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TRavel Insurance: A little peace of mind on the road less travelled
Travel insurance may be the last thing on your mind before heading off on your adventure. It may not be as exciting to shop for as your new backpack, and you may think it's too expensive, but it is one of those things that needs to be at the top of everyone's list, and won't really cost you very much in the long run. Travel insurance covers three main things: medical expenses, trip cancellation and baggage. You can purchase all of them separately or in packages, but make sure you at least have coverage for medical expenses.
Medical expense insurance generally covers the costs of prescriptions, treatment, hospitalization and transportation for a medical reason in excess of what your provincial plan pays. This means that you will also need to maintain your provincial plan for the entire time you are away.
Another coverage option is for trip cancellation or interruption. If you have to cancel or delay your trip due to serious illness or injury, you will be covered for the loss, as many flight tickets and other pre-paid travel expenses are non-refundable.
Baggage insurance covers replacement of your items if they are lost, stolen or damaged, up to a maximum value. Sometimes there is a limit of how much you can claim per item, so you may want to check into further insurance if you are carrying any especially expensive items.
We think that Travel CUTS has great insurance products for travellers at affordable rates. You can purchase the insurance online up to the day that you are departing on your trip. Check out their rates and policy details here.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Check into travel insurance prior to or at the same time as you are purchasing your airline ticket - cancellation insurance may have to be bought at the same time as your flight
- Find out how to use your insurance BEFORE departing for your trip. Read your policy or talk to your travel consultant to find out how to make claims and what you need to provide for the claims.
- Keep a little piece of paper in your moneybelt with important numbers including the insurance company's name, contact information and your policy number.
- Make sure you know what your insurance covers. Some policies do not cover you while engaging in relatively common travel activities such as scuba diving or rock climbing.