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Canadian Travel Insurance Questions Answered

Traveling within Canada? Do you need extra coverage?

Canadians love road trips. Pile in the kids, enough food for a few days and don't forget Fido. Running through your checklist can be a trip in itself, but who's checking your checklist? You can pick up sunscreen if you forgot to add it, but what about insurance? Do you need anything special if you're only crossing provinces?

Travel Insurance Questions?Travel Insurance Questions?Nathan LaFayette of AIG Travel Guard says leaving insurance to chance is a blueprint for disappointment. We recently spoke with him about how Canadians can protect themselves this summer. Here's what he had to say:

GoGirlfriend: If you're traveling from one province to another, do you need extra insurance? Does provincial health insurance cover you when you're in a different province from the one you reside in?

Nathan LaFayette: Travel insurance is a very good idea even if you're just travelling from one province to another. Provincial health insurance covers you for certain insured health services, but you're not covered like you would be at home. Take Ontario residents, for example. Physicians outside of the province won't necessarily bill Ontario back directly, so Ontarians could be out of pocket until the government pays - and they'll get what the service would cost in Ontario, so if that's less than what was charged, they're out of pocket. Also, Ontario doesn't cover the cost of prescription drugs or ambulance services.

Canadians should check with their province or territory [government] what they're covered for exactly and be aware that they may be responsible for many health care costs.

GG: If you have travel insurance from your workplace (in addition to provincial coverage) do you need to let them know your travel plans?

Nathan LaFayette: Every workplace insurance plan is different. You should give your human resources department or the insurance company a call and ask them about the details of your plan. Be especially aware of the maximum trip length that your plan covers and make sure all family members are treated equally.

GG: If you're planning a road trip, do you need trip cancellation insurance? What would it cover?

Nathan LaFayette: Absolutely! Trip cancellation means that you can cancel your trip arrangements, such as a hotel or resort, if you need to. What if you - or your travel partner - get sick? Or, what if you lose your job and it's a bad time to travel? Trip cancellation covers you for the unexpected reasons that may cause you to cancel your vacation - even if you're driving...If something happens while you're away and you need to get home, the trip interruption coverage will get you there.

GG: If you're renting a car for your road trip, do you need to buy extra car insurance or will your own coverage be enough?

Nathan LaFayette: Even if you have car insurance on your own car, you should consider additional insurance. Without rental car insurance you're fully responsible for the car - every scratch or dent is your responsibility, so insurance is a must.

GG: Is there anything else Canadian travelers should know before setting off on a cross-country road trip this summer?

Nathan LaFayette: The smartest thing every traveler can do is research what coverage he or she has and fill in any gaps. Call the credit card company, talk to human resources and be aware that every province is different. Then, look into travel insurance. It should only cost a small percentage of the trip but it can provide a huge amount of assistance if the unexpected strikes.

Traveling through Canada? How are you handling the insurance question?

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Most educational institutions require that students have travel insurance before embarking on a trip abroad. A provincial health insurance may not cover students for certain events. In these cases, a student needs to have the right travel insurance.

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