Border Town? Get Annual Travel Insurance

For those living in Canadian border towns, travelling to the United States may be a common activity. There are 31 border crossings in Quebec alone, and most of them are open year around, 24 hours per day. While the noticeable differences between the United States and Canada along the border may be subtle, there are important differences in the medical systems in each country.

For this reason, it's crucial for Canadians who frequently cross the U.S. border to have an annual travel policy. To help avoid the high costs of medical treatment outside Canada, many travellers consider this type of coverage as essential as their auto insurance policy.

The Government of Canada recommends that a travel insurance policy for Canadians visiting the United States, even for one day, include life, disability, and health insurance.

Canadian health insurance isn't valid outside of the country, which makes Canadian travellers vulnerable to the high costs of healthcare in the United States. Even young and healthy people may be involved in an accident. Aside from the stress and pain of such an event, the medical bills could easily rise to levels that would be financially devastating for most Canadians. You may prefer to receive medical care in your home country, and travel insurance can help mitigate the costs of getting you home safely to complete your treatment.

How to choose travel insurance

Make sure your policy covers treatment in the United States for any pre-existing medical conditions. It should provide medical evacuation to Canada that includes a medical escort that will take you from the healthcare facility in the United States to one in Canada as soon as you are stable enough to travel.

Compare travel insurance plans and take into consideration the following attributes of each policy:

• Coverage for prescription medications necessary for treatment
• Emergency dental care
• Emergency transportation, including ambulance and life-flight costs
• Medical evacuation to Canada
• Deductibles
• Pre-existing conditions
• Coverage for costs related to returning your vehicle home if you can't drive
• Direct payment to doctors and hospitals in the United States

Travel insurance isn't a substitute for your regular insurance policy and typically covers only unexpected emergency medical needs. You probably won't be covered if you are in an accident related to dangerous activities like bungee jumping or skydiving. Coverage may also be denied for accidents related to drug or alcohol use.

Most travel insurance policies include access to 24/7 specialists to help navigate the medical care system in the United States. They represent a great source of information. If your health status changes or you need to update your policy, contact the company right away. This will help you avoid problems if you need to use the coverage in the future.

A good yearly travel insurance plan will not only provide peace-of-mind; it will help protect you and your loved ones from the financial devastation of high medical costs incurred outside of Canada. Be sure to double-check your auto insurance policy to make sure it provides adequate coverage for your trips across the border, as well.

If you're planning a trip over the border, whether for just a day or for an extended vacation, shop around for the cheapest annual travel insurance policy before you go!