Can you feel the excitement? March break is coming up fast, and for many of us that means travel plans! Whether you're going someplace warm to beat the winter blues, or are sending your kids to camp or someplace sunny (and conveniently out of your hair) for the week, we're in the last stretch of travel prep. While you may be preoccupied figuring out which swimsuits to pack and which hotspots to visit, what you should be thinking about is your travel insurance, because statistically, the dumbest things happen on vacation.
I'll give you an example. Last year up at the lake, I managed to give myself a Jones fracture while climbing out of a canoe (and stumbling into the drink like a fool). It was miserable, completely ruined our summer holiday. I had to go to the local hospital, find out how broken my foot was, and head home that very night to receive surgery the next day in my hometown (surgery I was lucky to get). At the time it was the end of the world. I managed to torpedo not only my one summer getaway, but also my entire family's since they all had to pack up too. But with a little distance and less melodrama, I can see that I got off light.
If I made the same blunder while kayaking in the Dominican, or sail-boating in Mexico, not only would I have ruined my tap-dancing career chances (such as they were), I would have been stuck with THOUSANDS of dollars in medical fees. That's right, your provincial health insurance frequently doesn't cover international medical fees, or if it does, will only pick up part of the tab. While my little stumble cast a shadow over our lakeside vacation, a similar injury could have burdened us with debt and financial misery if it happened anywhere else.
I'm not the only dummy. According to the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, one in five people visit a doctor’s office or emergency room while on vacation. Those are some scary odds! But it makes sense; take people out of their normal routine, put them somewhere exotic, add risky activities like rock-climbing, sailing, or horseback riding and mix with the possibility of more drinking than usual, and you can see how accidents could happen.
I was also lucky that we were staying at a family member's cottage last year. If we had been at a resort or hotel, we might have faced steep cancellation fees or been charged for the entire booking's length despite not being able to stay. That isn't even considering the cost of changing travel arrangements like plane tickets. You can see how a simple, minor injury can snowball into disaster while on vacation.
That's why it is so absolutely essential to purchase travel insurance! A good package can protect you from medical bills abroad. So when you break a limb doing something silly, it actually IS the worst thing to happen on vacation - not the crippling debt load you picked up. Cancellation insurance can also insulate you from hotel and travel fees, so you don't have to add the figurative insult of paying for a trip you didn't get to enjoy to your literal injury.
Think of how much you've already invested into this trip, both monetarily and emotionally. You can get excellent travel insurance packages at a reasonable price that will protect your investment without significantly inflating the cost of the trip. Trust me, you'll be glad you took the time out of folding your trunks to talk to one of our brokers and signing up for travel insurance for March Break.
Be smart, because the dumbest things happen on vacation. I should know.