Data from Allianz Global Assistance Canada has suggested that Canadians are foregoing travel insurance when taking short trips, potentially leaving themselves open to financial hardship if they suffer a travel mishap.
In general, travel insurance penetration in Canada is in good shape, with many realising the benefits of taking out coverage for a holiday. However, according to Allianz’s data, less than 1.4 per cent of single-trip policies purchased by Canadians via its various distribution channels were for trips lasting one or two days.
“That is concerning, especially when you consider how many Canadians take short trips,” commented Dan Keon, Vice-President, Market Management, at Allianz Global Assistance Canada. “Over 12.5 million Canadians have travelled to the US 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.”
Frustratingly, many travellers seem unaware that even a trip of 24 hours or less provides ample time in which to sustain an injury, or for travel plans to be foiled by an unexpected issue. And for Canadians heading to the US, something as comparatively simple as a broken arm could set them back thousands of dollars without insurance. An extended stay for something more serious, however, could cost tens of thousands.
Keon also advises Canadians to insure themselves when travelling within Canada: “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.”