Insurance is one of those industries that seems to be selling a new type of product for every occasion and what’s covered vs. what’s not covered can become overwhelming. We understand why we need auto or home insurance and we see a benefit for our families in purchasing life insurance, but why do we need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is usually sold as a package policy that covers more than one type of risk. While the primary coverage is for medical expenses, many policies also provide coverage for trip cancellation or trip interruption, coverage for lost baggage, and more. These extras are nice to have but the largest financial risk for you and your family is injury or illness while traveling.

Accidents or illnesses can occur anywhere or at any time and you don’t have to be on a spelunking trip or go zip-lining to face a risk of injury. Some places in the world have wonderful medical services and some may not have a strong health care system. In either case, your existing Canadian health insurance probably won’t pay for your medical needs while traveling nor will it pay for you to be transported to someplace where you can receive the type of care you can expect from your doctors in Canada.

The cost of a medical mishap while traveling can leave you with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars but a well-chosen travel insurance policy can cover these costs so you can recover without the worry of how you will repay a medical debt.

Ideally, your travel insurance policy will include the following coverages:

• Health insurance
• Life insurance
• Disability insurance
• Pre-existing conditions
• Medical evacuation
• Repatriation in case of death

Just reach out to your broker to discuss your travel insurance options before going away. There are policies that can cover a single trip and often policies that can cover a longer duration are available for frequent travelers.