If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to insure the heck out of everything in your life because the inevitable disaster will always happen. (Seriously, I was in Calgary for the floods. I was in Vancouver for the riots, Montreal for the student protests, and Mexico for the swine flu.) You’ll insure your car, your dog, your goldfish, your piano. You’ll insure your laundry basket. Your sock drawer. Your oversized stuffed giraffe named Elizabeth. Yes, Elizabeth exists.
And then when you’re getting ready to go on vacation or on a massive road trip, you’ll suddenly forget all about the most important insurances of all…like, I don’t know, TRAVEL insurance…and Travel Medical Insurance.
Any Canadian travelling abroad needs to consider this type of coverage, because your Government Health Insurance Plan only covers a small portion of medical expenses once you’re outside the country. I learned that the hard way in England when I picked up a virus and it cost me over $100 just for a check-up.
But here’s something maybe you DIDN’T know: even if you’re travelling within Canada, you need insurance. Why? Because the same Government Health Insurance Plan is also limited once you leave your province. I ALSO learned this the hard way on another trip when a piercing got infected. I won’t tell you which piercing.
Sorry. I probably just burst your beach ball. Because I didn’t know this until I showed up at a clinic in Calgary for a check-up and got handed some crappy fees.
For a while, I had been purchasing insurance from my bank, because it was just the easiest thing to do. I should have known better, because it’s the same crappy bank that takes a month to process US cheques. But mostly I just didn’t know which options were out there.
Now I’ve started using CAA Travel Insurance when I’m on the road. I’ve used CAA in the past during road trips because their roadside assistance is pretty amazing, so I already knew they were a legit company with a good reputation. Their rates are fair as well – less than $60 for my 18-day Calgary Stampede stint, in case I were to get trampled by a herd of cattle.
Here’s what you need to look out for when buying insurance:
1. Make sure you understand your coverage limits (for example, often you’ll need to buy theft insurance separately to cover your gear)
2. If you’re on medication, be sure your insurance will cover replacement costs
3. Find out if your coverage is primary, as secondary will ask that you go through your standard insurance first
4. Consider any destination restrictions
5. Find out which activities on your trip WILL be covered (some adventure activities are considered “high risk” and may not be included)
Disclaimer: CandiceDoestheWorld.com is currently in a partnership with CAA Travel Insurance. I’ve used CAA in the past and they’re a brand I care about. They’re also a brand name that’s easy to pronounce, and I value simplicity almost as much as insuring my goldfish.