Weddings create a huge market, and this is certainly true for destination weddings. Places like Cancun, Dominican Republic, and other tropical getaways are popular for this type of celebration. It’s a great idea—you get your family and friends all together in paradise and share your special day with them, and the rest of your time spent there can be both a honeymoon and a social gathering.
But what measures have you taken to protect your health and well-being while you’re so far from home? What happens if something unexpected occurs and you have to go to the hospital? Is it worth it for you to invest in some travel insurance?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that you never know what can happen when you’re in a foreign country, it’s not worth the risk, and you absolutely should buy a travel insurance plan. We plan carefully for our trips, but travel insurance can easily fall on the wayside.
The Trend that Won’t End
Did you know that one in every four weddings is a destination wedding? According to grouptravel.org’s website, the top three destinations for weddings are the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii. Those are all beautiful locations, but how safe are they?
Very recently, the southernmost areas of the U.S., as well as parts of the Caribbean, have been inundated with hurricanes. As of 2017, dozens of storms have ravaged those areas, decimating much of the land and peoples’ homes. Many people, including Canadians, found themselves trapped in these storms with no backup plan. Many were lucky to have been sheltered in areas that were not hit as hard, while others were in grave danger.
It seems ideal to have a wedding in the late summer, extending the warm season by taking things south. But did you know that the hurricane season in the tropical Atlantic region is from late summer to early fall?
If you’re planning to have a wedding in that area, plan around the weather. You can’t choose when a tropical storm will hit, but you can lessen your chances by going when hurricanes are least likely to happen.
Another thing to consider is the country’s crime rate. We hear many horror stories of tourists going missing, getting robbed, or even being murdered—and those crimes often occur while visiting for a wedding. Criminals see people from another country with money to spend, and they take advantage.
Do Your Research
Start researching long before you depart. You can even contact a travel agent who can help you prepare by providing information about where you’re going and what to expect. They should have detailed information on the safe areas, as well as places to avoid.
In order to find the best travel insurance coverage however, you’ll want to contact an insurance broker. Some travel agents may make recommendations, but insurance brokers are the true experts when it comes to finding the perfect plan.
Many will advise you not to leave the resort, and they’re right. You should stay on the property and not venture out into the surrounding towns unless you have a reliable guide. Some beautiful resorts look perfect, but once you leave their boundary, you can find yourself in dangerous, hostile neighbourhoods.
Another thing to consider is the quality of the country’s water. Punta Cana is a beautiful place, but if you risk drinking the water, you could find yourself deathly ill. The same goes for food poisoning. Many countries have different food safety standards and that seafood dinner could come back to haunt you.
While away on a destination wedding, you might want to try local adventure outlets, such as parasailing or bungee jumping. You’re hopefully aware of the risks, but be on alert, as their safety standards might also be different from what you’re used to. A grievous injury can put a stop to any vacation. Also, be advised that your travel insurance may not cover any injuries sustained while taking part in this kind of risky fun!
Some brokers have specialized travel insurance you can buy to cover these types of adventures, so don’t rule it out altogether. Daredevils need insurance too!
It’s also difficult to know whom to turn to when something goes wrong in a country you’re not accustomed to. Language might be a barrier, or perhaps you are unable to locate a hospital. Plan for as many potential crises as you can, and know what to do if anything should happen.
The Safety Net
Many people are aware that their provincial health plan will possibly pay for emergency services while out of country, but it’s not as well known that those plans pay a pittance compared to the total cost. While it’s true you do have some coverage, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a travel insurance plan as well.
You will definitely want to get a plan that covers emergency services such as:
- Physician fees
- Hospital stays
- Surgery fees
If something should happen while you are away, you will need to have your plan policy number and contact information ready at a moment’s notice so the hospital or physician can arrange for direct payment.
Protect Your Family
You can purchase an insurance plan for your family, but that means immediate family members only. You could, however, remind your extended family members to purchase plans of their own to ensure that the entire wedding party will be protected.
Many people love travelling with their children and bring them along to destination weddings. The little ones can enjoy a party in paradise and dip their feet in the ocean too. Should they get sick or hurt, you’ll want to make sure their health is protected.
If you’re flying solo, so to speak, there are individual health insurance plans that you can choose from. Don’t gamble with your health. If you’re leaving the country, take steps to keep yourself safe and healthy.
Travelling can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Plan ahead, do your research, and most of all, get insurance! Call our office today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Happy travelling and enjoy the wedding!