According to Allianz Global Assistance Canada, an alarming number of Canadians take short getaways without protecting themselves with travel insurance. Fall is an ideal time of year for many, where short weekend trips out of province, or across the border into the U.S. are easy.
It's a move that could end up costing Canadians thousands of dollars, Allianz warns.
Data collected by Allianz Global Assistance Canada indicates that less than 1.4 per cent of single trip medical policies purchased through its various distribution channels are for one or two-day trips.
“That is concerning, especially when you consider how many Canadians take short trips,” says Dan Keon, vice president, market management, Allianz Global Assistance Canada. “Over 12.5 million Canadians have travelled to the U.S. this year for at least one night, according to Statistics Canada. People may plan a romantic weekend away to explore the beauty of the fall foliage and because it’s such a short trip, forget the importance of having some kind of trip medical insurance in case something were to happen.”
A broken arm alone could cost thousands of dollars at a U.S. hospital, whereas an extended stay as an inpatient, due to a motor vehicle accident or appendicitis, could cost tens of thousands of dollars per day.
Health insurance doesn't guarantee universal coverage
Even if you’re travelling within Canada, Keon says:
"Your provincial health insurance plan won’t necessarily cover all costs if you were to be injured or needed medical assistance. For example, ambulance transportation costs, whether by ground or air, are not covered by provincial health care plans in Canada, however, medical travel insurance provides for this eligible benefit to a covered limit.”
Allianz Global Assistance Canada advises couples planning a getaway to also plan for the unexpected and buy their insurance at the same time they finalize and book their trip. Keon says should something happen, having insurance will not only provide assistance to the person who becomes ill or sick, but will also provide peace of mind to their partner.
“When something unforeseen happens to someone we love while we are travelling it can be very stressful,” says Keon. “Knowing that you have insurance to cover eligible costs and access to assistance in seeking proper medical treatment provides peace of mind and frees you up to just be there emotionally for your partner in their time of need.”