Planning a trip can become costly. Flights, hotels, meals, and excursions are all budgeted for. But don’t forget your travel insurance. It can help protect you from all sorts of unfortunate surprises that could ruin your trip, and possibly even your financial future.
On the less dramatic end of the scale, travel insurance can help defer the costs of missing connecting flights, lost baggage, and theft. Without travel insurance, you could be out of pocket a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Alternatively, in the event of a medical emergency, the price tag could skyrocket. An RBC study suggests that a one-day stay in an American hospital, for a broken arm, could cost US$32,600. Of that, roughly CAD$400 might be covered by your government health insurance plan. The bill would only grow with more severe accidents or prognosis.
Any of these situations would put a damper on your holiday, but having travel insurance could ease some of the stress, and financial burden.
An InsuranceHotline.com survey estimates that a person may receive an insurance quote, for $2 million in coverage (with no deductible), under these circumstances:
- With no pre-existing medical conditions
- Travelling for 10 days
For the following rates:
- 20-year-old person: $22.20
- 35-year-old couple: $41.16
- Family of four: $42.24
(Quotes are subject to change and may vary depending on your personal details.)
Eleven Things That Are More Expensive Than Travel Insurance
With a generous budget of $50, here are eleven things that you spend more money on annually than travel insurance:
- Drinks: Your monthly coffee budget is probably more than the cost of travel insurance. Not to mention the energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and sodas you consume.
- Mani-pedi: One basic manicure and pedicure could cost you more than travel insurance!
- Buy brand name products: Switching to off-brand products for a while could give you enough savings to buy travel insurance.
- Extended Warranties: Protecting the lifespan of a device, that could be quickly outdated, is more important than your health? Come on!
- Subscriptions: If you have more than one music or clothing subscription, streaming or meal service, gym or class membership; you must be underusing at least one of them.
- Shipping: Shipping to the store not only saves you fees but reduces emissions (fewer delivery trucks). Better yet, shop in the store!
- Delivery fees: The convenience of ordering food to your front door comes at a cost of around three dollars per transaction. Ordering food once a month, give or take a few transactions, would cost you around $50 a year.
- Event parking: Take public transit to go to and from sporting events and concerts. Event parking rates can be ridiculous!
- Car washes: Those fancy car washes at the gas station can cost you upwards of $15 a pop.
- A 3D movie: A pair of tickets to a 3D movie, with snacks, cost more than travel insurance.
- Halloween costume: Creating a Halloween costume out of items you already own or buying a used one will cost you significantly less than a prepackaged costume.
Cut back on a few of these luxuries and use your savings to purchase travel insurance! It’s better than being stuck with a gigantic medical bill.
Choosing Travel Insurance
It is very important to consider the nature of your trip when selecting a travel insurance policy. If you are considering planning excursions during your trip, you should note that some activities such as parasailing and scuba diving may be excluded. It is best to check with the insurance provider before completing your purchase.
Some things to consider when selecting a policy are:
- Travel destinations
- How long will you be travelling?
- Will you be travelling again within the year (multiple trips or year-round policy)?
- Are you a snowbird traveller?
- Do you need a trip cancellation policy?
- Are you renting a car?
- Is there a risk of severe weather (hurricane season, typhoons etc.)?
- Declare any pre-existing medical conditions
- Will you be partaking in adventure activities?
Compare rates and choose the policy that best suits the type of trip you are taking. Some features to look for are trip protection, trip cancellation, medical coverage, and phone support. Some providers offer a 24/7 helpline in case you aren’t sure what to do in the event of an emergency while in a foreign country.
Submitting an Insurance Claim
If you find yourself having to file a claim, the process is usually straightforward. Collect, and make copies of all receipts, reports, and other documentation supporting your claim. Then, call the insurer's support line or fill out the forms online.
Submit your claim with all supporting material, which may include, a statement issued by the airline as proof of lost luggage, a police report, or medical bills. The claim form should list the documentation that is required.
Once your form is returned to the insurer, they will assess your claim and may request additional information. After their investigation concludes, you should be issued a reimbursement within a few weeks, however, each situation is unique.
Willing to give up your to-go coffee for a month and secure some peace of mind? Still contemplating your odds of needing travel insurance? Don’t risk it! A couple of dollars a day could end up saving you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the event of an emergency. With Rates.ca you can compare cheap travel insurance quotes and be prepared for your next trip.