Travel insurance is just a waste of money, right? Who needs it anyways? Wrong! and Everyone who travels outside of province! are the answers that I would respond to those two questions.
After my experience travelling outside of Canada and falling gravely ill, I’m going to talk about why travel insurance is the most critical thing you should be packing on your next vacation.
Some people I’ve discussed this matter with, have scoffed at the chance that anything will happen to them while on vacation. However good and healthy we feel, the truth of the matter is, we just never know if something will send us to the ER, if we’ll need an ambulance or if we’ll require some other kind of medical attention.
Even the healthiest of people sometimes have mishaps while vacationing and need to utilize their travel insurance policies. In my opinion and experience, when it comes to protecting yourself while travelling, it is essential to think in the terms “better safe than sorry!”
But what happens if you did not purchase medical insurance before setting off on vacation? How could that impact you?
- You could be required to pay for medical expenses from your pocket, which can be extremely expensive
- You may be refused treatment until you pay in advance
- It may take years to fully pay off costly medical expenses incurred abroad
I luckily had a very inclusive travel insurance policy when I took sick travelling. I required immediate and swift medical attention, which ultimately led me down to surgery to save my life. But before I got there, the hospital (I assume the doctor due to the severity of my illness) contacted my insurance company and the insurance company wanted me sent home on a plane to have the surgery performed in my home province. However, after a very short discussion (which the doctor told me after my recovery), the insurance company was told by hospital staff that I could potentially lose my life if I was flown home, due to cabin pressure. That was scary to hear, but I was relieved to know that the doctors and hospital staff advocated for my health and well-being.
I stayed for one week in the hospital, the first day I had surgery and then I was in recovery for 6 days following. Brace yourselves….my hospital bills totalled just under $120,000 US dollars….that’s money that I didn’t have for repayment! Thank goodness that I didn’t have to worry about my medical bills either, since I took the time to protect myself and pack travel insurance. I never, ever leave Ontario without it.
Travel insurance policies widely vary in the terms and coverage you have. Make sure you review the policy options carefully before purchasing. Take the time to read the fine print. You don’t want to be paying out of pocket medical expenses from your limited vacation funds!
Before buying travel insurance, read this Travel Insurance Fact Sheet from the Government of Canada to learn all the facts.