Travel Insurance: What it Covers and Why You Need It

There is a lot to think about when planning a trip, and travel insurance is one thing many people tend to forget. But when you are planning to leave Canada or even your home province, travel insurance is just as important as booking your hotel and making your transportation plans; even within Canada there are major benefits to a travel insurance policy. Consider all of the financial implications of travelling without insurance and you won’t ever want to leave home without it again.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

When you think of travel insurance you probably think about health coverage. This is a very important part of any travel plan when your journey takes you beyond Canada’s borders. While most provinces have an agreement to provide medical care to residents of other provinces while visiting, there is no such agreement outside Canada’s borders. Travel health insurance is the only way to ensure you won’t be stuck with a large medical bill if you get sick or are in an accident. It will also help pay for additional costs associated with a medical emergency in another country, such as lodging for family members and more.

There is much more to a travel insurance plan than health coverage, however, and much of this coverage applies whether you are travelling in Canada or abroad. Trip cancellation and interruption coverage protects you in the event that you are forced to either cancel your travel plans before you go or must cut your visit short and go home. It will cover the cost of non-refundable airfare and hotel charges. Not only that, but it provides coverage for extra travel costs that might be associated with the change of plans, such as emergency flights back home. All of these costs can be incurred within Canada as easily as elsewhere.

Travel insurance can even help you with problems incurred while flying such as lost baggage and the cost of a hotel in case of a cancelled or delayed flight.

What are Potential Costs of Not Carrying Travel Insurance?

While many people feel that paying for a travel insurance plan is a cost they don’t want to add to their travel budget, consider the cost of not having this coverage instead. A hospitalization in another country can quickly add up to thousands of dollars out of pocket, and that’s just the hospital. There is also the cost of ambulance services, lodging for family members who might stay longer than intended while you are cared for, or the cost of travel expenses to fly you back home for continued treatment.

And it doesn’t take a medical emergency to cost you a lot of money. If you are forced to cancel a trip for any reason, you could lose the money spent on a flight as well as any non-refundable hotel fees. This could add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Many people assume that the airline will be responsible for lost baggage costs or hotel charges required when a flight is cancelled but that’s not always the case. You could be out several hundred dollars if you have to pay for a hotel and food while stuck somewhere due to bad weather – and as for the cost of your luggage, it’s easy to see how that can add up fast.

The cost of buying travel insurance quickly pales in comparison to the potential costs of travelling without it.

How Should I Shop for Travel Insurance?

The easiest way to shop for travel insurance is to get a free quote online. You can choose the best insurance package that suits your travelling needs – from medical coverage to a plan that includes trip cancellation and baggage coverage.

You may have heard that your credit card company will cover travel insurance, but use caution when depending on this. Remember that in most cases you must pay for all of the travel arrangements on that card for the coverage to kick in, and it may be limited coverage. Check with your credit card company for the details and be sure to compare the coverage to other policy quotes to see what you are really getting for your money.

Travel insurance is the simplest way to travel with complete peace of mind knowing that an accident, a family emergency at home, or even a simple airline problem won’t wind up putting you out of pocket for thousands of dollars. It’s well worth purchasing every time you travel.