Two common assumptions about travel insurance are made by many people that are false. There are many many more out there, but we are highlighting two examples that have been discussed in the news recently.
1) They assume that going to a non-US destination like Mexico doesn't require having travel insurance because your provincial healthcare will cover the costs.
The article above discusses the ways that provincial health care does provide some coverage for Canadians who are traveling abroad. Provincial healthcare will pay for services at predefined levels, which will often not cover your entire medical bill. There is also no provision in provincial healthcare plans that would pay for you to back to Canada in the event of an accident or illness.
Private travel health insurance is necessary in this situation because you will need the extra coverage in the event of a severe illness or accident.
2) They assume that the travel insurance that comes with their credit card is sufficient without looking into the details.
A woman from Headingly, MB was recently injured in a boat accident in South Africa. She was travelling with the understanding that the coverage provided by her BMO Mastercard would be enough protection in the event of an accident. She and her family were horrified to find that the coverage was not sufficient and they were left on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs.
If they had read their policy details the travel insurance on their credit card, they would have known the limitations and could have purchased additional insurance to top-up their credit card insurance. Many cards will cover only a tiny fraction of what private travel health insurance would. Most travel insurance policies obtained from a travel insurance brokerage like Medi-Quote, would cover in the range of two to five million dollars, while many credit card companies cover in the range of 20 to 50 thousand dollars, and sometimes the coverage is only valid if the trip was purchased on the card.
The bottom line is that we all need to read our insurance policies to understand the coverage that we have. And getting additional insurance above and beyond what may be provided from credit card or work benefits is most often the right decision.