Family Travel Insurance: All You Need to Know
You can finally go on that trip you have been planning for ages! Everybody in the family is thrilled. But do you have family travel insurance? While travel, whether for leisure or work, often leads to new experiences, it can lead to not-so-good experiences. For instance, imagine losing your luggage that has all your important documents. Or your flight gets cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances. How can you ensure that you still enjoy the trip even with such predicaments? The answer is through family travel insurance.
What is family travel insurance?
This is an insurance policy that provides coverage for a family against unforeseen and sudden events while on vacation. It provides a sense of assurance on extra costs incurred during the trip such as public health, safety, weather and other unforeseen events.
Family travel insurance is essential for every traveller in Canada. While it is not mandatory, it is an insurance policy that should not be ignored. The payments you can remit out of pocket vs. the cost of travel insurance are not comparable.
Why do you need family travel insurance in Canada?
- Your Canadian health insurance will not cater to your medical needs while outside Canada
- You will enjoy the peace of mind knowing you are safeguarded against the insured perils
- You will not cater to medical fees in foreign hospitals (These can be absurdly high)
- You may be denied treatment in a foreign country if you do not have relevant travel insurance
What coverage should family travel insurance in Canada provide?
Family travel insurance coverage in Canada depends on the needs of a family as well as how much they are willing to remit for coverage. Here are some common coverages in family travel insurance in Canada.
1. Medical healthcare
Family travel insurance should cater to emergency medical and hospital costs while on the trip, outpatient services, prescription drugs and laboratory costs. The travel insurance policy should also provide coverage for physician costs, payment to doctors and hospitals taking care of the patient and even assistance with bringing a close family to the patient’s bedside.
2. Medical evacuation
Your family travel insurance should provide coverage for medical evacuations to the nearest healthcare facility in your travel destination or even in Canada. This coverage should also cater to the costs of a qualified medical escort to the healthcare facility.
3. Pre-existing medical conditions
In most cases, insurance providers restrict the coverage of pre-existing conditions. While some travel insurers provide coverage for medical conditions that occurred before the insurance policy, some do not. When it comes to family travel insurance, ensure you are clear on the limitations and restrictions on any pre-existing health conditions.
Here are some tips on how to go about pre-existing conditions when purchasing family travel insurance in Canada:
- Ensure you get a written document detailing any exclusions that are not covered in the travel insurance
- The written agreement must state the period under which you are covered for pre-existing conditions
- The agreement should not invalidate the family travel insurance due to issues that are not clearly laid out in the written family travel insurance agreement.
- Repatriation if death occurs- Sadly, death can occur at any time, even on that fun family trip overseas. If this occurs, your family travel insurance should cater for the preparation as well as the return of the deceased to Canada.
- Trip cancellation or interruption- Even for trips planned a year ahead, interruptions can still occur. Family travel insurance should cater for costs incurred due to trip cancellation or interruptions.
- Baggage loss- Losing baggage while on travel is not only an inconvenience but also stressful. Family travel insurance should cater for document replacement costs as well as other costs that may be incurred in efforts to locate the documents or baggage.
- Flight cancellations- Family travel insurance provides coverage for flight cancellations due to unavoidable and unforeseen events.
- Adventurous activities- Engaging in high-risk adventurous activities ultimately puts your family at risk of serious or fatal accidents. And since this may not be covered under family travel insurance, you may be required to remit more funds to be covered. For instance, most travel insurers in Canada do not provide coverage for risky activities such as snowboarding, scuba diving, mountaineering, skydiving or white-water rafting.
- Assistance services- Travel, especially in new locations often necessitate a lot of assistance. This can be anything such as finding your hotel, finding a translator, the nearest hospital or even recovering a lost passport.
How can you save on family travel insurance?
While everyone wants to save money while also getting a great family travel insurance plan, choosing the cheapest family travel insurance is not advisable. Regardless of whether you are trying to reduce the cost of family travel insurance, choosing the cheapest insurance policy may be more expensive in the long run. Take, for instance, a family travel insurance policy that does not cater for essential services such as assistance services. This can end up being more expensive especially if you are visiting locations with language barriers. Also, if you plan on engaging in high-risk adventurous activities, it is wise to pay extra for unforeseen perils that could occur while engaging in these activities.
- Look for insurance providers who have great group discounts- Regardless of how small or big your family is, getting an insurance provider who offers group discount travels will help you cut family travel insurance costs. Also, it is generally cheaper to buy travel insurance policies for several people compared to individually. However, the cost of family travel insurance may still be high if one or several members in the family have pre-existing conditions that are difficult and expensive to manage and treat.
- Purchase family travel insurance in consideration of how often you travel- If your family travels several times in a year, consider purchasing an annual multi-trip policy. However, if you travel less often, say once every 2.5 years, purchasing a policy with each trip is advisable.
- Bundle policies- Insurance providers often have better rates for people who have several insurance policies with the same insurer. Consider purchasing travel insurance with the same insurer who provides your homeowners and even auto-insurance if available.
Get family travel insurance as early as possible- Do not wait and seek travel insurance one month before the family trip. By doing so, your time to shop around will be limited, and you may be forced to go for the most available travel insurer.