Episode 76 – Do You Need Travel Insurance?


Traveller insurance is a must for any traveller.

If you’re going on a holiday, it’s important to make sure that you have the correct insurance in place. This will ensure that you have all of the necessary covers for your trip and that any accidents or injuries that happen during your holiday can be covered.

The best way to find out whether or not you need travellers insurance is by doing some research. Make sure that you look into different insurance policies and compare them so that you can find one that suits your needs perfectly. If you don’t do this research properly, then there’s a chance that you might miss out on some important benefits or protections that could come in handy while travelling.

Hear more on this week’s episode of Heart of Your Money

Show Notes:

Hey there. Welcome back to the Heart of Your Money podcast. 

Today I wanna share something that was actually a recent topic for myself and it is: do you need travel insurance?

So what is travel insurance? 

You are heading out of Canada and if something were to happen to you, and even if you’re on a cruise, sometimes we don’t consider that out of Canada. If you hop on a cruise ship, maybe out of the west coast or east Coast, I’m not sure, but anytime you’re gonna be travelling out of Canada, you’re going to need some extra thought about what happens ‘if’, even if it’s you fall down, you need some stitches or you break a bone, or worst case scenarios. 

So you want to be able to have something that’s going to cover those costs out of pocket because those other countries, everybody’s gonna want their pound of flesh in money. 

Do we need it? Let me share. 

So my personal experience is my mom and I went to Europe and part of the conversation that we were having was the travel insurance and doing the homework and doing the what ifs. And I think that my blanket answer is, yes, you need travel insurance, but you’re going to have to have more conversation around that.

There’s a lot of the ins and outs that you’re gonna need to know:  what to ask, what types, how much, what’s affordable, all those things. 

So travel insurance is pretty basic, meaning if you get hurt, you need someone to pay the bill at the hospital or to the doctor. But then it starts to get complicated because there are so many different things. 

Think of the fine print, or watching a commercial for a prescription, and then they talk really fast about all of the side effects. That’s how I feel about travel insurance and that we really have to do our homework. 

So one of the things that I found was that you might already be covered under your group employer benefits at work. I’m gonna give the big example of the Sun Life, or maybe your work has Manual Life in there. You might actually already be covered. 

And so during my trip planning with my mom and looking through things, I found that through my employer insurance, I was covered. 

So I thought, Okay, I don’t need to look anymore. I don’t need to get anymore insurance. Ding! Wrong because I looked and it only covered $500,000 total. If anything were to happen – we’ve all seen in the news. I remember a woman who gave birth in Hawaii and the bill was a million dollars. I don’t know. I might be making that up. That might be an urban myth, but I just know that $500,000 can go very quickly for many things. Flights home, bringing a family member over to help you or maybe even just a broken bone, I don’t know. So what I found out is, it wasn’t enough. 

So the first step is to really do your homework, dig in and find out. So I found – during my personal discovery with my mom. I found a travel package that I liked and it included more. So I had to read all the fine print.

It’s quite a bit of a read, but it’s worth it cause I had the confidence.

 It said okay if covid. Cause I thought, Okay, Covid is still around. I need to make sure everything’s okay. And it covers that. It had a great-  I think it was like $3 million-  and I thought, okay, that’ll get me going. 

And so then I bought it and then I continued reading. And part of the coverage note was that if there’s a travel advisory, it will not cover that location. That’s my words –  it was worded much better in there. And then, I bought it and I’m  chatting with my mom and we were flying into France. We were going in into Paris, and I went to a website and it had to do with the airport and flying, and it said that France is under a travel advisory. 

And the reason being I think it might have been terrorism or violence. I don’t know when I’m like, “Oh my goodness. Is my insurance policy even gonna be covered there?” So that was interesting, 

So luckily nothing happened, but that was the fine print. And I am still on the fence. So would I have not bought that policy? No. For $90, I was still buying that policy on the roll of the dice. 50/50.  I guess it does count for this travel advisory and would it cover it, I don’t know.

So this is just giving you an example of as long as you’re informed you can make decisions. So I don’t know if it was the right or wrong one, but I thought for $90 I’m gonna just try. 

So that is really interesting – do your homework, read everything, know the risks, where the gaps are, and if it’s affordable, you don’t need insurance until the moment you need it and so I thought, okay, for 90 bucks I’m just gonna buy. 

Another thing to consider is that as you’re getting older, travel insurance is getting more and more expensive. And so this is something that needs to be put into the cash flow planning. So if you’re gonna be over the age of 70-  by 75 it gets even more extreme in the cost. That should be part of your cash flow planning. 

If you are travelling, you need to just do your homework and add an additional, I’m gonna just throw it a thousand dollars. I know what we paid for my mom she’s over 75 and it was not quite that amount, but it was very close. And I remember her saying, Oh, I don’t know. Should we, shouldn’t we? And I’m like, “Yes, we should. . We’re buying flights, we’re going all the way over to Europe. We’re doing this.”

We’re gonna put that into our budget and I’d rather cover the possibility and the risk. So just be mindful of travelling as you get older and or as more health issues come up, it’s gonna get more and more expensive. Put it in your budget.

So the takeaway is to do your homework. Find travel insurance, whether it’s through your employer if you’re working or a personal policy, and put it into your cash flow budget. When you’re looking at the cost of travelling, include it and get it. Make sure you read how to use it. So for example, I had to have a phone number, and my mom and I shared our policy numbers, and it was like if I fall down, like before you call an ambulance, you need to call this insurance company. That’s usually a rule of travel insurance 

Just get it. It brings peace of mind and generally, it’ll be worth every penny if you have to use it. 

Don’t forget. If you need, you can check our website – astrafinancial.ca for show notes or send me a note with any questions or comments.

I’d love to hear from you. 

Till next time, I’m Zena.