Itinerary – decided. Flights – booked. RV Rental – booked. Campgrounds – booked. Next summer's vacation plans are settled!
Having lived in Calgary for two decades, Newfoundland has been on our bucket list for years and now we can just sit back and look forward to our vacation … or, have we forgotten something? This “something” isn’t really anything we’ve ever previously considered. When talking about the trip with friends, one of them asked “Have you bought travel insurance?”. My immediate reaction was “Why?” I’m not leaving Canada so why would I need travel insurance? I’m Canadian and surely any medical issues will be covered by my provincial health card … the answer? It might or it might not.
In most cases, if you present your provincial health care card to an out of province medical or hospital service provider and receive insured service, there is no cost to you. Most provinces have reciprocal agreements but not all – make sure you know before you travel. In our case, we probably don’t need Emergency Medical Insurance as our province has an agreement with Newfoundland, but what about Trip Cancellation & Holiday Interruption?
You may not think you need travel insurance when travelling in Canada but it's a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before heading off without it
Our total investment in this vacation so far (before we’ve even left home) is more than $10,000. Will we get that money back if an unforeseen circumstance forces us to cancel immediately before we travel? What happens if we have some sort of incident while on our vacation and we can’t continue? Will we get a refund on unused RV rental nights and campground bookings we couldn’t use? Can we afford to just flush that money down the drain? I think not. While some of the providers we booked with might be benevolent and agree to at least partially refund us, don’t count on it – they are not there to be our insurance provider! And their terms and conditions make it clear that they are under no obligation to do so.
For such a large travel investment, trip cancellation insurance makes a lot of sense. There are no shortage of companies online offering travel insurance but make sure you know exactly what’s covered before opting for one based on price alone. In the end, we opted to take out travel insurance and now we can just sit back and continue fine-tuning our vacation plans with peace of mind knowing that all our bases are covered. Newfoundland … here we come!
Left: St John's, Newfoundland. Right: Green Gardens Coastal Site, Newfoundland