The most important thing you can pack for your trip is a travel insurance policy that can help protect your family financially if you are sick or injured while away.
You should always check with a travel insurance broker like SBIS for guidance regarding your personal insurance needs, and to review any special considerations for your travel destination of choice and even for help in understanding how to apply for coverage.
With that in mind, here is a March Break travel insurance destination guide on the things you should bear in mind when booking a vacation and purchasing travel insurance.
Are you planning on an adventure destination?
One of the greatest things about travel is the ability to try new things that you would never be able to do at home. There is something about being far from home that brings out our inner daredevil. Unfortunately, for some of us, these relaxed inhibitions come with some serious consequences for our physical and financial well-being.
The popularity of adventure travel has skyrocketed. With the stunning vistas you can take in during your travels, we don’t blame you for being tempted!
But did you know that if you get hurt while participating in extreme sports, you may void your travel insurance policy? That means you won’t have any coverage to treat injuries sustained during activities like scuba diving, skydiving, rock, or mountain climbing, bungee jumping or motor racing.
And that’s not the whole list! Some might say that any activity you take part in while travelling comes with some risk, and that’s very true. But not every activity is detailed in the exclusions section of your insurance documentation.
The moral of this story is that you should always check the details of your travel insurance policy before taking part in any extreme sports activities. If you have any questions about the fine print, consult your insurance broker for a detailed explanation of what is, and isn’t, a covered activity while on vacation. At SBIS we can help make certain you have a travel health plan that will cover your adventurous side.
Check with your local travel vaccine clinic
There is one bonus to the cold temperatures that we experience every winter in Canada: it makes this country a terrible place for many typical viruses to survive and spread. Other parts of the world are blessed with much warmer climates, but it comes at a price.
Before you head out of the country to an exotic locale, be sure to consult with your local travel clinic or family doctor to see if any additional vaccines are recommended for your destination.
Specific recommendations will vary based on any current conditions that are prevalent in the area you plan to visit on your holiday. Many vaccine-preventable viruses are common in places outside of Canada. A very short list includes cholera, hepatitis, typhoid fever, malaria, and yellow fever. Because these conditions aren’t widely seen in Canada, they do not form part of our usual vaccination schedule.
The Government of Canada has a website that outlines some the common health considerations, including vaccines, which you should consider before venturing out of the country. Be sure to consult this website, and your travel insurance broker, before every trip for specific recommendations about your travel health needs.
Unavoidable factors can disrupt travel plans
We all know that we need travel insurance to provide financial protection if we get sick or injured on vacation. But many other circumstances crop up that can put a serious damper on your March Break vacation plans.
There are a lot of misconceptions about exactly what an airline or travel tour provider is responsible for when you purchase a flight or a vacation package. The Canadian government has prepared some information on air passenger rights, but you may be surprised by what is NOT covered by the policy. Specifically, you should keep in mind that the airlines don’t have any more control over the weather than you do! Airlines are not responsible for “inclement weather or the actions of third parties such as acts of government or air traffic control, airport authorities, security agencies, law enforcement or Customs and Immigration officials.”
Simply put, if you are stuck in your destination due to any of those conditions, you’re on your own if you didn’t purchase adequate insurance coverage. You can expect to pay for meals, hotels, and any other expenses you incur while you wait for the adverse conditions to change. That’s probably not a problem if you have to buy a snack for a delay that lasts a few hours. But in the event of a severe weather event like a flood or hurricane, it could be a matter of days. If that doesn’t make you check the specifics of your travel insurance policy, we don’t know what will!
A change in March Break travel plans doesn’t have to break the bank. Be sure to consult with a travel insurance specialist to find out if your policy helps to protect more than your health while you’re on vacation.
At SBIS we can make recommendations on travel insurance for other types of problems you may encounter, like having your trip cancelled or losing your baggage.
We can guide you on and help you put in place a comprehensive travel insurance plan that includes:
- Trip cancellation insurance to help protect you, financially, if you need to cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances. The reasons for a cancellation can be personal ones, like illness or injury, the death or critical illness of an immediate family member, a legal obligation, or sudden unemployment that leaves you unable to travel. Trip cancellation insurance can also apply if there is a problem at your destination, like an impending hurricane, a natural disaster, or a state of war.
- Trip delay and interruption coverage to help you if you miss a portion of your trip or your trip is cut short for a problem covered by your policy such as a late flight, mandatory evacuation at your destination, your host dies or is hospitalized.
- Baggage loss coverage to pay for lost, damaged, destroyed, or stolen baggage and personal effects, anywhere in the world, on water, land or in the air. You are also covered for stolen currency due to theft and payment for personal necessities if your baggage is delayed.
Choose To Work With A Travel Insurance Specialist
Every day, far too many people leave on a trip outside Canada without any kind of travel coverage. Thankfully, the importance of carrying travel insurance has finally started to catch on. It has become so popular, in fact, that many travel agencies include optional travel insurance with each vacation package.
The trouble is, while travel agents are very knowledgeable about travel and destinations, they’re not insurance experts. Usually, these policies are offered through one insurance carrier only, and because of the markup by the travel agency, they can be more expensive than what you could find yourself by completing an online travel insurance application form. They also only cover a single vacation when other travel insurance options can include multiple trips. And most importantly, your automatic enrollment means that your qualification for benefits is only assessed when you make a claim – and you may learn that you are not covered at all.
When you choose to work with an insurance broker who specializes in travel insurance, you can be assured that you are getting the best possible coverage for your needs. A broker like SBIS will help you decide if a single-trip policy will work for your journey, or if it would be more economical to select a multi-trip travel insurance plan to cover all of your trips outside the country or outside the province in a 12-month period. When you apply you will only be accepted for the benefits you are eligible to claim on – giving you 100% certainty of what is covered and what is not when you travel.
Ready to arrange your travel insurance?
Make a call to one of our friendly, knowledgeable customer service agents to arrange travel insurance. It can help ensure that, with of all the things you have to worry about when heading far away from home, paying for treatment if you get sick or injured while far from home isn’t one of them!