Canada got 21 million visitors last year alone.
If Canada is your dream destination, take the trip without a second thought when the chance presents itself. There aren’t many countries as beautiful and serene.
However, most people remember to pack all the essentials to the last item, but then forget one crucial thing: travel insurance.
Do you need travel insurance when traveling to or in Canada? We say you do. Here is what travel insurance is and why you need to get it.
What Is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is insurance designed to cover lost luggage, cancellation fees, medical expenses, flight accidents, and other losses suffered while traveling.
Most travel policies cover you for 90, 120, and 180 days, with more extended stay policies providing coverage for up to 18 months.
It is important to note that for people over 65 years of age or with medical conditions, specialist insurance coverage is required.
Most travel insurance policies take 24-48 hours to activate. It’s therefore advisable to get insurance as early on in your planning as possible.
Ideally, your policy should be active before you get on the flight.
Do You Need Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance should be included in your budget anytime you are traveling abroad, or far from home.
Here are the main benefits of this form on insurance.
1. You Get Injured or Sick on Your Trip
Canada has one of the best public health systems in the world. However, these services are only extended to Canadians. For a visitor, it is easy to accrue substantial medical costs.
With travel medical coverage, huge medical bills are nothing to worry about on your trip. Not only does this coverage pay for your medical bills, but it also caters for your transportation, and also helps you identify a suitable medical facility.
2. You Need Medical Evacuation
Say you take a once in a lifetime trip to Lake Louise with the family, and one of you gets really sick.
They need immediate medical attention, and not just that, but they need to get back to safety to access medical help.
Medical evacuation coverage can arrange for safe transportation to a medical facility. This would come in handy for safety considerations and for financial considerations as well.
Medical evacuations cost hundreds of dollars. Paying these out of pocket can feel punitive to some people.
3. You Need to Cancel Your Trip
Travel insurance comes in handy when unexpected circumstances make it impossible for you to travel.
You may have job commitments, lose a loved one, or even fall sick. Without trip cancellation insurance, you cannot recover your out of pocket expenses.
There are specific circumstances under which a cancellation from your end can be reimbursed. Be sure to find out what these are before taking a policy.
The more common reasons allowed are you being quarantined, your travel companion getting sick, or if you are a government employee and your leave gets canceled.
4. You Miss a Departure
Say you are getting to Canada to join a group heading to Montreal and you miss your connection.
Missed connection coverage facilitates you to take another flight to catch up with your travel itinerary.
You also get assistance and payment to make such travel changes. Such missed departures can be via flight, boat, or train.
Also, these missed opportunities must be resultant from circumstances beyond your control. Some of these include delays in public transportation, car accidents, or a breakdown of your vehicle.
5. Your Luggage Gets Delayed or Lost
One sure way to have a ruined vacation is losing your luggage.
It takes days and even weeks to plan the perfect vacation-complete with the outfits and knick-knacks you want to have with you.
If you get coverage for delayed bags, you can rest easy. If your bags are lost, your insurer helps to make follow-ups with the airline over recovering your luggage.
Aside from this, they reimburse you for the items you will need immediately to enjoy your stay.
However, the excesses for this insurance can be high, and the limits low. There is a standard maximum amount known as the 'single article limit.' This is the maximum that can be paid out for each article.
6. You Lose Your Passport
Losing a passport in a foreign country has all the makings of being a nightmare.
With coverage for lost passports, however, you can get help with the process of paying for and replacing a passport.
7. Assistive Emergency Services
Trip insurance with an assistive services option accords you assistance with legal services, should you need them. It also ensures you get translation services if you are not an English speaker.
If you had a rental car that you are unable to return for one reason or the other, this coverage could take care of that as well.
8. The Weather Damages Your Destination
What happens if a week before travel a hurricane swipes the resort you had booked your stay?
Do you lose all the money you had saved up and paid for your vacation?
Not if you have travel insurance protection from weather damage. This insurance can reimburse your prepaid costs. It can also assist you in getting alternative accommodations.
9. A Terrorist Event Occurs
Aside from weather issues, a security breach or impending security breach in your airport might cause it to shut down. Normally, you forego your trip and lose the monies you had paid for it.
A terrorism coverage ensures you are reimbursed some or all the money you had spent for your vacation.
10. Flight Cancellation Protection
A Trip interruption coverage helps you find a new flight.
It also assists travelers with finding ideal accommodations as they wait for the new flight. This insurance pays for the alternative flight as well.
11. Peace of Mind
If you traveling outside your province, travel insurance ensures you enjoy your holiday, rather than think about what could go wrong.
If indeed something does go wrong, travel insurance ensures that you recoup some of your loses through reimbursement.
What Travel Insurance Does Not Cover
Understanding what insurance covers you for is just as important as understanding what it does not cover.
Here is a look at what travel insurance does not cover:
- Accidents resulting from extreme sports like paragliding, bungee jumping and so on
- Drug and alcohol-related incidents
- Luggage loss resulting from careless handling on your part
- Preexisting conditions and general health check-ups
- Lost cash
- Theft coverage does not cover items you left in plain sight
- Civil unrest in areas where your government has not called for its citizens to be evacuated
What to Watch out for When Buying Travel Insurance
Before buying insurance, here are the main considerations to keep in mind to ensure you get the best travel insurance coverage.
Get the Duration Right
Make sure you give your insurer the correct dates when making your booking. If you provide fewer days than you will be away, your policy could be invalid.
This means your insurer might reject your insurance claim.
Ensure All Destinations Are Covered
Usually, your insurer will inquire about which country you will spend the most time in.
Aside from this, ensure to make a specific inquiry about the coverage for all other countries that you will be visiting aside from Canada.
Understand What a Preexisting Condition Is
This is not outright obvious as different people have long term health issues that give them little to no trouble at all.
However, your insurer might not see it this way. The best way forward is to discuss any and all health concerns beforehand, and let them make assessment and judgments regarding your premiums.
Remember that should anything happen to you while you are away, your insurer has the right to access your medical records. If they do identify undisclosed conditions under this category, they are at liberty to void your policy.
Good travel insurance providers usually have a list of preexisting conditions. This should be your starting point.
Is There an Element of Danger?
While typically dangerous activities are not part of standard travel covers, they can still be covered.
Notify your insurer of any dangerous activities that you intend to participate in as part of your travel.
Some insurers will cover these, albeit at an extra cost.
Like other insurance policies, an excess applies to any claim you might make. The term 'excess' refers to the amount you pay before your insurance kick in.
Say you have an excess of $500 and you lose luggage valued at $2000. You will pay the $500, while insurance covers $1500.
The lower the excess, the higher your premiums are. However, do not pick a high excess to get low premiums if you truly cannot afford it.
What Belongings Are Covered?
At the face of it, all the items you take on your trip are covered. However, be sure to notify your insurer if you will be taking some extremely expensive equipment and jewelry.
This will not automatically deny you cover, but you will possibly pay a little extra to cover these items.
Do you need travel insurance? The answer is yes.
Any opportunities for travel should come with peace of mind. Travel insurance ensures that should anything unpleasant happen; you will be well supported to make a recovery.
Do you have a trip coming up? Check out the lowest insurance rates in Canada here.