One of the many things we learned from living with a pandemic for the past few years is that travel insurance is a vital element in any traveler’s itinerary.
Even the best-laid plans can go awry when the unexpected happens. Travel insurance can help you protect your valuable trip investment and provide many important benefits. While some insurance programs (through suppliers and credit cards) may include trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage, it’s important to review and understand the coverage you ACTUALLY have.
Many travel insurance policies may provide additional coverage for emergency medical transportation and medical expenses that often are not covered by other plans.
Why Do Travelers Need Protection?
The list of possible events and occurrences that could cause you to need travel insurance is daunting.
Your parent falls ill, your job lays you off, someone in your travel group catches Covid, hurricane threat in the region, etc… Who wants to bring negativity like a bunch of “what ifs” while planning your dream vacation? As a travel agent, I have plenty of stories of when travel insurance paid off for my clients, and unfortunately I also have some even have horror stories of when my clients wished they had purchased it.
At the end of the day, I am always going to bring it up, as a way to ensure peace of mind.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What coverage do I current have (through work and/or credit card)?
- Can I afford to miss my trip and lose my vacation investment if something goes wrong due to illness, weather, or other unforeseen circumstances?
- Can I afford to cover the cost of returning home if I are forced to end my trip abruptly?
- Does my medical insurance cover me whenever and wherever I travel?
- If I have coverage, does it include Covid related illness?
TRIP CANCELLATION – covers you from when you purchase your trip until the day you leave for your trip.
TRIP INTERRUPTION- covers you from when you depart for your trip until the day you return. Sometimes interruption plans include luggage and flight delay coverage.
MEDICAL – covers you in case of medical emergency and usually requires you to be vaxxed. Not vaxxed? Some companies offer specific plans for those clients. You’d be surprised at their price point too. Ask me about this.
Where can you buy travel insurance?
It depends on where you live but travel agents in Ontario are allowed to sell travel insurance to people who live in Ontario. For medical travel insurance, the traveller(s) must be insured by OHIP.
Sometimes when you are buying an all inclusive package, the vacation supplier (Air Canada Vacations, Westjet Vacations, Sunwing, etc) will offer their own insurance plans, as well.
Here is a sample of Westjet Vacation’s Travel Protection.
Alternatively, you could buy coverage online, through your credit card or at a bank. Comparing rates, whether provided online or in-person, is always a good thing. Buy what you need, not what seems like a “good deal”.