Caliber Insurance Brokers - Travel Insurance

Heading South? Don’t Get Burned by Your Travel Insurance

If you are travelling out of Canada, travel insurance is a very good idea. But all travel insurance policies are created equal, right? Not always. Here’s the basics of what you need to know when you pack your bags and head out in the world.


Our preferred carrier covers up to $5 million for emergency medical expenses. That also includes ambulance, a hospital stay and emergency air transportation back to Canada. All travel plans cover injuries and illness that are sudden and unforeseen. If you leave home with a broken leg, you won’t get your cast changed. If you break your leg in the Grand Canyon, you’re covered.


You can get a $0 deductible, all the way up to a $100,000 deductible. Most people choose a $300, $500 or $1,000 deductible. As with any insurance policy, the higher the deductible – the lower the premium.

Doesn't My Credit Card Cover Me?

When you pay for a trip on your credit card, the credit card provider may include some travel insurance coverage. Make sure you understand what they do – and do not – cover.

For example, one travel credit card policy I looked at requires you to call Assured Assistance before you receive treatment. If you call after receive treatment, you will have to pay a portion of the care up to a maximum of $25,000.  That same credit card only covers you for the first 15 days if you are under 65, or 3 days if you are over 65. If you plan on being gone longer, you need to call your credit card company to buy additional coverage.

Coverage is only for the credit card holder – your spouse or family member may not be included!  Your credit card won’t cover you for uncertified scuba diving, skydiving, or anything considered an ‘Adventure’ or ‘Extreme’ sport.

What About My Group Insurance at Work?

Most employer-sponsored group insurance plans that include health coverage with include some travel coverage. One plan I looked at covered up to $5 million of emergency medical expenses with a 15-day limit. Your group plan may offer up to 30 days of emergency medical travel. If you are going to Vegas for 4 days, this could be fine. If you are going to Europe for 2 months, you’ll need to buy additional coverage from your broker.

Adventure and Extreme Sports

Some travel policies exclude coverage for activities like:

  • Backcountry skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Endurance activities over 6 hours (like an IronMan in Hawaii)
  • Skydiving
  • Scuba Diving over 30 meters
  • Running with the Bulls

When you get a quote from your insurance broker, let them know if you will do anything more than lay on the beach or hit the casino. For a small amount, you can get coverage for all of the activities listed above – and more!

Is Trip Cancellation Worth It?

The maximum benefit for Trip Cancellation is $25,000, which is probably more than you are spending! The cost is much lower than a heart attack in Florida, but the chances of a trip being cancelled are much higher. For that reason, Trip Cancellation costs more than the Emergency Medical policy. If you are concerned about a trip being cancelled, this coverage can give you peace of mind.

Trip Interruption

This feature covers you if a trip is ended early due to an illness, death of a travel companion, travel advisory or natural disaster. The cost of an interruption is cheaper and less likely than a cancellation – and the premium is a lot less than Trip Cancellation.

What About Baggage?

Your homeowner’s policy covers your belongings anywhere in the world, including a vacation. However, if you get your luggage stolen in Wisconsin, it is a claim against your homeowner’s policy. You can buy coverage for up to $1,500 of your stuff.

Renting a Car on Your Trip?

For a small premium, you can get an Extension to Non-Owned Vehicles added to your auto insurance policy. You need to have insurance on the vehicle, which is normally Collision and Comprehensive. This coverage is good anywhere in Canada and the US. If you rent a car in Palm Springs, you are covered. If you rent a car in Mexico, you are not.

If you rent a car outside of Canada and the US, you can purchase Collision coverage here in Canada. Typically, we hear that the premiums are much lower than what the car rental agency charges. However, you will still have to get Liability insurance from the rental agency.

As a service to our clients, we can give them a Confirmation of Coverage letter when they rent a car. Those letters are good to the end of the policy term and can come in handy if the rental agency wants proof of insurance!