When I was younger, I used to hop across the border without a care in the world. Day trips to the US, weekends in Las Vegas, and even an expedition to Europe. I always made sure I packed everything I could possibly need…except for travel insurance. After all, I was young and healthy, and didn’t need it, right? Nope!
When I came down with a stomach bug in Las Vegas, I found out that even going to urgent care would cost me all of my spending money for the rest of the trip. Accidents and sickness can happen to anyone, and since joining TuGo, I’ve learned that you need to be covered for medical emergencies, no matter how few candles are on your cake.
Travel is expensive and your investment needs to be protected
Even with discounts, packages, and deals, travel can be expensive. My last trip to England took more than a year to save up for, even though I travelled frugally. There were definitely no luxury hotels or business-class tickets on my itinerary! Since travel usually requires careful budgeting and planning, especially when travelling to multiple destinations, it’s a good idea to do everything you can to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible, and budgeting the cost of coverage into your trip can help.
Delays, flight cancellations, and even an unexpected illness or death in the family can happen to anyone. Trip cancellation and interruption can definitely help you if you need to cancel your entire trip, or if you need come home early.
Your provincial health plan doesn’t fully cover you out-of-province.
As Canadians, we’re fortunate to have medical coverage under provincial health plans. However, if you get sick or injured while travelling outside of Canada, your provincial health care coverage will only pay for less than 10% of the total cost. This means that in case of a doctor’s visit or hospitalization, your out of pocket expenses can add up fast.
Each province pays a different amount towards claims that happen outside of Canada, so make sure you know what your provincial health plan contributes.
Even if you’re only travelling to a different province, your provincial health plan may not cover all of your expenses. Things like ambulance costs, prescription medications, and physiotherapy aren’t covered by your provincial plan, which is why it’s a good idea to have stay covered, even for trips outside of your home province.
Health care costs can be a financial strain
The biggest shock of my TuGo career came when I found out just how much health care can cost, especially when travelling to the US. Even something like a broken bone can quickly amount to thousands of dollars as up-front payments. If you’re wondering whether or not the cost of travel insurance is worth factoring into your trip budget, here’s a real-life example of a medical claim:
14-year-old Tomas travelled to Mexico for spring break. After a few days, he started having severe abdominal pain, and saw the hotel doctor. He was diagnosed with appendicitis, sent to hospital via ambulance, and stayed in the hospital for two days before being released with various prescriptions.
Hotel doctor fees: $950.50
Ambulance fees: $1,200.00
Hospital fees: $22,530.47
Doctors’ fees: $7,165.00
Total cost of the claim: $31,893.08
His provincial health plan covered just $330.16, which means that TuGo paid $31,562.92.
Baggage mishaps can also happen
For me, one of the most nerve-wracking parts of air travel isn’t the takeoff or turbulence, it’s standing by the baggage carousel, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my bag. Though it’s a good idea not to take anything irreplaceable on vacation, baggage insurance can help you replace your things if your luggage is lost, stolen, delayed or damaged.
Find out more about some insider luggage claim tips in case of any baggage mishaps on your trip.
Health care in Canada isn’t free for visitors or inbound students
It’s a common myth that health care is free in Canada for everyone, since residents are covered under a provincial health plan. But if you’re a visitor to Canada, or a student studying here, you won’t be covered under a provincial health plan, which means that you’re financially responsible for any medical emergencies or accidents that might happen.
To find out more about what you should look for in your health coverage when visiting Canada, read our answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Buying travel insurance can be confusing. Here’s a quick guide to buy a plan that is right for you.