Study shows Canadians still confused over travel insurance

A recent study by the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada revealed that 13 per cent of Canadians are unsure if they have travel insurance before going on vacation. Getty Images

A recent study shows there’s still some confusion among Canadians when it comes to travel health insurance.

The study by the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA) shows 13 per cent of Canadians aren’t sure if they have travel insurance before they go on vacation, and of those who have bought insurance, 17 per cent don’t know what their policy covers.

THIA president Brad Dance said the confusion people have is because they don’t know what kind of coverage they have.

But he emphasized travel insurance is important for your health and wallet.

“A broken leg down in California could cost anywhere between US$35,000 to $50,000 in a hospital in California. Your provincial medical plan may contribute somewhere around five per cent of that amount.”

He said travel insurance would pick up the rest of the tab.

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Dance said most importantly Canadians need to find out what kind of coverage they have.

He said some employers may cover travel insurance and even credit card companies can provide it, but travellers need to make sure they know what they have before leaving their province.

And if someone does need to buy standalone insurance, they can range in costs.

“Length of trip is obviously one aspect, your age is an aspect, your health is an aspect, where you may be travelling in the world is an aspect. What activities you might be undertaking while on your trip, that all goes into the rating of a travel insurance policy,” Dance said.

He said there are four golden rules consumers should take into consideration when purchasing travel insurance, one of which is knowing your trip.

“How long are you going to be gone, you need to make sure you’ve got the correct number of days. Are you going to be travelling many times throughout the year? If you are it probably makes more sense to buy a multi-trip policy than a single trip policy.”

Dance said what activities you plan on doing can also affect what kind of policy you should get.

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“Do you plan to do things like parasailing, paragliding, scuba diving, those types of things. There are exclusions for travel insurance policies.”

Consumers should also understand their insurance policy, know their health and be aware of their rights and responsibilities within a travel insurance policy.

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