Travel Insurance Dont Leave Home Without It


It won't happen to me. How often have we said that to ourselves? I know I have thought it on many occasions, and in some cases said it out loud.

Over the past year or so, I have been traveling a lot more. With that comes the possibility of something going wrong while away. It could be something as simple as a stolen wallet or lost luggage. Or it could be an unexpected sickness or injury that requires some form of doctor visit or worse, hospitalization.

I remember as a teen traveling with my family in Florida with my very own traveler's cheques. I was very proud of the fact that I had saved my own money for the trip and was persuaded by my parents to get the money converted into traveler's cheques in case something happened to my purse. They were lost somewhere between Orlando and Venice, Florida. I contacted American Express and reported them missing. They were most helpful and had them cancelled and replaced within 24 hours to the residence I was staying at in Venice.

The American Express customer service experience - how well they treated me, a young girl on her first real trip with her own money - made me a loyal Amex customer as an adult. But it's not just me I have to think about while travelling - I have my own family now. What would happen to our family financially if I (or they) were involved in some unpleasant and unplanned accident that required hospitalization while out of country?

While planning an upcoming family trip to California in June, we decided to look into American Express Travel Insurance to see what it would cost and what would be covered - and we were pleasantly surprised at how affordable, comprehensive and customizable it is. You get only what you need and don't have to pay for unwanted extras.

We have all heard horror stories of people taking ill while on vacation or business and having to be hospitalized. My very own aunt was on a business trip to Calgary from Florida a couple of years ago. She fell ill and had to be taken to emergency by ambulance. Several hours and many tests later, doctors determined there was a movable blockage in her intestines. Medication was prescribed and within a few hours of taking the prescription she was feeling better and was discharged - with a bill for $27,000. Luckily, she had travel insurance.

Amex connected us with a Travel Insurance customer from Toronto who suffered a near drowning experience in Florida that generated over $40,000 in medical fees. She was released from one hospital and went to visit her traveling companion at another hospital, where she collapsed and was released four days later. This meant that there were now two different hospitals issuing invoices for the same patient. Imagine the possible confusion for the insurer! American Express Travel Insurance took care of everything - including the billing from two different hospitals - so she could focus on recovering physically and emotionally. With that kind of experience and service, I am sure she won't think twice about travel insurance in the future.

I believe one of the reasons we don't give much thought to the idea of travel insurance is the cost. I have always thought it to be too expensive and not in the budget. But then neither are unforeseen medical expenses. I think that travel insurance is a small price to pay for that overall peace of mind, and should be calculated into the overall cost of any trip, be it personal or for business.

You can't predict the unexpected, but you can plan for it. The right level of travel insurance will ensure smooth transitions should issues arise. And, just as with its traveler's cheques, American Express is available to all Canadians, not just Amex Cardmembers. Learn more at www.americanexpress.ca/travelinsurance.






 This blog was sponsored by our friends at American Express.