Are holiday sales across the border calling out to you, despite the lagging loonie? If a cross-border shopping trip over this year's Black Friday weekend is in the plans there's one item you absolutely must buy before you take on the crowds: travel insurance.

Why you need travel insurance for just a weekend Black Friday getaway

Simply put, medical expenses for emergency treatment outside of Canada can be costly.

According to the Government of Canada, you should have travel insurance no matter where you're going, even if it is just a day trip to the United States.

"Your Canadian insurance is almost certainly not valid outside Canada," it says on the government's website dedicated to Canadian travellers. "Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment. You could face years of debt paying off the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad."

Cross border travel insurance: Don't leave Canada without it

When you're looking to save money, travel insurance is not where you want to be cutting corners. Yet, too often Canadians don't ensure they have coverage before heading out of the country.

Earlier this year, a TD Insurance survey found that just four-in-10 Canadians regularly buy travel insurance before embarking on a trip; the rest are taking an unnecessary financial risk when travelling, even if it is just a weekend getaway.

What type of travel insurance can you get?

Everyone—at minimum—should have out-of-country emergency medical coverage because it could save you more money than anything you'll save on sale at an outlet mall. And, it's very affordable. Through, you can get coverage for your shopping getaway for as little as $13; that's likely less than what you'll spend on coffees over the course of your weekend.

Ready? Set. Cross-border Shop!

When you're away from home, even a small accident or sudden illness can become a big medical expense. So if you're planning on taking advantage of Black Friday deals south of the border, don't scrimp before you get there by neglecting to buy travel insurance.

* The travel insurance quote featured is based on a four-day weekend for a 35-year-old, with no pre-existing conditions.

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