Why you need emergency medical travel insurance

The last thing anyone wants to think about when planning a holiday is getting sick or injured, but travelling anywhere entails risk. Even in the safest of environments, there is the possibility of illness or injury.

Why do I need emergency travel insurance?

Simply put, medical expenses for emergency treatment outside of Canada can be costly and your provincial health plan may only cover a small portion of them. The following chart highlights some recent claims and shows just how expensive a visit to the hospital can be when you are out of the country.

Incident Total cost of medical expenses Provincial health plan payment Travel insurance payment
44-year old fell accidentally from a ledge $457,370 $29,149 $428,221
45-year old caught pneumonia and suffered kidney failure $126,112 $4,611 $121,501
28-year old had a motor vehicle accident $67,504 $4,400 $63,104
Claim information provided by T.I.C. Travel Insurance Coordinators.

Even the cost of returning home to Canada for treatment can be expensive. The following chart highlights the typical cost for medical evacuation. While medical evacuation may sound serious, it is often the only option since it is unlikely you'll get the special attention you require on regular flight.

From To Cost
Miami, Florida Montreal, Quebec $16,500
Acapulco, Mexico Halifax, Nova Scotia $39,700
Las Vegas, Nevada Toronto, Ontario $22,400
San Francisco, California Vancouver, British Columbia $12,100
Phoenix, Arizona Edmonton, Alberta $13,600
Medical evacuation costs provided by T.I.C. Travel Insurance Coordinators.

Without emergency medical travel insurance, an illness or injury could not only ruin your vacation but would likely have financial consequences for years to come. So if you were thinking of skipping the purchase of travel insurance, think again. For the price of a cup of coffee a day you can purchase basic emergency medical travel insurance.

How much does it cost?

A basic policy with a $2 million coverage limit usually provides all the coverage you need and costs as little as $13 a week. The following chart shows pricing for some common trips.

Age of traveller 1-week trip 2-week trip 1-month trip 2-month trip
16 to 40 years $13 $15 $30 $60
41 to 55 years $13 $15 $32 $63
56 to 59 years $13 $21 $45 $90
Lowest quote found online at www.kanetix.ca/travel-insurance, May 2006, for single trip emergency medical insurance for a resident of Ontario travelling overseas or to the U.S.

Basic emergency medical policies provide coverage for emergency medical treatment and services, hospitalization, ambulance services, lab tests, x-rays, prescription drugs and emergency flights home.

Now that you understand the need for emergency medical travel insurance here are some shopping tips.

  • Don't pay for coverage you don't need. Supplemental travel insurance coverages such as transportation of a bedside companion, vehicle return, pet return and emergency child care can also be purchased. These extras are not applicable to every traveller, so if you don't need them, don't pay extra for them.

  • Don't accept the first package you're offered. Travel insurance policies can vary by over 100% for similar coverage. By doing a little legwork, you could save a lot of money.

  • Don't feel pressured into buying a policy from your travel agent. Although you may save a little time by buying your policy through your travel agent, it is unlikely you'll get your policy at the best price. In fact, you could end up paying 100% more than if you took the time to shop and compare quotes.

  • If you are a frequent traveller consider purchasing an annual policy. If you plan to take more than one trip this year, buying an annual policy instead of a single trip policy could save you both time and money. For one annual rate, you can get coverage for every trip you take within the year after the policy is issued. The maximum duration for a trip varies, but there are several to choose from.

Kanetix helps you get covered

Get online travel insurance quotes from some of the top travel insurance providers for both basic and comprehensive coverage and for single trip and annual policies. Since your quotes are displayed side-by-side you'll easily be able to save both time and money.

Compare travel insurance quotes in simple terms at www.kanetix.ca.

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