If you’ve been following along on our Facebook page, you may have noticed that we’ve started a bit of a tradition in the past couple of years.
As the calendar winds down each December, we get to dreaming about the next year. Rather than talk about resolutions, we talk about travel dreams, and we typically dream quite big. Our damn-we-hope-to-get-there-list for 2014 saw countries the likes of Mongolia, Japan, and Hungary. We stated our deep longing to eat egg tart pastries in Portugal, swim off the coast of the Maldives, take in some wildlife in Zimbabwe, and more.
And as we sat in wintery Alberta the last couple of months and started plotting our adventures, we did all the ordinary stuff that comes with preparing for travel: we renewed our passports, topped up our travel clothing, and bought travel insurance.
Except that we were surprised to recently learn that buying travel insurance isn’t so ordinary. 59%* of Canadians admitted to not purchasing insurance on their last trip, and less than half (44%*) plan to purchase it ahead of their next vacation.
Many people email us asking about whether we purchase travelers insurance and we are glad they do, so that we can advise them that insurance is something we would never, ever travel without. Even though we have been lucky and never had to make a claim, chances are we will fall under one of these statistics someday:
— 18%* of Canadians have experienced sudden illness
— 19%* have experienced flight delays/cancellation
— 23%* of Canadians have lost luggage
And we’ll be grateful to be covered, and spared some potentially big expenses. Because all it takes is one incident or illness to prove how valuable it is.
It is just as important then, for us to find the right insurance. Some of the things we look for:
— We want world-wide assistance, around the clock. (Obviously! We are rarely in one place for long and need flexibility.)
— For us gypsy types, we need our insurance in big long-term chunks, but for those of our readers who travel in shorter spurts (most of you!), consider the flexibility offered in available insurance programs. If you vacation just once a year, look for coverage in single-trip plans. For frequent travellers, multi-trip plans definitely provide better value!
– You know that we live by the concept of having “no possessions”, right? Therefore, the things that we do have are very valuable to us! Have you seen what is offered by airlines if you lose your bags? It is incredibly limited, and we’ve heard more than one horror story of costs not being recouped. We don’t want to take that chance.
Your dream trip should be just that – everything you envisioned it to be. And while it likely will be smooth sailing, there is always the chance of something happening to alter the best-made plans. We would never travel without the assurance that “we are covered”, and would highly recommend that you don’t either.
So that you can effortlessly enjoy cruising the fjords in Norway and diving into the Mediterranean blues in Greece. (At least, those are on our damn-we-hope-to-get-there-list.)
What’s on yours?
To learn more about travel Insurance and find out what type is best for you, check out the AMEX Travel Insurance website.
This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.
*Source: National survey conducted by a third party on behalf of American Express Canada in July 2013. Sample size included 1006 respondents from across Canada.
First time I went to the US on my own I went without insurance. Granted it was just a road trip to Seattle, but it was a pretty dumb move (I was young and foolish) because if I’d need medical care I wouldn’t have been able to afford. I always get insurance now. It doesn’t seem worth the risk to go without it now.
ESPECIALLY to the US. Sometimes it costs more to get insurance for the States, but if there is one place where you need it…it’s there!
I never traveled with insurance until I got stuck with a post-race injury in Canada and a large medical bill. Lesson learned. No matter where you are from or where you’re going, make sure you’re covered. You want to spend your hard earned money on travel after all, right?
Exactly! How am I going to buy all these tacos if I have to spend my money on a medical bill?
Travel insurance is a definite must for all my travels! Good thing I bought travel insurance for that trip to Dublin (yup the one where I was stuck for over a day without any clothes) because I got compensated for that. I’ve also lost items like cameras and an ipod overseas before, and without travel insurance it would definitely have been rather painful for my pocket!
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Sounds like you are getting your money’s worth. 🙂
Travel insurance is a definite for me!
Some people want to just save so much money they scrimp on insurance but it’s the one thing you will regret not having when you eventually need it.
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Hello! Great post and timely, as my little brother is planning his round-the-world-for-two-years trip right now. I checked out the option for Americans using the same travel insurance company that you as Canadians use, but it said they are not excepting enrollments right now. Do you happen to know of another good travel insurance for Americans? I’ve not done any research but thought I’d just check to see if you know of any.
Thanks for the great info, awesome photos and engaging stories, I always love reading your posts!
I am sorry Lena but I am not particularly well-versed in American options. This post from Nomadic Matt should help… http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/travel-insurance/
I meet people all of the time who don’t have travel insurance. I don’t understand why anyone would risk being in a foreign country, with limited funds, and NOT have travel insurance. It is such a smart thing to have … just in case!
I’m currently wishing I’d purchased insurance for our huge trip this summer to Europe. We’re having to move our flights back ONE DAY for my cousin’s wedding that just got planned and it’s going to cost us over $1500. Surely some kind of insurance would have prevented this, right (flight changes/trip interruption/etc.)?
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Why you don’t have Mexico in your list of destinations?
We always buy it, if not covered by work benefits for travel insurance. For the most part work covers but there are things like life insurance extras not covered. If we’re doing a vacation rental we get insurance in case we’re being scammed so we can recoup any monies paid as well as get alternate arrangements.