Most people figure out where they’re going before they do anything else, and adjust the rest of their preparations around the time and place they’ll be away. Do you want to go across the globe, or take it easy and stay within Canada? Do you want to sightsee, or visit family and friends? How about a cruise?
So, you’ll go ahead and book your flight, hotel, and whatever else you’ll need to do to make things happen—but there’s one important step that you still have to take: Buying insurance!
In fact, it’s a better idea for you to purchase travel insurance BEFORE you solidify your plans, and here’s why.
Why You Should Have Travel Insurance
Canadian citizens have some health insurance coverage through the provinces and territories, and many of them offer extended out of country coverage, but it’s very minimal. Nearly all the provinces that cover you out of country strongly recommend that you purchase an additional travel medical plan.
When travelling, anything can happen. You might get sick or injured, and won’t have the luxury of handing over your provincial health card and never seeing a bill for your treatment. When you’re in another country (or even in another province) you do not have automatic coverage for health services.
Foreign hospitals and physicians can be very expensive, and they almost always demand payment up front. As you can imagine, coming up with thousands of dollars on the spot would be out of the question for the average traveller. What would you do then? Even if you’re ridiculously wealthy, the bills certainly cause financial damage.
If you have a travel insurance plan in place before you go anywhere, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with any unexpected health emergencies or travel woes. If something should happen and you end up in a hospital, you’re covered, and your finances left unscathed. Your vacation is meant for you to relax and have a good time—not stress about medical bills!
Things to Consider
When you search for a travel insurance plan, think of exactly what you will need. It might be a good idea to make a checklist when searching for the perfect coverage.
- How long will you be away from Canada? You may need long-term travel coverage if you spend more than 182 days out of the country.
- Do you (or a family member) have a pre-existing medical condition? Some plans may not cover any expenses related to that condition.
- What happens if someone dies? It’s not a pleasant thought, but if something does happen, you will want coverage to return the remains to Canada.
- What about possible evacuations or large scale emergencies? Don’t take this for granted, anything can happen anywhere.
The next step is to find an insurance broker, as they are the experts in the field. If you call our office today, we can find a great plan for you in short order.
Why Bother, if the Provinces Cover Services?
As previously mentioned, the provinces and territories do not cover very much when you travel. Ontario residents, for example, will only have limited coverage for physician fees, hospital services, and some emergency outpatient services, according to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
Some of the provincial documentation for emergency medical services is rather vague about what they will or will not cover. It’s not worth the risk. If you are far from home and you become ill, the last thing you need is to worry about whether or not you’ll be covered if you seek treatment.
Having an additional travel insurance plan can not only give you the peace of mind that you’re able to get the help you need, but also that you won’t go into financial ruin. Health services are almost always ridiculously high in cost. A single night in a hospital in the United States can run you thousands of dollars into debt.
When you purchase a travel insurance plan, you could be saving yourself a lot of hassle and money in the long run. When you purchase a multi-trip annual plan, you can go anywhere you want at a moment’s notice (within the year), if you so desire, and you’ll always have peace of mind, knowing you and your loved ones are covered.
Travel insurance is often included in group and individual health insurance plans, so you’re covered all the time…which is great when you decide to go somewhere at a moment’s notice! Depending on how many days your group or individual plan covers you, you still may require a top-up, so be aware of this possibility.
Taking a family vacation is all about togetherness and having fun. You should explore our beautiful planet without having to worry about inadequate coverage or potential bills. Contact our office today and we can set you up and answer any questions you may have. We want you to enjoy your time away!