Valley First

Travel Insurance Myths

Believing in myths is usually pretty harmless: if monster phobia causes you to skip Loch Ness on that upcoming trip to Scotland, then you’ll deprive yourself from some fine Scottish vistas but little else. However, if you skip the medical insurance for your trip because you believe, “Nothing bad ever happens to me,” then lake monsters may be the least of your vacation worries.

Whether you’re off to Scotland, heading out on a cruise, preparing for your annual snowbird migration south or simply eyeing a summer escape, a travel insurance plan needs to be at the top of your list.

Travel insurance is cost effective, easy to buy and flexible to suit any traveler’s needs. There is no good reason to pass on it and if you do, you could owe thousands of dollars.

And yet, every year thousands of Canadians find out the hard way that believing any of the following myths was the worst mistake they could make.

Travel insurance Myth #1: It'll never happen to me

This is probably true…if you’re talking about a shark attack or being struck by a falling coconut. According to scientific experts, the odds of either of those happening are respectively 300,000,000 to 1 and 250,000,000 to 1.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen and a lot of them happen while doing very mundane things like getting off a tour bus or walking down the stairs at your hotel.

And if you do fall, you could be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars.

Still not convinced? Check out these travelers’ tales. They all left home healthy and happy. But they soon found themselves in a world of hurt facing some hefty hospital bills. Good thing they had travel insurance.

Travel insurance Myth #2: I’ll just come home if I need treatment

Nobody knows when or where an accident is going to happen and a crystal ball is far too heavy to pack in a carry-on.

Bad food, a piece of glass on the beach, a burst appendix or a slippery pool deck can all send you straight to the hospital. And that’s exactly where you want to be if anything like that ever happens!

Accidents require immediate care. It’s unrealistic (not to mention unwise) to believe that you’ll be able to tough it out and hobble back home if you require urgent medical treatment.

Travel insurance Myth #3: Insurance is too expensive, I’ll take my chances

It really isn’t, and you shouldn’t.

When people think this, they’re often making assumptions. You owe it to yourself to investigate the cost of travel insurance. You can often get a quote in a few minutes and you may be surprised at how little you’ll need to spend for proper coverage.



If you’re a frequent traveler, you could save even more with an annual plan. And if you have an existing medical condition, you could find that it doesn’t make coverage cost-prohibitive.

Getting travel insurance is a simple risk/reward analysis: how much are you willing to risk and what could you gain with that risk? Do you risk $35 in travel insurance to save $68,800 in medical expenses or do you risk $68,800 to save $35?

When a single accident could destroy your retirement dreams or even force you to sell your home, can you really afford to not be insured for your next vacation?

Travel insurance Myth #4: They always find a way to reject my claim

When you purchase travel insurance you enter into a contract and the insurer is obligated to pay based on the terms and conditions of your policy.

Every year, Canadians receive hundreds of millions of dollars in travel insurance claims. However, it’s important to clarify your coverage needs with your insurance provider so that you can rest easy knowing you have the proper coverage.

For example, included in your travel insurance policy might conditions regarding the stability of pre-existing medical conditions or limitations on participating in “high-risk activities.”

In either of these cases, you should review your policy and ask questions if you are uncertain.

Travel insurance Myth #5: I don’t need medical coverage while traveling within Canada

One of the biggest misunderstandings Canadians have when it comes to medical coverage is about domestic travel. A recent survey found that 79% of Canadians plan to travel across the country this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th, but nearly half of those people (46%) said they wouldn’t need travel insurance.

Your Medical Service Plan (MSP) is sufficient for doctor and hospital charges outside of British Columbia but there are situations where you would have to pay out of pocket.

For example, if you need a medical service or drug that is not available in the province you are visiting and require air ambulance back home, be prepared to pay—it is not covered by BC MSP.

You may also want to insure yourself against trip interruption, cancellation or lost baggage—any of these incidents can cost you thousands without you ever leaving the country.

In conclusion

When you’re traveling and something unexpected happens, it sucks. There’s no argument there. But wouldn’t it suck even more if, on top of injury or illness, you were on the hook for hundreds or even thousands of dollars?

You should not spend your vacation abroad fretting about money. Getting travel insurance is a smart, simple and inexpensive way for you to enjoy your vacation. (Take a look at our travel insurance tips for more information.)

So, make your next vacation your best vacation. Bite the bullet, get that insurance and relax, knowing that you’re covered in case of sharknadoes.

Or terrible colds.

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We encourage you to visit an insurance expert at any of our locations for more information on how Valley First can make things simple!


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