Friday, July 6, 2012

Canadians taking expensive risk by not buying travel insurance: BMO Insurance study

Canadians who vacation without travel insurance are taking an expensive risk that they won’t be sick or injured while away.
Findings from BMO Insurace’s online Summer Travel Insurance Study, conducted last month by Pollara and involving a random sample of 1,000 Canadian adults, show that extra medical costs could put a damper on the fun.
Costs related to breaking a leg while travelling in the United States could run as high as $20,000, and treatment for decompression sickness in Thailand can be as much as $40,000, notes a statement from BMO Insurance.
“While Canadians can sometimes be covered under the terms of their credit card or workplace healthcare plan, they need to be certain that the correct insurance is in place given the high cost of medical services that can be incurred while away from home,” says Julie Barker-Merz, vice president and chief operating officer of BMO Insurance.
Forty per cent of respondents reported that, at some point in their lives while traveling, either they required medical attention or a travel companion did.
That situation is not a good fit with the study’s other findings, including that six in 10 respondents do not regularly purchase travel insurance before traveling. Only half knew that those travelling outside of Canada without medical insurance are responsible for covering the vast majority of medical expenses themselves.
“Just like packing sunscreen and cancelling the newspaper before leaving home, making sure you have travel medical insurance should be a high priority item on any traveller’s ‘vacation to-do list’,” Barker-Merz says.
BMO Insurance advises those selecting a travel insurance policy to:
  • get enough insurance (including for medical and dental coverage, air ambulance and airfare and lodging expenses for a family member);
  • understand who pays (a traveller may need to pay for medical care up front); and
  • read the fine print (ensure any issues are clarified with the insurer before leaving home) 

News from Canadian Underwriter.ca  July, 5, 2012

Travel Insurance Quote for Canadians.