Why We Love Travel Insurance (and you should too!)

By joanne lemna | June 16, 2016

Imagine this: You’re on the trip of a lifetime with your spouse. You’re far inside the Peru border near a remote village. You’ve been hiking for the last few hours in the gorgeous landscape when suddenly you trip and fall shattering two vertebrae in your back. Think that it couldn’t happen to you? Well that’s exactly the position that Dave Bouskill and Deb Corbeil found themselves in a few years back.

This Canadian couple who earn a living through writing about their travelling found themselves suddenly thrust into a real life example as to how travel insurance really works. They emerged devout believers in the importance of a good travel insurance policy. “Dave fell hard on a set of steel steps and fractured two vertebrae in his back” explains Deb. “ Travel insurance saved us money time and a lot of pain.”

Because of their remote location they had to travel by small boat to the nearest airport where they were told it would be another 10 days before they would arrive back in Canada for Dave to receive full medical care. The entire cost was covered by their travel medical insurance including the emergency flight to the hospital. (You can read their full story on their blog .)

Sadly however many people will disregard the importance of comprehensive travel insurance even though it may decrease their stress while travelling even if they don’t use it. If they do such a policy can save them a potentially astronomical amount of money as well as reduce the amount of time spent trying to negotiate care and travel while sick or injured. 

Of course everyone wants to cut costs and spend more money on the ‘fun’ side of vacationing but ask any seasoned traveller including Deb and Dave and they’ll tell you: Spend the money on travel insurance. Here are a few reasons why:

Reason #1: You suddenly need to cancel your trip.

Dina Gage and her husband Mark were literally boarding the cruise ship that was to be their home for the next seven days when they received the news about the sudden death of Dina’s mother. Although this Alaskan cruise was their dream trip within minutes they not only had to cancel but find quick travel back to Toronto Ontario. 

Truth is life has a way of throwing the unexpected at us. With travel insurance  you can rest easy knowing that despite a last-minute change of plans you won’t lose the money you invested in the trip. This means you’ll be able to take the trip at a later date or put the money towards another expense.

Reason #2: Your baggage doesn’t arrive when you do.

While waiting for their own baggage in the Johannesburg South Africa airport Darcy and Danny were quite impressed when they saw an airline employee removing bags from the baggage carousel and stacking them neatly in the corner. A few minutes later however the couple learned that this wasn’t an extra layer of service for weary travellers but that all the bags had been displaced or lost from other earlier flights. There were a lot of bags.

The thing is a comprehensive travel insurance policy will cover you for the loss or damage of your bags and belongings. Most policies will reimburse each passenger up to $500 for delayed bags and up to the policy limit for lost bags. This means you won’t have to spend days (or even longer) waiting for your baggage to be returned to you. Instead you can get on with your vacation.

Reason #3: You get sick or you’re injured.

Just as Deb and Dave found out a good travel insurance policy more than pays for itself if you find yourself sick or injured while on your trip. If Dave had been injured without travel coverage he would’ve had to pay for his travel and medical expenses out-of-pocket—a cost that can quickly creep up into the tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands. Even if you’re just travelling out of province or to the US you may not be covered by your provincial health care .

Reason #4: You lose your stuff or it gets stolen.

Quite often when we travel we bring our expensive gear—our best camera a laptop even our iPads iPods and PSPs. While your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover these items in the event of loss or theft you may not want claim the loss. Why? Because a one-time claim while travelling may increase your home insurance rates for a few years. To prevent this rate increase you can make a claim against your travel insurance. You’ll still be reimbursed for the loss but won’t have to pay for this through a premium increase.

Now just because you have travel insurance doesn’t mean you’ll always need to use it. The fact is you probably won’t need to use it on most of your trips. But travel insurance is a small cost to pay for the comfort of knowing that in a surprising or unexpected state of loss or illness you’re totally covered. Talk to your broker today about getting yourself properly protected for your next vacation.