Traveling Outside of Ontario?
Traveling is exciting. Visiting new countries, meeting new people, and enjoying the cultures and customs of other societies are all what makes travelling fun. For kids going to Florida to Disney World for the first time during March Break is a magical experience they’ll never forget. But, there are several things you should consider before you take a trip, whether driving, flying or going by ship.
What if you or a loved one had an accident and were severely injured?
No one wants to think of what might happen on a trip, but they can happen. It’s important to consider getting Out of Province Medical Insurance, or Travel Insurance, before your trip. Whether you are going to Cuba, Australia or Manitoba you’ll need to protect yourself.
Think Medical Costs are Trivial?
As this Toronto Star article reveals even simple medical procedures in the United States can have a costly impact on your wallet. This gentleman ended up paying an additional $1,939.99 for an examination, treatment, clinic costs and x-rays. These costs would have been covered if he purchased an Out of Province Medical Insurance Policy.
While the above example is scary enough, imagine a brain embolism or heart attack while you’re on the beach in the Caribbean. Special drugs, doctors, emergency flights to hospital, lengthy hospital stays, flight home and more could bankrupt anyone. Do you have enough to cover $500,000.00 or more of medical and transportation costs? While these events are rare, they have happened. A broken leg or arm can mean excessive medical fees in the U.S.
Having an Out of Province Medical Insurance policy can ensure that a freak accident while on vacation won’t use up your life savings.
Where Should I Get Travel Insurance?
There are many ways for you to get travel insurance. There are websites that provide instant quotes and you can complete an application easily and by yourself. Or you can come to Erb and Erb and learn about all the different travel insurance products so you can pick the best one for your needs. Understanding your policy and what is and isn’t covered is as important as getting the policy in the first place. The online applications are quick, but are you getting the coverage you need? Are you sure you’ve answered each question correctly?
If you have mistakenly answered one question wrong on an online travel insurance application your entire policy could be void. Take these examples of a British Columbia man and an Ontario woman from this CBC article. They each went on a trip, got sick and had their claims denied. He answered a question wrong on the online application about a past ailment and the insurance company claimed he was attempting fraud. She filled an online application for another company and answered incorrectly about her treatments in the last 12 months. She thought it was the previous 12 months prior to departure date and that is how she answered. In fact, it was for the previous 12 months prior to the time she filled out the application.
Minor mistakes can have HUGE repercussions. From the examples above his expenses were $128,000 and hers were $112,000.
It pays to take a little extra time to go through an Out of Province Medical Insurance, or Travel Insurance, application with a broker here at Erb and Erb. We take the time to go through each question in more detail to ensure you don’t miss something simple. And you understand what the exclusions are in your policy. We also have access to a couple different travel insurance companies so we can get the best coverage at a competitive price for your travel needs.
Know the Laws and Any Emergencies of Your Destination
Sometimes we think that our laws here in Ontario are the same in other jurisdictions. That’s not always the case. There are many places you can go to get information about the laws of the country, province or state of where you are going. And there may be travel alerts or warnings about where you are going. It is important to inform and educate yourself about the country you are visiting.
One of the best sites is the one for the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisory. Here you will find any travel alerts, but also security issues, entry/exit requirements, travel health notices, Laws and Culture, and any disasters and climate information. Be sure to check this out before you plan your next trip!
Finally, there has been a change in Florida law. Changes to Florida law are very important to know because each year 3 million Canadians travel and stay in Florida. A law came into effect on January 1, 2013 advising that if you wish to drive in Florida you must have an international driving permit. This Record article has more information on that.
However, there has since been some further thought about this issue. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has released a statement saying this law will not be enforced until another determination has been made. Please click here to see the statement and for more information. Make sure that you are aware of what Florida ultimately does with this law. Just because it’s not enforced now, doesn’t mean it won’t be an issue for you when you go on your vacation. International Driving Permits are currently available through CAA for $25.
How would this new Florida law affect Canadian car insurance?
The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario has confirmed with a large majority of broker represented insurance companies that the lack of an international driving permit would not breach a consumer’s coverage and would not affect a driver’s current protection.
If you would like more information about traveling and how insurance can protect you visit our travel insurance page here.
If you would like a quote for travel insurance you can either call us at 800-265-2634 or complete our online quote request form here and a travel insurance expert here at Erb and Erb will contact you.
Thanks for reading.