More than half of Canadian travellers are vacationing without travel insurance
June 1, 2016
Travelling without travel insurance is very risky, but many Canadians still choose to travel unprotected, particularly when they travel outside their home province but within Canada.
Whether it’s due to misinformation or a lack of understanding about the role of travel insurance and the repercussions of not purchasing a travel insurance policy, Canadians continue to put themselves at risk and prioritize other items over travel insurance when they prepare for a trip.
Poll: 55% of Canadian travellers don’t have travel insurance
Canadian Underwriter reports that an Ipsos Reid poll found that 55% of Canadian travellers would leave home without travel insurance. This is an alarming number of people who are willing to take a risk while travelling, even though close to half of those polled (43%) have experienced at least one “unwanted travelling scenario” during vacation, such as lost luggage or needing to visit a local hospital or doctor.
The poll also found a number of other items that travellers prioritize over travel insurance, including:
While it’s important to ensure you have your passport and medication, prioritizing electronic devices over travel insurance could be a mistake that can cost you in the form of lost personal items, lack of assistance or financial loss due to lost baggage, trip delays or other travel-related issues.
You still need travel insurance for travelling within Canada
Many Canadians assume their provincial health care coverage extends and protects them throughout the country. This is only partly true. While direct medical costs may be covered, provincial health plans do not provide the same services to non-residents, and health care plans vary from province to province. Health care services and rates also depend on what your home province covers. Moreover, none of the Canadian provincial plans cover emergency transportation fees.
Why you should say yes to travel insurance
Sure,you will have to pay a travel insurance premium, but the coverage and peace of mind provided make it a very sound investment. Travel can be unpredictable, that is why travel insurance coverage is worth the cost, even if you are only taking a weekend cross-border trip to the US or taking a road trip to a neighbouring province.
The Government of Canada provides some very compelling reasons why travel insurance is a must within or out of the country:
Your Canadian health insurance is almost certainly not valid outside of Canada.
Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs of medical care abroad, and never up front.
Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment. You could face years of debt paying off the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad.
The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills.