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How well are you covered?

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Whether you work for yourself or a large corporation, there are times when travel becomes part of the job. I, for one, have always liked to play it safe when heading out of town. If I am heading up north for the weekend, I am always prepared for the unexpected. I will make sure I have extra food and drink in case of car trouble, I will make sure my cell phone is fully charged and that I have my car charger with me. I prefer to air on the side of, "what happens if."

My business trips are planned using that same philosophy. I tend to overpack my carry-on's, in case the airlines lose my luggage. You can never be too careful. I won't let the unexpected things in life to ruin my trips, be it business or pleasure.

I think that overall I have been pretty lucky, all things considered. I have heard of several horror stories. My in-laws are both retired and travel A LOT! They have worked hard all their lives and are finally enjoying the fruits of their labour. In the past five years they have been to the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Great Britain, Europe and of course old reliable, Florida for the winters.

I have been very vocal over the years that they make sure they are covered for anything that may come their way. Travel insurance is of utmost importance when travelling outside your home province. The out of province medical costs can change your life financially forever. Working all your life to be able to afford such getaways should not be contingent on the unexpected life changing events that can take place while away. There are many options available to take care of the unexpected.
Let's assume the family is away on vacation in the US and someone becomes part of the 18%* who has experienced a sudden illness while abroad. What would you do first if you weren't prepared and had not pre-purchased travel insurance? Who would you turn to, call first, or visit in the event of illness? It's one thing to say, "It will never happen to me," but reality and life don't play that way. It can happen to any one of us.

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Imagine showing up in Jamaica for a week of fun and frolic and you become one of the 23%* of Canadians whose luggage decides that somewhere else, like Barcelona, Spain is more to its liking. What would you do, where would you go to replace all of your belongings in a timely fashion so as not to ruin the balance of your stay at a 5 star resort? The airline will do everything in their power to assist you; however, their liability has its limits. If you come prepared with the right amount of travel insurance, then you should be covered against this type of loss.Trav
 
Travel insurance can provide Canadian travelers coverage for a wide range of non-medical travel emergencies, such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, and baggage loss and delay. With the right provider, the cost of such coverage is actually quite reasonable. Take the stress out of your vacation and travel prepared. You will certainly appreciate the coverage should something crop up along the way.


Expectations can be high about what is covered and what is not. Air ambulance in most cases is not covered by your work benefits or your credit cards. Will my airline reimburse me for my lost baggage or trip delays? Most do not. The more connections you make at different airports, the more likely you are to have issues. This is not scare tactics on behalf of the insurance companies, this is a very real potential.

Something that I was not aware of until I began to research travel insurance for this article is that you don't have to purchase insurance each and every time you travel, as there is an option available to get a multi-trip annual plan. What a great idea for those who go away several times per year. I hope my in-laws read this article, as they are the travellers that this pertains too.

My travel insurance provider must be able to work worldwide with a reputation of being there when needed; otherwise I am stressed about whether or not I am covered. We have all heard of friends or family who have had to cancel their trips even before departing due to a sickness for one of the travellers. Is that the responsibility of your tour operator, or you as the traveller? Insurance coverage will cover you for most every incident, so why not travel with the confidence of knowing that your choice in travel insurance providers is there for you in your time of need.

I look forward to both business travel and family vacations in 2014 and will no doubt be taking travel insurance more seriously each time I go away. I am after-all a safety and planning type of girl.

For those of you, who are intent on heading to the warmer climates in the next couple of weeks, seriously look into obtaining insurance coverage for you and your family. It may just save your financial future from ruins.

Check out the AMEX Travel Insurance website for all the latest options available to the travelling public. You don't even have to be an Amex Cardmember to purchase their products.

This post is sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in his blog, however, are purely my own.

*Source: National survey conducted by a third party on behalf of American Express Canada in July 2013. Sample size included 1006 respondents from across Canada.