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RBC Poll: Young Travellers Travelling without Insurance

6 August 2011

According to a recent RBC insurance survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, as Canadians travel south of the border, 44% between the ages of 18 and 34 have said that they rarely or never purchase travel insurance when travelling to the United States. 56% of young travellers do not take the time to understand what their travel insurance covers before leaving a trip.

Travelling without insurance can lead to serious consequences, and the fact is, the age group that does not purchase travel insurance tend to be more active in travelling.

It is important to cover yourself for any trip regardless where you are heading.

What are the other misconception young travellers have?

Interestingly enough, 34% of young Canadians have said that they do not need to travel insurance if they are only travelling to the United State because they expect their provincial health plan will cover their medical costs.

The fact is, staying in a hospital in the United States can cost more than you can imagine. RBC revealed that if you were to stay a two day hospital state for a broken leg in California can cost up to $8,000 per day. You provincial plan would only pay $200 per day, leaving yourself in debt for up to $7,800. This goes to show how important it is to purchase travel insurance regardless of where you go, especially the United States.

Another misconception young Canadians often come to is that they do not need to buy travel insurance if they are travelling to another province. The government health insurance plans (GHIP) may limit the reimbursement of emergency medical expenses once travellers leave their home province. To be honest, this fact was new to me as well. RBC explained that an air ambulance with a full medical team travelling from Calgary to Toronto can cost $24,000 and is not covered by the GHIP. Truthfully, an air ambulance would only constitute from a serious injury, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

What should I know about travel insurance?

You need to always review your existing insurance coverage before every trip. As you know, many credit cards often provide coverage, but it always for a limited amount of days or they limit the amount you can claim and may not provide coverage after the age of 65. Keep in mind, premium travel credit cards often provide the best travel insurance, however they come at a price but in my opinion it is definitely the best option for the avid traveller.

It is important that you understand what your GHIP covers, and the fact is it covers a limited portion of medical expenses outside of your province.

With what has been said, it is important to have travel insurance, regardless of where you are going. You do not want to be stuck in an unknown place, stuck with large medical bills because you did not take the time to properly insure yourself.


About the Author


My favorite weapon of choice is the samurai sword. I use it to cut my chicken during dinner, cut my hair and periodically carve my name into stone when I am bored. I love meditating on top of a 15ft high pole and eating those sushi’s with smoked salmon on top. I love everything there is about Canada and everything financially related to Canadians. I write deily posts from Canadian Banks to Credit Card information.

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