How much do you know about travel insurance?

Deidre Plotnick August 20, 2020
Two smiling small girls running on a sandy beach.
Many people think that travel insurance is just something that covers you if you or your family member needs medical attention while you’re travelling. While emergency medical insurance may be the most common type of travel insurance, there are actually different kinds of travel insurance that protect particular aspects of your trip. For instance, there is insurance that covers you if your trip is interrupted and another one that covers you if your trip doesn’t happen at all.  Each type of travel insurance covers you for various circumstances, so it is in any traveller’s best interest to know the differences between them. After all, you spend a lot of time dreaming about your trip, saving for it and eventually booking it. This quick primer on the three most commonly used types of travel insurance helps show what you would be covered for.
Young mixed ethnicity couple sitting on bed with laptop, looking at map and planning trip.

Emergency Medical Insurance can help fill the gaps left by OHIP.

Did you know that if you’re an Ontario resident travelling outside Canada, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) no longer covers your medical expenses? In fact, even if you’re travelling within Canada, not all medical expenses are covered by OHIP. Suppose you’re on this amazing road trip in Banff, you step out of your car to admire the stunning view of Lake Louise, and you trip and sprain your ankle. You may need to take an ambulance to the hospital, and you may need crutches and pain medication. These things may not be covered by your provincial health plan when you are travelling outside your home province. If you had CAA Emergency Medical Travel Insurance1 in place, you would be covered for a maximum of $5 million2 which includes:

  • Hospital stays, lab tests, nursing and ground ambulance
  • Emergency dental expenses
  • Transportation back to Canada if you were abroad
  • Medical follow-up in Canada if you were abroad
  • Reimbursements for vision care, hearing aids, pet care and kennel stays
Mature couple walking on city street with suitcases.

Trip Cancellation Insurance covers anything that happens prior to your departure.

This type of insurance protects you against unexpected events that could delay or cancel your trip. For instance, suppose you’re two days away from leaving on your vacation, and your travel companion gets sick. If you had to cancel your trip, your non-refundable prepaid travel expenses and reorganizing travel plans would be covered. There are also many other instances where this type of coverage could come in handy. With CAA Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance in place, you would be covered if you had to cancel your trip due to:

  • Stolen or lost travel documents while on the way to the airport
  • An adverse reaction to a travel vaccine
  • A school exam suddenly being rescheduled
  • Finding out that the business meeting you’re travelling to has been cancelled
Asian mom and young daughter packing suitcase.

Trip Interruption Insurance covers any unexpected interruption while on your trip.

Suppose you have to come back home earlier than planned, because you or your travelling companion is sick. Or suppose a family member back home becomes very ill and you want to get home to them. This type of insurance includes benefits that may pay for your early return and could even help you recover some of what you’ve paid for. Here’s another example: if your flight was delayed and you ended up missing your cruise, there’s a benefit that could help you get to the next port so you can catch up with your cruise or tour. With CAA Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance in place, you would be covered for:

  • A missed departure or connection due to weather or an airport strike
  • Accommodations and meals due to a schedule change or a missed connection
  • Coverage to get you home due to an unforeseen emergency
If you’re not sure which type of insurance to get, you’re not alone. Travel Insurance can be confusing. That’s why CAA has licensed Travel Insurance Agents to guide you through the process and help you select the travel insurance that’s best for you. To talk to an agent, call 1-866-997-8222 or visit us online.

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