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10 travel insurance myths busted

By SmartCoverage Team on January 30th, 2018

Whether you’re setting off on your latest summer vacation, taking a weekend mini-break or heading south for a work conference, travel is a huge part of modern life.

It might surprise you to discover then, that according to a survey by THiA, only 47% of Canadians take out travel insurance, with a further 23% going on to require medical care while travelling.

So what better way to prepare for your next adventure than to debunk some of the greatest myths about travel insurance?

1. I’m already covered, so I don’t need travel insurance

While many credit cards provide travel insurance as a complimentary add-on for customers, or as part of their annual fee, these plans are designed as ‘one size fits all’.

That means it does not take into account where you are travelling to, how long for, any of your pre-existing medical conditions or how old you are.

There are even some loopholes to watch out for, such as the insurance only being valid if the credit card was used to purchase your trip. Our advice? Double check the fine print of your credit card’s policy, or it could cost you big time.

2. Travel insurance is really expensive

Depending on your personal preferences, destination, length of trip, plus any advance booking offers that may apply, you can find the perfect insurance package for as low as $2 per day. In fact, on average travel insurance costs around 5% of your trip. Just imagine the savings you could make should any unexpected mishaps arise. Try our easy to use search tool to find the cheapest rate for your trip.

3. My pre-existing medical condition prevents me from getting coverage

Not all insurance providers cover people with pre-existing conditions. However, some do, and getting covered is simply a matter of disclosing your condition. Of course, people with a serious condition may have to pay more to get the same coverage as a person without any health issues. 

4. Finding the right travel insurance takes a long time

Getting a travel insurance quote online is easy. It only takes a couple of minutes and you can customize your coverage to meet your needs. That means less time spent worrying about coverage and more time planning your dream trip.

5. Travel insurance only covers X

Travel insurance can cover a lot more than just cancellations. From beginning to end, your trip can be covered in full. Think accidental injury, interruption or delay - not just down to busy airports and airline problems - but possible illness, and implications cause by severe weather.

Other areas typically encompassed in insurance plans are assistance services-such as legal help, lost, stolen or damaged baggage and documentation, and emergency accommodation. Just make sure you have a comprehensive policy.

6. If I'm somewhere with cheap healthcare, I don't need insurance

In reality, it is actually super challenging to gauge just how expensive your medical bill will be depending on what country you are in. While some countries, such as the US, are renowned for their costly health care, others may come as a surprise.

Some eye-wateringly high real-life figures in Europe, provided by Private Healthcare UK, include roughly $1390 for a night in a Spanish hospital, $12,170 for a broken ankle in Tenerife and $36,520 after a car accident in Greece.

7. I’m too old to get travel insurance

Contrary to popular belief, you can’t be too old to get insurance. Your age may make it more expensive, and you may have to answer some additional questions about your health, but you're never too old to get a policy.

8. I left it too late to purchase travel insurance

Whether you’re taking to the skies, hitting the road or setting sail, travel insurance can be purchased five weeks or five minutes before your flight. And in some cases, can even be bought after your trip has begun. If you’re really in a pickle, call your broker. 

9. All airlines will reimburse you for delayed or cancelled flights

Picture this, you get to the airport with your family ready for your night flight home, and a storm has hit your flight path causing chaos in the skies and delaying your flight by a day. You can take the uncomfortable option and bunker down in the airport for 24 hours, or you get a hotel.

More often than not, your airline will not guarantee they will cover this additional cost, but your travel insurance will.

10. I don’t need travel insurance for trips within Canada 

Healthcare varies between provinces throughout Canada, and while you should be covered for basic healthcare, you may be left with some gaps. When it comes to prescription drugs from pharmacies, home care services, ambulance services and some long-term care services, you may have to shell out extra if you venture outside your home province.

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