A complete guide to travel insurance

Insurance Insights | April 29, 2021

A complete guide to travel insurance

travelling girl, travel insurance blog, the shepherd group

Everyone loves a vacation. While compiling lists of restaurants, sites and shops you want to visit don’t forget to check travel insurance off of your list of must-haves. Without this easy addition to your itinerary, you could be facing a financial nightmare. 

Even if you’re booking a short trip to the USA to shop, the cost of treatment for an accident or sudden illness can be shocking.  US hospital care can cost thousands of dollars per day and intensive care treatment can cost anywhere from $10,000.00 per day depending on requirements.

Travel insurance helps protect you from certain kinds of unexpected events that can occur before or during your trip including things like sickness, lost baggage, cancelled trips and more. 

Travel insurance should never be a second thought! The earlier you buy travel insurance the bigger your coverage window you will have, so you’ll want to book it as soon as, or shortly after, you’ve booked your trip. 

We’ve all heard about lost luggage, and flight cancellations but travel insurance can also cover a handful of other unexpected losses. This will ensure that you can kick back on your vacation and relax without worry, should anything occur.  

Travel insurance is optional which is why many people put it on the back burner, but better safe than sorry is always the safest route, especially when it comes to your health and belongings! 

An accident is more common than we think and something as simple as a lost suitcase can ruin a trip you spent time and effort planning and looking forward to. 

Coverage of travel insurance includes: 

Trip Cancellation: 

This coverage provides reimbursement for non-refundable, prepaid trip costs if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason. Some of these reasons include sickness, job loss, flight cancellations due to weather and more. 

Medical and Emergency Coverage: 

This coverage will provide coverage and treatment for an unexpected illness or injury while traveling. Generally, travellers are required to pay for medical expenses out of pocket then file a claim when they get home. 

Your provincial health plan will only cover a fraction of these costs. While travelling to another province within Canada, your home province’s health plan will be honoured, but your coverage is limited according to your plan. Travel insurance will make up the difference between your health plan and what is charged in the province you are visiting.

As a result, before you travel anywhere it is critically important to understand exactly what your health plan will or will not cover.

Lost, Delayed, or Stolen Luggage: 

Many travel insurance plans will cover a certain amount of lost, stolen or delayed luggage with a maximum of anywhere between $500-$3,000 a person. Baggage delay coverage allows you to purchase essential items while you are waiting for your luggage to arrive. Usually, this cover works on a per-day or per-person basis depending on the insurance plan. 

Due to our new climate, a lot of people may be wondering if reasons related to COVID-19 will be considered valid. Some bigger travel insurance plans will include pandemic-related coverage benefits. Ensure that before you purchase a plan this is something that is stated and understood by an agent so that should a cancellation arise, you may be available to cover some of your losses. 

Read your coverage plan carefully before you leave. If you are not completely happy with your plan you will have an allotted amount of time to request a refund. 

That being said, it is not uncommon for many credit cards to provide a set amount of insurance coverage for your trip. This can include lost or stolen luggage, and medical assistance. It is important to know what coverage you have when booking your flight and where you will need to fill in the gaps.

Before purchasing Travel Insurance, ask the following questions:

1.   Does the plan pay your costs upfront? Or are you required to pay and then submit your receipts for reimbursement?

2.   Are there limits on the proposed coverage?

3.   Is there a deductible? You may be able to reduce your premium by opting for a higher deductible.

4.   Does your insurance provide some form of identification? For example, a card that will be recognized and accepted by medical facilities internationally.

5.   Does your insurance provider have a toll-free helpline?

6.   Are there exclusions from specific destinations? For example, countries with political unrest or specific known illnesses or diseases.

7.   Are there time limits to the coverage, including a fixed time frame?

8.   Does your policy include emergencies that may arise, such as emergency transportation home, trip cancellation, baggage loss or family emergencies?

Remember, when booking a trip, always look into travel insurance and make sure to fully explore all available options and find the best coverage for you. 

This way you can safely book, plan and enjoy your trip without worrying about running into out-of-pocket expenses, should anything happen. 

Have any questions about our insurance coverage? Get in touch today, we’re happy to help.