The Importance of Travel Insurance

1 Nov

Travel with fewer worries about unexpected expenses

Port Douglas HarbourImagine this scenario: you and your family get off the plane and arrive at your destination in the sun for a March break holiday. As you check in at the front desk, you are told “Mrs. Heenan, please call your brother at home.” I gulped when this happened to me some years ago, as I hadn’t told my brother I was going away, yet he had managed to track me down in Mexico before my plane had even landed. I feared the worst, and it was indeed terrible news as my mother had passed away that day.
Once the shock and initial tears had passed, we called the insurance companies associated with our credit cards and workplaces. Alas, another unfortunate discovery. Our insurance covered trip cancellation but not trip interruption. Because we had begun the trip, there was no coverage for the extra expense of returning home the next day, nor a refund for the next six days of our trip which we could not enjoy. It made a very sad situation even worse. Upon returning home, my travel agent recommended a different credit card that did include this type of insurance and which I have depended on for many years.
I thought I had learned my lesson. However, recently I have been reconsidering options related to the Manulife Travel Insurance Plans. I made a detailed comparison of the Manulife plans and emergency coverage vs the insurance covered by credit cards like the one I use and discovered several benefits to purchasing additional coverage. If you are in any of the following categories, you should consider the low cost of this extra coverage vs. losing a substantial sum of money on a trip or holiday which could be cancelled or interrupted.
  • Your trip is expensive. My card covers only up to $2,500 for trip cancellation or interruption whereas the Manulife policies cover from $6,000 to $20,000. I recently went to Australia and the cost was quite a bit more than that. Are you going on a cruise or to a 5-star hotel? Are you sure you have enough coverage?
  • You, your spouse or your travel partner have elderly parents whose health could decline and cause a cancellation of plans.
  • You are age 65 or will turn 65 during your trip and no longer covered by your workplace. It’s quite likely your credit card coverage for emergency medical or dental stops at this age or only covers short trips of four days. Manulife will cover you after age 65 (you have to answer some questions to prove insurability).
You can purchase Manulife Travel Insurance through my website.
While the emergency medical and dental benefits covered by your workplace plan or credit card are important, we found that the Manulife policy was more generous.
Here are a couple of other benefits of Manulife Travel Insurance we discovered while preparing this newsletter:
  1. Lost your job and can’t afford to go on the trip? You are covered if you, your spouse or your travelling companion cannot travel due to loss of job. This coverage could include paying a single traveler occupancy upgrade if you have to travel without a spouse/partner.
  2. You applied but didn’t obtain a visa from the foreign country in time to travel there? You’re covered for trip cancellation by Manulife but apparently not by many credit cards.
  3. During the time the trip was to take place, you or your spouse are called up for jury duty, subpoenaed as a witness, or to be a defendant in a civil suit.
 Learn more about the importance of travel insurance through the website of The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada.
Before you make travel plans for this winter, take the time to review your existing insurance.
If you believe you could benefit from extra coverage, here is the link to review and purchase travel Insurance through my website.
Myself or my assistant, Doris Ho, can help you through the application process. You can reach us both at 416-939-2000 ext. 209 during regular business hours.
You’ll enjoy your trip more with fewer worries! It’s just good advice.