Even small, unexpected medical emergencies away from home can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills. Here are a few examples that will hopefully encourage you to ensure you have adequate travel insurance.
According to the Travel Insurance company Pacific Blue Cross – respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis are the most common medical claims:

  • Pneumonia – could cost you as much as $280,000… which you would have to pay out of pocket if you left home with no insurance.
  • Stomach problems are also common. Illnesses such as food poisoning, ulcers or gallstones – and the cost for medical care for something like gallstones could be as high as $80,000.
  • Even just a skin rash or ear infection could be as high as $1000.
  • And heart attacks…could cost anywhere from $140,000 to as much as $260,000.

One of the biggest problems is that many people think they have enough protection through their credit card or employer plan, but those can often have limits. There’s a chance those plans don’t protect your spouse or children, or apply to trips 30 days or longer. Some may also cap coverage at 100- thousand dollars of medical expenses. And every insurance policy has ‘exclusions’ that you need to be aware of.  So to help ensure that you’re covered properly make sure you read all the details of your policy to ensure you have the right coverage. For example, you may need to add coverage for a pre-existing condition.

Check if your insurance allows:

  • Access to a network or health providers, including top tier hospitals.
  • Incidental expenses such as phone charges or renting wheel chairs or crutches.
  • Transportation back to Canada… or transportation for someone to be at your bedside.

It’s really not something most of us want to think about when we’re heading out on vacation… but I really recommend that everyone visit a website for an insurance provider like Pacific Blue Cross or get some advise from your travel agents — it’s a case of better to be safe than sorry.

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