insurance plans specific to the traveller, the destination and activities, the length of the vacation, or any combination of those and more.

This can make choosing a plan easier if you’re travelling as a family with children, or if you’re an older traveller. Some types of specialized travel insurance plans are:

  • Annual travel insurance – covers those who make multiple trips in one year.
  • Business travel insurance – good for overseas travel and equipment coverage.
  • Adventure travel insurance – it might be your best bet if you plan high-risk events.
  • Backpackers travel insurance – offers coverage for long-term expeditions, even up to 18 months.

Other specialists policies, such as winter sports travel insurance, are designed to meet the needs of your vacation-specific adventures.

Compare policies

Before you jump headlong into a web search for travel insurance, check with your insurance agent, your health insurance provider and even your chosen credit card company to find out how you’re already covered for your vacation.

  • Once you’ve determined what you need, find offerings from two or three different travel insurance providers and compare them to find the best coverage at the best price.

Bon voyage!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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