Spring break is almost upon us and all over BC households are planning their vacations. Flights and hotels are being booked and activity itineraries are being scheduled. Yet with so much thought going into these trips, it’s a surprise that one of the most important things is overlooked – travel insurance. Think we’re exaggerating? The Financial Post reports that only half of Canadians buy travel insurance when leaving our borders. It’s baffling when you consider the financial ruin that can come from not taking the necessary precautions, should an event occur that requires medical attention and hospitalization. If your household is among the unfortunately large number of people that neglect to secure coverage, we ask that you keep reading.
5 Reasons Why It’s Critical for BC Residents to Buy Travel Insurance Before Spring Break and Beyond
1. THE HARD COST OF NOT DOING SO
You’ve all heard the stories. From broken arms to heart attacks, every year BC residents end up paying tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for emergency medical treatment when outside of the country. Right at this very moment there are GoFundMe crowdfunding initiatives in place to cover people who have travelled across the border and abroad, and now find themselves in dire need of help to pay for international medical expenses that are not covered by their provincial plan.
Even having your child admitted for a concerning cold or flu outside of the country can lead to a massive medical bill. This is causing many non-covered travelers to pause before seeking medical assistance, which can result in a worsening condition, or worse. Don’t put yourself and your family in this predicament. Instead, secure travel medical insurance.
2. UNCERTAIN TIMES CALL FOR MORE CERTAIN PROTECTION
International travel is not as whimsical as it used to be. We are now faced with increased risks that threaten our health and wellness during vacation. Climate change has made weather unpredictable all over the world, putting vacationers in harms way of hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and numerous weather related events. Tourists are also the targets of crime rings in impoverished communities in Mexico, South America, South East Asia, Eastern Europe and many other places around the world. Then, there is the ever-present threat of terrorism that looms overhead for many destinations, especially during major events where people gather in celebration, spring break included. All of this uncertainty has resulted in our own Federal Government advising spring break vacationers to secure travel insurance this year.
3. the risk of short trips
With the U.S. border a short distance away for many southern BC residents you may not consider travel medical for day excursions for shopping, dining, and leisure. This false sense of security leaves many exposed, and we do mean many. Recent data finds that only a small percent of Canadians buy travel insurance for short trips across the border. But on these Spring Break trips, you’re navigating through traffic with hoards of others who are losing patience with excessive border wait times. Once through, thousands will be sharing the road, rushing to get to their respective destinations which increases the risk of automobile accidents.
Then, there are recent events that may further inflate this risk. In Bellingham, a popular destination for Lower Mainland residents, reports indicate that accidents involving marijuana-impaired drivers are on the rise. With legalization now in effect for both BC and Washington, things may certainly get worse for these seemingly inconsequential trips.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can simply drive back into BC for medical attention. For one, doing so can be detrimental to your health. Second, border personal may not let you cross should you be in need of medical assistance.
Moving forward, secure travel medical insurance even if you’re just driving from Delta to Blaine for some gas and groceries because those costs savings won’t compare to what can come from the smallest of injuries.
4. Gaps in Your Corporate Coverage
One major mistake people make comes down to reliance on coverage provided by their employers or own corporation. You may have international travel coverage, but have you read the fine print? Does it cover your entire family? What are the financial limits? Does it disqualify you or family members if there is a preexisting medical condition? Make sure you understand your existing coverage, so that you can ensure your coverage is comprehensive enough to account for all of the contingencies that can arise during spring break or any vacation.
5. What About Provincial Borders?
You may have dismissed your household from this need if you don’t plan on taking an international trip this season. After all, you have a provincial health plan and that should cover you, right? Not necessarily. In fact, while government health care coverage typically follows residents throughout Canada for most major medical expenses, coverage for more expensive services may stop at the provincial border. These services may include ground and air ambulance transportation, X-rays, emergency dental care, and prescription drugs for those venturing outside of British Columbia. These expenses can run into the thousands.
As you can see, not one single BC resident should travel outside of the province or country without adequate travel insurance. At the very least, have an independent broker provide a professional accounting of your current coverage. Learn more about travel medical policies available to BC residents and be sure to contact Park Insurance for a consultation today, before you take your next trip.