TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 18, 2013) - With Victoria Day weekend considered the unofficial start of summer, BMO Insurance today released the results of its Summer Travel Insurance Study which found that 83 per cent of Canadians plan on taking a vacation between May and September. The top international destinations include the U.S., Europe and Central and South America.
The study also found that only half reported that they regularly purchase travel insurance before heading on vacation, potentially leaving themselves and their families vulnerable to spiraling costs in the event they require medical attention.
The study is the first of a 'Summer Series' from BMO Financial Group that will examine personal finance issues and trends among Canadians during the season.
How much is being spent and what are our top vacation fears?
While Canadians plan on spending an average of $3,073 on summer travel this year, less than half will be using a portion of their budget to purchase travel medical insurance.?ÇÇ This is despite the fact that requiring medical attention while on vacation is one of the top worries of travelers, along with bad weather and losing something important.
"While it's great news that so many Canadians will be taking advantage of the great weather to hit the road and get some rest and relaxation this summer, it's a concern that so few will be protecting themselves against the unexpected by purchasing travel medical insurance," said Julie Barker-Merz, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, BMO Insurance.
Ms. Barker-Merz noted that medical care abroad can be daunting without adequate travel medical insurance. For example, a broken leg in the United States can cost up to US$20,000, an air ambulance from Florida to Ontario US$15,000 and treatment for decompression sickness in Thailand up to US$40,000. She also points out that, even within Canada, Canadians may not be covered for all required medical attention when travelling to another province.
"Unless you and your family are covered through other means, it's critical to make sure you have travel medical insurance because emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime," said Ms. Barker-Merz. "Just like packing sunscreen and stopping the newspaper before leaving home, making sure you have travel medical insurance should be a high-priority item on any traveler's 'vacation to-do list'."
BMO offers insight when selecting a travel insurance policy:
- Get enough coverage: Look for a travel medical policy that includes medical and dental coverage, air ambulance, private duty nurse expenses and airfare and lodging for a family member to fly out to be by your side.
- Understand who pays: Some insurers pay the doctor directly while others require the traveler to pay up front and then get reimbursed at a later date.
- Read the fine print: Make sure your insurance policy covers you for all your trip activities and is valid for the duration of your trip.
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For more information on BMO Travel Insurance: www.bmo.com/home/personal/banking/insurance/travel.
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The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over, between May 9 and May 13, 2013.
- Travel Insurance
- BMO Financial Group