Valley First

Travel Insurance Tips

Follow our travel insurance tips, protect yourself from unexpected expenses

With summer quickly approaching, many people are looking toward vacation planning with family and friends. However, while many Canadians put careful thought into planning their trips, the same cannot always be said when purchasing travel insurance.

“Travel insurance is often an afterthought,” says Shelly Maurer, a Canadian accredited insurance broker and senior manager of insurance operations at Valley First. “Most people don't leave for a trip thinking they're going to end up getting injured or in a hospital, but it happens more often than you think and the resulting bill can make staying at a five-star hotel seem like a bargain. We always encourage people to purchase travel insurance any time they go away - it gives great peace of mind knowing you're protected if anything happens.”

Maurer cautions that not all travel medical insurance is created equal. Here are her suggestions on how to navigate through the many options out there and choose the package that's right for you:

Get the best value for your dollar by determining length of coverage needed

“Travelers need to determine whether it is most beneficial to buy single trip coverage or longer term insurance,” says Maurer. “It all depends on the types of vacations you go on. If you take one big trip a year, single trip coverage is your best option. But if you're someone who takes multiple trips a year, you may want to consider getting an annual policy that covers all the travel you plan to do in one calendar year.”

Read the fine print

“Buying insurance is about more than finding the lowest price,” explains Maurer. “Ensuring you get a good price is important, but you need to make sure the amount and type of coverage you buy is appropriate and sufficient to cover off any potential claim you may need to make during your trip. For example, if you're going to be taking part in anything that may be considered a high risk activity, such as scuba diving or skydiving, you'll want to make sure your insurance covers that. It also pays to ensure any pre-existing conditions you may have are included in your coverage.”

Don't forget about out of province travel

“Generally speaking, most people buy travel insurance for out-of-country travel,” says Maurer. “But travelers need to be aware that provincial health care coverage differs in each province. Even if you're travelling within Canada, you should make sure you're protected by purchasing travel insurance to bridge any potential gaps.”


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