While the Canadian Government is still discouraging non-essential travel, many have started dreaming about open borders and destinations other than our living rooms. If you’re planning to go abroad, travel insurance is a necessity––especially in this increasingly unknown territory. We will discuss travel insurance and some modified tips and tricks for travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Travel insurance is a necessity for all travellers.
If you travel without insurance, you’re taking on considerable risk. While those who make under $40,000 a year are the least likely to buy travel insurance, they are also the most likely to be economically affected in an emergency. If you are injured or fall ill without travel insurance, you will have to pay for those medical expenses out of pocket. If you break an arm without insurance in the U.S., that could cost you anywhere from $2,000-$16,000 depending on the severity of your injury––and it is an entirely preventable expense.
“Did you know? Only 40% of Canadians purchase travel insurance despite increasing risk?”
With decreased global stability and fluctuating lockdowns and restrictions for Covid-19 outbreaks, travellers are at an increased risk of theft, violence, loss of baggage, flight delays, and flight cancellations. Further, there may be delays due to rapid testing shortages, isolation mandates, and more requiring you to find, and pay for, unexpected accommodations. Regardless of your vaccination status, there is a risk of contracting Covid-19 and needing hospital treatment or a mandatory isolation period. Building a policy that will accommodate all these potential risks is a vital part of your trip planning.
Humans are really, really bad at calculating risk.
If you’ve thought, “I don’t need insurance, I’m young and healthy,” well, this next part is for you. While you may believe that travel insurance is an unnecessary expense, there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that, as a species, we’re not all that good at evaluating risk, and the younger we are, the more true this appears to be. Many young travellers opt-out of travel insurance even though they are more likely to travel on credit and are more likely to travel to less conventional or dangerous destinations. In contrast, baby boomers are more likely to regularly travel to the same location or travel domestically instead of internationally. Young people are also less likely to receive pre-travel care, such as vaccinations, and experience disproportionately higher rates of travel-related illness as a result.
Due to higher-risk travel locations and lack of pre-travel care, there is a significantly increased risk for illness and hospitalization for Gen Z and Millennials both during and after their travels. Because young travellers are less likely to buy travel insurance, they, or their loved ones, will be liable for any care or accidents that occur while travelling. These accidents can be costly and even fatal, making it prudent to invest in travel insurance and pre-travel care.
What can my travel insurance cover?
As you might expect, Covid-19 has dramatically shifted the landscape of international travel after nearly two years of pandemic-driven lockdowns, mask mandates, and intense border restrictions across the globe. With high vaccination rates, many covid restrictions are being lifted, which is encouraging for those eager to travel, whether to visit family or to take a much-needed vacation.
At Kessler, we exclusively work with Saskatchewan Blue Cross to cover all your travel insurance needs. While others travellers will have to be discerning about purchasing travel insurance after the pandemic, customers who purchase travel insurance through us can rest assured that they will be able to enjoy their trip, whether in Canada or abroad, knowing they are covered.
- Emergency Medical Care benefits
Your travel insurance will be able to protect you from emergency medical costs such as contracting Covid-19 and the associated costs of delayed travel and in-hospital care. Depending on your coverage type, there is also coverage for
- Post-Departure Trip Interruption Benefits
Depending on your plan, you may be able to add coverage that can help you if your flight is delayed or cancelled and accommodate you if you experience lost or damaged baggage. With increased potential for travel interruptions, this benefit is a great way to plan.
- Death, Dismemberment, and Vehicular Accident
We don’t want you to worry about the worst-case scenario, but we want you to be prepared. Nobody wants their family to be financially strained due to unforeseen circumstances, especially if they are grieving. Planning for anything is the best method, regardless of your age or health.
What is the best travel insurance plan for me?
All travel insurance plans will include emergency medical benefits and 24/h access to travel assistance. However, the coverage amount will change depending on the plan you choose. Each plan we offer has potential options to increase your coverage or type of coverage, so it is essential to talk to your broker about your or your family’s needs for your upcoming trip. Whether you travel for work or leisure, having a plan should be your priority.
We offer 3 main plans, which can be customized to suit your needs:
- Annual Plan
This plan is for snowbirds and frequent flyers. This plan allows you to travel where and when you want, worry-free. With coverage for an unlimited number of trips per year, this plan is perfect for those who love to getaway.
This plan includes options for accidental death, dismemberment, air flight accident coverage, and optional deductibles for reduced premiums.
- Individual Plan
Great coverage for a single vacation. This plan is customizable for your needs and travel time. In addition, it allows you to come home and return to your destination and continue coverage to accommodate your unique travel needs.
- VIP travel plan
This plan includes optional benefits for Personal Health Plan members and is another great option for frequent travellers. This plan includes lost or damaged baggage and post-departure trip interruption benefits––an excellent addition for covid travel.
What is the best way to prepare for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Before travelling, whether for work, to visit the friends and family you’ve missed dearly during lockdowns, or simply to get away after spending 18 months in your house, we recommend the following tips:
- Always check Canadian travel requirements well ahead of your expected travel.
- Check if you qualify for fully vaccinated travellers exemptions.
- Research travelling restrictions if you’re travelling with children or dependents, especially if they are unvaccinated.
- Purchase flight cancellation coverage, as it will protect you from unforeseen cancellations or interruptions to your flight.
- Check in with us to ensure your coverage will be accessible with ongoing advisories.
- Ensure you self-isolate before you travel––if you contract Covid-19 before your trip, you may be liable for your emergency medical costs, cancellation fees, and mandatory isolation costs.
- Despite Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations, adding coverage to your policy for lost and damaged bags and trip cancellation insurance is worthwhile.
- Ensure you have all the information for travel restrictions and requirements for your destination, as each country and province is managing the outbreak in different ways, including mandatory rapid testing, proof of vaccination, quarantines, and other restrictions.
Saskatchewan, planning is the best way to travel.
At Kessler, we aim to provide our clients with insight and advice about their specific insurance needs. Don’t leave your trip up to chance; with travel insurance, you can travel knowing that, even in an uncertain world, your health is covered. Talk to us today to learn more about your options for coverage. You worry about relaxing, adventuring, and having fun, and we’ll worry about the rest.