There is no shortage of people who have traveled outside Canada without travel insurance coverage only to regret their decision to do so. Most of us assume our trips will proceed as planned. We neglect to prepare for the accidental and unexpected. Unfortunately, this exposes us to a high degree of risk since there is no way to know what unforeseen circumstances might befall us. Lost baggage, cancelled flights, and major illnesses and injuries are among the many incidents that can threaten to ruin a trip.
At its simplest, travel insurance covers expenses that are incurred when things go wrong. The coverage protects you financially. Below, we’ll describe six scenarios that have caught other travelers off-guard, forcing them to absorb major expenses that could otherwise have been avoided.
#1 – Your Destination Hotel Is Demolished
Suppose you paid thousands of dollars upfront to spend two weeks in a luxurious hotel in the Caribbean. A few days before you’re scheduled to leave on your trip, a tornado decimates the hotel and surrounding area. You’re forced to abandon your trip.
The money you paid would normally be forfeit. With travel insurance coverage, much of your upfront cost would be reimbursed. Your insurer may also try to find a new vacation destination for you that suit your preferences.
#2 – You Need To Be Medically Evacuated
Occasionally, a traveler will experience a sudden, severe illness or injury while traveling. If this happens to you, and you need to be medically evacuated, expect to pay a large sum. Evacuations to hospitals in the host country can cost $10,000 or more depending on your location. Emergency evacuations back to Canada may cost $50,000 or more.
Travel insurance shields you from the majority of this cost. You’ll be able to get the medical care you need without taking a second mortgage on your home.
#3 – You Become Severely Ill While Traveling
Many people become violently ill on their trips, and require hospitalization. This can happen for myriad reasons, from food poisoning and infections to migraine headaches and flare-ups of pre-existing conditions. When you’re traveling through other countries, you’re required to pay your hospital expenses. Your provincial health care plan back home will not apply. Depending on the extent of medical care you need, these expenses can run up to several thousands of dollars.
A travel insurance policy will include emergency medical coverage. It will reimburse you for the majority of the costs you incur while undergoing treatment in the host country’s hospital.
#4 – Something Requires You To Postpone Your Trip
There are numerous factors that may force you to cancel your trip. For example, you might be summoned for jury duty; you may get into a car accident on the way to the airport; your house might become severely damaged; or, you may lose your job. Each of these events is a compelling reason to postpone your trip. Unfortunately, doing so might mean forfeiting non-refundable expenses.
Nearly all travel insurance companies offer trip cancellation coverage. It reimburses you for expenses that were paid in advance and are not refundable.
#5 – You Encounter Airline/Flight Snafus
Most people assume their flights will leave on time and they’ll be able to make their connections. If a connection is missed, there should be alternative flights that reach the same destination. In reality, things don’t always transpire so smoothly.
For example, suppose your flight is cancelled due to severe weather, and no other flights are going to the same destination until the following day. Or, suppose runway delays cause you to miss a connection, which in turn causes you to arrive too late to board the cruise ship you had reserved space upon.
Normally, you would be forced to absorb the cost of a hotel room (due to the cancelled flight) or the cost of the cruise. With a travel insurance policy, these expenses would be partially or fully reimbursed.
#6 – The Airline Loses Your Luggage
Whenever you travel, there is a risk the airline will somehow misplace your bags. In some cases, the airline will know exactly where they are, but will be unable to deliver them for a few days. Other times, your luggage will have simply disappeared.
If you need the items you packed, and cannot wait until they arrive at your hotel, you’ll be forced to pay out-of-pocket for replacements. Depending on the items, this can become expensive. If the airline loses your luggage, you’ll have little choice.
Most travel insurance policies provide coverage for delayed or lost luggage. This means you’ll have access to the essentials you need to enjoy your trip without worrying about paying for replacements.
One of the advantages of investing in travel insurance is that your coverage can be tailored to fit your needs. This is beneficial since some coverage will be more important to you than others. Keep in mind; prices vary from company to company. The quickest way to find the best deal is to compare quotes from several insurers side by side.
This article was written by Lisa Smith, a contributor at Kanetix.ca – Canada’s leading online insurance quote comparison service. For more information on travel insurance coverage, read this article written by Kanetix. Do an online quote comparison at Kanetix to compare snowbirds travel insurance quotes and save time and money.