Canada, Travel Info & Tips
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For Canadians Living Near The U.S. border, It Can Take Less Than 5 Minutes To Cross Over Into A World of Hurt,,

©Audrey Durose – Fotolia

A recent poll conducted by BCAA (British Columbia Automobile Association) showed that the majority of B.C. travellers crossing the border for short trip take risks – insurance risks from unexpected medical emergencies.

In a recent cross-border travel poll it was revealed that 77% of British Columbians who have travelled to the U.S. without travel insurance, do so because they believe that short trips don’t justify getting insurance.

With many Canadians making travel plans to the U.S. for Black Friday shopping, travellers should consider the risks with leaving their province – even for a few hours, without adequate medical coverage.

“It’s a huge gamble to leave B.C. [Canada] for any length of time without any, or adequate, travel insurance,” says Hubert Rau, BCAA’s vice president of Insurance Marketing. “Learning from our survey that people are travelling unprotected is troubling. Even a minor, unexpected medical emergency, especially in the U.S., could cost thousands of dollars to treat, let alone all the other expenses associated with a medical incident.”

BCAA’s survey of Lower Mainland cross-border travellers also revealed that those who travelled to the U.S. infrequently (1 – 4 times per year) are more likely to go without travel insurance, compared to more frequent travellers. While 89% of frequent cross-border travellers ensure they are covered, only 71% of infrequent cross-border travellers purchase travel insurance,

Travellers may think they are adequately covered by their provincial medical plan, employer plan or through their credit card, but it’s important that travellers take the time to review their current medical policies and close any gaps in coverage.

“Travel medical plans offered by employers and credit card companies often have limited coverage, and [Provincial] Health Insurance may only cover as little as 10% of a person’s medical expenses outside the province” says Rau.

To help ensure British Columbians are adequately protected when travelling to the U.S., BCAA offers detailed advice at on what to consider for travel insurance. Some tips include the following:

Review your current medical policies (including any offered through an employer and/or credit cards) to find out what is and what isn’t covered. Some things to consider:

  • Can your supplier provide you with advice on where treatment may be available?
  • Does your policy cover incidental expenses such as telephone charges, renting wheel chairs and crutches?
  • Where possible, will the supplier coordinate up-front payment of covered medical services? 

Find gaps in your medical coverage by getting answers to some important questions, such as:

  • Does your insurance provider protect your spouse or children? If not, can they be added?
  • Does it cover trips of any length? Some policies have a limit on trip length and you may need to purchase additional coverage for longer trips.
  • What’s the limit on coverage for medical expenses?

 Look for travel insurance that provides coverage for:

  • medical and/or hospital expenses not covered by B.C.’s Medical Services Plan;
  • prescription drugs;
  • ambulances, and;
  • emergency dental care BCAA - logo

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.

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