Although not a topic you may want think about, sometimes things we don’t go exactly as planned. That’s one of the reasons they sell insurance, just in case something goes wrong. But be cautious as not all insurances are the same. Similar to your home or car insurance make sure you look over the offerings types that are offered. Read the websites or pamphlets and call and ask questions to be sure you know what you are getting. One thing to watch is that some activities you are considering may not be covered if you get injured while doing them, so be sure to check it out first.
Insurances are available for purchase from travel agents, online,and through various organizations but you need to know what you are getting, be aware of what is and is not covered. Some insurances you may want to look into include trip cancellation, emergency medical coverage, and collision damage waiver insurance. Often times there are forms of comprehensive insurance that combines two or more types at a lesser price.
Although price is a major consideration, it is equally important that you are aware of the fine print. You also will want to check to see if you may already have some forms of coverage…..such as travel insurance through your workplace benefits or a credit card or maybe your own car insurance has a clause to cover rental car collision damage. But ensure you look at things like maximum limits. For instance, some emergency medical coverage have a $50,000 limit. With the high cost of health care that is not likely enough to help if you are hurt seriously. Your provincial health care will not be enough if you are injured.
Ensure you know what you are purchasing, it is too late after something happens and you think you have coverage but do not. Be sure to look around for the best price when purchasing the insurances, they can vary a lot, check places like travel agents, CAA, Blue Cross, your current insurance company and also organization you belong to may have an arrangement with insurers for their members.
Once you decide and have purchased your policy, get your paperwork and read it…..make sure it covers the things you think it does. I would suggest that you do a cheat sheet, a single page, written in simple language that summarizes the coverage and most importantly what the procedure to follow if you need to use it. In an emergency it is a lot easier to have that done ahead of time rather than having to scan a long document when someone is upset. We leave a copy home or with a friend, email a copy to ourselves and also take a photocopy in our baggage besides the one in with our carryon paperwork. We both are aware of the procedure and have the card with us in case we need it. Note that a lot of the emergency medical policies offer translation service as well to help in communications. They may require that you call them right away so that they can communicate with the doctors to help determine the best course of action. I strongly recommend getting the emergency medical…….it is well worth the peace of mind knowing you are covered in the event something happens.
Trip cancellation insurance has very specific criteria that you must meet in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Make sure you ask questions about it as well prior to purchasing. Do not just assume it is covered. Check on things like what would happen if for instance your spouse or children were injured prior to the trip and could not go are they covered and is that reason for you all to cancel? After you determine what is covered and you can make an informed decision as to whether or not it makes sense to purchase this insurance.
Collision damage waiver is used when you are renting a vehicle. Often times you can purchase the rental company insurance but it can add up your costs. You could check with your insurance company to see if perhaps your own policy could be used or if they may offer some alternative. Be sure to ask them relevant questions to see if it makes sense to use it.
Most people never need to use the insurance but, like your home and auto insurance, it is there for peace of mind and in case you are unfortunate enough to need it. A small premium could save you a lot of money if something were to happen.