A recent study indicates that half of travelling Canadians fail to buy insurance before all of their trips. Despite all we know about the importance of travel insurance, it seems that millions of Canadians are still choosing to risk their health, finances, and peace of mind by travelling uninsured.
Read on for a list of common (and misguided) excuses for not purchasing travel insurance, and find out why you’re better off with insurance after all.
- I already have travel insurance through my work benefits or credit card. Check your existing coverage carefully to make sure it covers everything you need. Even if you have travel medical coverage through your work benefits or credit card, additional non-medical travel insurance may be necessary. And, if you require customized coverage for special needs like pre-existing conditions or adventurous activities, you may want to have an expert shop around on your behalf.
- Travel insurance won’t cover my pre-existing medical condition(s). Look closer at most Canadian travel medical insurance plans and you’ll find that they’ll cover you for unforeseen expenses related to pre-existing conditions that have been stable prior to the start of your trip. To get the coverage you need, make sure to provide accurate and complete medical information when applying and familiarize yourself with the exclusions and stability requirements in your policy.
- I don’t have time to purchase travel insurance because of complicated, lengthy applications. If you’re young and healthy and you don’t need to answer medical questions when applying for coverage, most plans can be purchased online or over the phone in a matter of minutes. Even plans that require information about your health can have as few as 5 medical questions.
- Travelling is expensive enough… I can’t afford to buy travel insurance too! We all want to save on our travel costs, but don’t skimp when it comes to what matters most. Travel medical insurance can cost less than $2 per day, and there are many ways to save on coverage costs, including companion and family discounts, multi-trip annual plans, and Early Bird rates. The coverage you need may not be as expensive as you think. And when you consider how much it would cost to pay for medical care abroad, travel insurance is well worth a few extra dollars.
- I don’t need travel insurance for trips within Canada because I am covered by government health care. While you’re provincial health insurance will travel with you throughout Canada, you may be surprised to find out what it doesn’t cover. Topping up with some additional travel insurance will fill in any gaps in coverage.
- There’s no point in buying travel insurance because insurers always find a reason to deny a claim. An insurance policy is a contract between the policyholder and the insurer; this means that insurers must pay all valid claims. Not convinced? In 2011, Canadian travel insurance policyholders were paid a total of $620 million in claims.
- I only buy travel medical insurance for trips to the US because medical care is so expensive there. We’ve all heard the horror stories about outrageous medical bills incurred in US hospitals, but you may be surprised to learn how much it costs to receive medical attention elsewhere in the world. Travel insurance is not just for trips south of the border.
- My age or health means I won’t qualify for travel insurance. There are Canadian travel medical plans with no age limits. While some high-risk or unstable medical conditions cannot be covered, it is still possible for you to qualify for coverage for expenses that are not related to your existing health issue. This means that an unexpected illness or injury, like food poisoning or a broken bone, would still be covered.
- If I get sick on a trip, I’ll just pay to fly home right away. In the event of a serious illness or accident, you won’t have the chance to book a last-minute trip home. Instead, you’ll be rushed to the nearest hospital—at which point your medical expenses will begin accumulating. Travel insurance comes with emergency assistance services to help make sure you get the attention you need when you need it most and to transport you home, if deemed necessary.
- I forgot to purchase travel insurance and now it’s too late because I’m already on my trip. Don’t give up quite yet! Some travel medical plans are still available for purchase after you’ve left home. Speak with an insurance expert if you need post-departure coverage.
The next time you decide that travel insurance isn’t for you, give this article a read! Consider why you’re avoiding this necessary purchase, and whether or not travelling uninsured is worth the risk. Hopefully, you’ll come to the conclusion that the only smart choice is to travel insured. Every single time.