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Thread: Travel Insurance

  1. #1
    CaLoonie
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    My husband is self-employed, so when he/our family travels outside of Canada, we have to purchase our own travel accident insurance. I was chatting with our neighbours, who are also self-employed and travel a lot, and I asked them what they typically do for travel accident insurance - pay by the trip, pay annually, etc? They said they do not purchase travel accident insurance because they have coverage with their credit card. Don't we? So I checked, and yes, provided that the trip (eg. plane tickets) are paid for with our credit card, we have $100,000 (each traveller) worth of coverage.

    My husband, our two kids and I will be travelling to the US (airline tickets charged to our credit card) for about a week and a half. For $5,000,000 worth of coverage with $0 deductible, which is the standard offer with the plan, insurance will cost about $70 give or take a few bucks. It is not a lot of money, but wasted if we already have adequate coverage through our credit card.

    Is $100,000 worth of coverage enough? I know if I call and ask our broker, they will tell me that we need the extra coverage, but their opinion (in my opinion) isn't objective. Anyone have any thoughts or advice? Do you think $70 is worth the extra peace of mind or just throwing away money?
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    One Awesome Domestic Diva MrsSunshine's Avatar
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    personally i'd def pay the $70 on top of what your credit card offers.esp. if their are 4 of you... its scary how expensive a hospital stay can be compared to our local OHIP coverage. you pay for everything in the US. $100 grand can go quite quick if your injured, hospitalized. i'd rather lose $70 then take the chance of not being able to get back home if something were to happen while on vacation. being in a foreign place when your not well. not fun. just my two cents.
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    Smart Canuck grumpy's Avatar
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    insurance is always a personal decision. You never know what will happen... if $70 is not a lot of money for you and you want piece of mind, go for it. that's just a few dollars a day. if you feel you have enough with your credit card, you can forego. Depends a lot on your personal situation.
    hubby and i use the Scotia visa passort and it's a great card cuz you also get 5% cash back on purchases through their website and also insurance and points.

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    Smart Canuck
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    It's a personal decision and I guess it depends on what you are willing to risk. My sister has had several occasions where someone has been hospitalized. Most recently, while on a cruise in Greece, her husband had a gall bladder attack and the doctors were recommending surgery. Once in Mexico, her son had a very serious attack of colitis (his very first) and was hospitalized for several days. Without their travel insurance, they would have been out of pocket a large amount. And in the US, those costs can easily skyrocket.

    Here's a grim thought, I know, but do either of those insurance offers include repatriation insurance? If someone passes away while out of the country, it can easily cost 100K to get their body home. I ask because I've heard a few stories lately about people passing away while on holiday, and the family not being able to afford to bring the body home. In one case, the children decided to bury their father in the country where he died. I spent a few months volunteering in the US about 15 years ago, and to get my visa, needed health insurance and repatriation insurance.


    I know you are concerned about "wasting" the money if you don't need it. Is that how you feel about insurance in general? Do you have insurance for your home (fire, theft, etc.)? If you don't have to make a claim, do you consider that you wasted your money by paying for insurance that year?
    Last edited by super807; Wed, Dec 5th, 2012 at 12:28 PM.

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    Smart Canuck
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    You might find this thread interesting reading.

    http://forum.smartcanucks.ca/316153-...y-home-canada/

  6. #6
    CaLoonie
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    Quote Originally Posted by super807 View Post

    I know you are concerned about "wasting" the money if you don't need it. Is that how you feel about insurance in general? Do you have insurance for your home (fire, theft, etc.)? If you don't have to make a claim, do you consider that you wasted your money by paying for insurance that year?
    Thanks for the link. It was a good read.

    I do not feel that insurance is a waste of money. We have auto, home, life and disability insurance - always better safe than sorry. Since my husband has been self-employed, we have purchased our own travel accident insurance when leaving Canada. I am not questioning the importance of having travel accident insurance when leaving the country, but I was soliciting opinions as to whether paying for $5,000,000 is overkill when we already have $100,000 through our credit card.

    $70 is peanuts when looking at the overall trip cost and I am a huge worry wart, so we will purchase the extra coverage on our own. I was just curious if others thought $100,000 is adequate coverage when travelling to the US. I have heard media stories of insanely expensive medical costs in the US, but I don't know any personal stories from friends or family. I don't know how expensive "expensive" is. What if my original question was: our credit card offers $1,000,000, should we purchase $5,000,000 on our own?; or our credit card offers $5,000,000, should we purchase $10,000,000?

    My question boils down to: what is the dollar amount of coverage you would need to have peace of mind while travelling? I know it is a personal decision - it's just interesting to know other people's ideas. Thanks everyone for your contributions.

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    Canadian Genius xox2010's Avatar
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    $100,000 just wouldn't be enough for me, personally. If you are seriously injured and need surgery, just that could push over the $100k threshold. We have always purchased extra coverage regardless of what our insurance company pays for.
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    Smart Canuck anastasia1009's Avatar
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    I worked from an American insurance company and one day hospitalization (varies from hospital) including the room only nothing else can range from $1500 to $8000 a day and OHIP only pays up to $400 a day. So if its a serious illness add more money plus drugs. Heck to give birth cost about $50,000 and I remember tonsils out was $5600. The more the better I find and when I go even for a weekend we get it from the bank.
    This is happening now in Hamilton
    http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...s-no-insurance

  9. #9
    Junior Canuck
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    My Dad had a kidney stone attack in Florida. Just for the tests and no overnight stay was $15000.00

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    momof5boys
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    Oh my....speaking from experience here - pay the extra $70!!!

  11. #11
    CaLoonie
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    yeah I heard about that, but never knew they offer that much
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    CaNewbie
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    Depends a lot on your personal situation.
    hubby and i use the Scotia visa passort and it's a great card cuz you also get 5% cash back on purchases through their website and also insurance and points.

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    I think paying the extra $70 is a small price to pay if you consider what medical costs in a foreign country could potentially add up to. Also consider whether you are covered for any pre-existing medical conditions that may pose a problem when traveling, such as asthma or diabetes. You not only want to make sure you have coverage, but that you have the right type of coverage.
    thriftygranny likes this.

  14. #14
    mandolinatou
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    I think it depends on your health and where you are traveling to. You can investigate cards that provide more travel insurance . Typically the better cards have a fee of 75-200 per year and you have to decide if it is worth it. I did one dislocate my shoulder on a trip and was only charged 800 for the x-ray and relocation. I'm young and my family and I do not have serious health issues. I get more fussy about having luggage insurance following a few bad experiences on United. Which this reminds me I need to figure out on my credit card which one offers the better insurance again.

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    Speak to your broker. It's not just a question of how much coverage is required, but what your policy covers and under what conditions.

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