Pack your bags, not your stress this March Break

By Brigitte Gougeon

Special to the Financial Independence Hub 

Taking a vacation is supposed to be a time to relax and enjoy a week away from the stresses of work and daily commitments. But with two in five Canadians planning to travel during March Break, there will be many people worrying about some aspect of their trip.

A recent TD Insurance survey found that for nearly half (49%) of Canadians planning to travel, the potential of falling ill while away was one of the top three causes of stress. Other top travel stress factors were losing a wallet or travel documents (58%) and other personal items such as a camera or mobile phone (41%).

Even though Canadian travellers are worried about the prospect of needing medical care while they’re away, only four in ten (39%) report regularly buying travel insurance. Canadians who don’t regularly buy travel insurance list a variety of reasons for not doing so, including it not being top of mind, thinking they don’t need it or thinking it’s not worth the cost.

Those planning to travel over March Break should take care to make travel insurance part of their broader travel-planning checklist. The cost of not buying travel insurance can have a devastating financial impact. Covering unexpected medical costs out of your own pocket can be financially ruining as, on average, government provincial health insurance will only cover a small portion of medical expenses. And even then, that coverage is capped.

Travel insurance has to be bought BEFORE your trip

Even when taking a short trip across the border –- which many Canadians take for granted –- you never know if something unexpected will crop up, like a fall or accident that requires medical attention. To safeguard you and your family, it’s important you ensure you have the right coverage that fits your unique needs and situation. And remember, you have to get insurance before your trip starts; it won’t protect you if you get the insurance after an accident happens or your trip is cancelled.

Additional travel tips for cutting down on stressors:

  • If you’re flying, remember to check weather conditions and your flight schedule on the morning before departure.
  • For additional peace of mind, consider trip cancellation insurance to protect your trip investment. Trips can be expensive, and if your trip is cancelled or interrupted for a covered cause, having the associated costs reimbursed, will save you both money and stress.
  • Keep up to date on developments in the country you’re travelling to. The Government of Canada has a web page that carries updated travel advisories on countries around the world, based on the latest news and happenings.

A vacation is a valuable time to relax and recharge. Making travel insurance part of a broader travel-planning checklist will mean peace of mind and less stress down the road should the unexpected happen.

Brigitte Gougeon is a business professional with over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry.  As Associate Vice-President of Travel Insurance at TD Insurance, she has oversight for travel insurance solutions and embedded insurance benefits.  Brigitte has a master’s degree in Business Administration.



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