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Why you should consider buying travel insurance this long weekend.

Sandy Cornell August 27, 2013
Writing out a packing list in a planner with suitcase in background.
Sunscreen, bug spray and barbecue essentials have undoubtedly made their way onto your checklist for the long weekend. But if your plans to laze away at the cottage, relax with family and friends, or play tourist in a new city have you venturing outside Ontario, you may want to add buying travel insurance to your to-do list.

Yes, travel medical insurance can be useful for more than just your dream safari or Mediterranean cruise. Securing coverage within Canada comes with its benefits, the least of which is peace-of-mind for your wallet. While your provincial health card does travel with you throughout the country, you should be aware of its limitations.

Health care limitations.

While you’re covered for physician and hospital charges in other provinces, keep in mind that there may be a cap on that spending: OHIP, for example, only covers up to a maximum of $400 CAD per day for emergency medical services. Plus, other critical expenses like prescription drugs, ambulances and transportation to a hospital at home may be coming out of your own pocket. Or, even when covered, you may be asked to pay for medical treatments up front to be reimbursed later on – a process that may be a bit daunting if a hospital bill becomes a bit more than you can handle.

Financial de-stressor.

Not only would the appropriate travel insurance cover all emergency medical expenses (not to mention dental and vision care) and transportation for you and your family back to your home province, but it would also help alleviate financial stress by coordinating payment directly with the medical facility. Translation: you can worry about getting better, not how you’re going to cover a huge doctor’s bill!

Bonus: Travel insurance can even cover man’s best friend! If the family pet has come along on your vacation, not to worry – return transportation, care and even kennel costs are covered too

Protection for when life happens.

PLUS, bundling your travel medical insurance with trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage means you and your belongings (and your hard-earned money!) are also protected when your vacation doesn’t quite go as planned. Lost luggage and missing travel documents no longer have to be an out-of-pocket expense.

Protect yourself from the unexpected before leaving your home base to ensure that your relaxing escape doesn’t turn into a financial nightmare. Do yourself a favour: Make the small investment in travel insurance and get back to worrying about the final lazy, hazy days of warm weather.