Travel Insurance Explained

What you don’t know can kill you!

You’ve worked hard and it’s time for a vacation.  After countless hours of research, you’ve finally taken the plunge and booked your dream trip.  Maybe it’s a sunny beach destination, self-driving Europe or even your bucket-list-trip to Africa

Wherever your travels take you, be well-informed of the risks and ensure you travel smartly.  Travel insurance is confusing but thankfully we’re here to help you with that.

Travel Insurance consists of two parts:

1. Medical Insurance

Medical Insurance covers you for unforeseen and unexpected emergencies from the moment you leave your front door until your return home.  You may be perfectly healthy and never get sick on vacation, so you may consider skipping this part as it seems unnecessary. 

However, emergencies happen all the time and that’s why they’re called ‘unexpected’ incidents.  Even minor accidents can cause major hassles, especially in remote areas far from medical facilities and care.

While managing an African safari camp, I had a guest who broke their ankle stepping off a safari vehicle and needed to be flown out of our remote location.  Surgery was required and their trip was delayed by 5 days – medical insurance covered the exorbitant hospital bills and charter flights.  Interruption insurance refunded their 5 nights of missed accommodation as well as reimbursing their hotel accommodations, meals and taxi fares. 

Travel Insurance: African Safari Flight

2. Cancellation & Interruption Insurance

Cancellation refers to the protection of the non-refundable pre-paid portion of your trip. That’s the money that you don’t want to lose if something goes sideways.  Did you know that 73% of all claims paid out by Manulife in Canada, are due to cancellations made before travel?

The best time to buy your cancellation insurance is the same day that you pay your trip deposit, so you’re covered from the moment your policy is issued until you depart on your trip.Sometimes with International travel (such as a safari to Africa), your trip is booked 12 months in advance.  A lot can happen in that period that can lead to cancellation – death of a traveling partner or family member, sudden illness or diagnosis of a serious disease, a government travel advisory due to unforeseen circumstances. Some coverage even allows you to cancel if your pet falls ill and you don’t want to leave their side!  

Insurance costs the same whether you buy it with your deposit payment or closer to departure therefore, the longer you’re covered, the greater the value. 

Interruption insurance is the interruption of your plans while you’re on your trip – either due to a medical concern, sudden travel advisory or family emergencies requiring an early return.

Not all insurance packages are created equal! There are even packages that cover pre-existing conditions and elderly travelers. Your best bet is a Comprehensive or Premium package that fully covers you and your investment.  Even teens on a Mexican vacation or GAP year abroad need Youth Insurance as travel accidents could cost parents dearly and severely impact your family financially.

Travel is a wonderful privilege that needs to be celebrated! Smart travelers are well-informed so be wise and don’t fool yourself into believing that nothing can happen!  Travel insurance is very specific to your individual situation, so for any advice or bookings of travel insurance, please click on the following Manulife link or call me at 403 981 5558 and I’ll be happy to share my expert advice with you!

I look forward to assisting you.


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