Medical costs can be disastrous when travelling
(NC) Enjoy your deserved winter getaway, but never opt out of travel insurance, say advisors in this field.
According to a recent survey by Pollara, 17 per cent of Canadians have less than $1,000 in savings to draw on in the event of an emergency – all the more reason to cover yourself when you travel.
Lori Hartery, the financial services manager with Western Financial Group, explains that an out-of-country medical expense can have horrendous financial implications, particularly for those without insurance. “Many of us don't realize the out-of-pocket expenses that go hand-in-hand with foreign medical assistance, and will gamble on travel without insurance to avoid paying nominal premiums,” she says. “It's scary to think that so many people are opting out of travel insurance because they are unprepared financially to cover that kind of cost.”
Several years ago, Albertan, Leila Metzgar took a weekend trip to San Francisco with her fiancé. While site-seeing on the first day, she began to experience sharp pains in her stomach. By the time she returned to the hotel, her pain was so severe she was unable to walk. A trip to the hospital and an x-ray showed that Leila's appendix was near bursting, requiring an emergency appendectomy followed by a three night stay in a San Francisco hospital. A trip that she had budgeted a few thousand dollars for, wound up totaling more than $60,000 as a result of unforeseen medical expenses. Fortunately they had the appropriate insurance and so all expenses were covered.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your family from a costly medical bill? Explore travel insurance options and review your existing policy, says Hartery. “Understanding what it will and won't cover is important. Depending on your policy, age, and medical history, there can be different limitations or restrictions.”If you have questions about your existing policy or what kind of coverage you might need for an upcoming trip, more information is available at www.westernfinancialgroup.ca.
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