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Survey Shows That Canadians Have A Poor Understanding of Travel/Vacation Health Coverage Plane

Vacations aren’t always carefree – 21% have required medical attention and 6% don’t pack underwear PlaneTORONTO, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ – The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA) conducted a national survey* of Canadians about their travel habits and their understanding of provincial health coverage.

The survey revealed that 35% of Canadian travellers do not buy travel health insurance.

“Only six per cent of Canadians realize that provincial health plans cover approximately nine per cent of medical expenses when travelling outside of Canada,” said THiA President, John Thain. “Travel health insurance is designed to protect against unforeseen medical expenses.”

Of respondents:

  • 21% indicated that they have received medical treatment while travelling
  • The most common reasons for seeking medical care include gastrointestinal issues (21.8%), infection (16.2%) cent) and fractures (10.7%)
  • 60% of those who received medical attention while away had extended medical insurance to pay for the associated expenses
  • Most (59.3%) would pay whatever necessary for medical treatment
  • Associated medical expenses of more than $1,000 would represent a financial crisis for 33.6% of respondents and 32% indicated that unforeseen medical expenses of $5,000 or more would represent a financial crisis
  • Only 28.5% correctly identified the average cost of treating a fracture in the US ($10,000)

Other interesting survey findings about Canadians include:

  • 30%  plan to travel this winter
  • 31%  consider themselves risk takers
  • 30%  report binge drinking on vacation
  • 94%  of travelers pack underwear

“Travel health insurance should be as essential to a vacation as underwear,” said Thain. “Many people will already have some coverage through employers or credit cards and it’s important to understand existing coverage and ensure you have the necessary supplemental coverage.”

THiA recommends that Canadians do the following to have carefree vacations:


  • Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions
  • Know your trip – How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year? Do you plan to scuba dive?
  • Understand your travel insurance policy – insurance companies have staff available to answer any questions related to policies


The THiA website has a guide available to help Canadians understand their travel insurance needs before they investigate policies.

[*]National online survey of 1,025 Canadians, conducted October 1 -2, 2013.

About the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)
Founded in 1998, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is the national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance field. THiA is the leading voice of the travel insurance industry in Canada and is engaged in public education and issues relating to regulatory affairs and member communications.

SOURCE Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA)

Copyright © 2013 Iain & Gail Shankland / (at)

Iain Shankland & Gail Shankland started blogging in order to inspire and motivate people to travel the world from their perspective – specializing in having the most fun while using the least amount of money, travelling on the cheap without sacrificing comfort.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Travel Insurance – The Dreaded Additional Cost That You Just Might Need |

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