As part of a sponsorship agreement with the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), the company wanted me to talk about my long term commitment (10 years!) to CAA and travel insurance.
I do it. I do it all the time. Yes, I buy travel insurance and I like it. Why? Most importantly for peace of mind, buying insurance before a trip means I don’t worry about what ‘might’ happen while traveling.
My travel insurance provider of choice is CAA (AAA in the US). Being a member of CAA means I can bundle all of my coverage in one place. For example, if I’m on a road trip anywhere in North America, CAA will help me deal with emergency road mishaps involving my 10 year old VW. This is totally needed because I swear my car deliberately waits for a vacation road trip to act up, like the time I was in upper state New York and my brake-line broke, in Potsdam, in January.
Let me tell you, slippery icy roads and a broken brake line are two things that should not go together. AAA towed my car to a local, reputable repair shop; I had the brake-line replaced within a few hours, paid the body shop for the work, and was back on the road.
While waiting for repairs I was thinking about all of the what-ifs? What if I had lost control of the car and crashed? What if I went over a cliff and needed to be air lifted to a hospital? Yes, my mind works this way. I made a promise to myself to never leave home without having travel insurance in place.
Buying Travel Insurance for the ‘What Ifs’
One week of basic medical travel insurance from CAA costs me very little for providing the following coverage:
- Emergency Medical Expenses up to $5 million CAD
- Emergency Dental Expenses
- Medical Repatriation
- Family Transportation
- Death Expenses
- Escort of Children
- Terrorism Coverage
- Return of a Vehicle
- Subsistence Allowance
- Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation
- Hospital Allowance
- Pet: Return / Care / Kennel Costs
- Vision Care,Hearing Aid
Over the years, and after much travel I’ve come to the realization that buying insurance through CAA has made my job easier. I deal with one company and I can purchase any or all of the insurance products I feel I need while traveling, and bonus, they offer multi trip insurance!
Perfect for the constant traveler.
If you travel several times a year, the 15 and 30 day multi trip plans offered by CAA are a great option, with a one time application, you get the benefit of being able to take multiple trips per year without having to remember to purchase insurance each time you travel.
Here are a few other very good reasons to buy travel insurance:
1. Weird stuff happens. Remember the volcanic ash eruption that grounded European air travel a few years ago? Yes, totally weird right? Air travel was completely halted, and Europe is a pretty expensive place to be stuck in for an extra one or two weeks. I bet European travelers that bought trip delay and trip interruption were not as stressed about the whole mess compared to those who had to shell out hundreds of dollars extra for hotels and other travel expenses.
2. Sometimes people wake up dead in the morning. And who knows, it may well happen on a trip! I know it’s a horrible thought but sometimes life throws you horrible situations. Just a couple of years ago two young Quebec sisters were found dead in their Thailand hotel room after being accidently poisoned. So tragic, but even in tragic circumstances, one must deal with reality. That’s what travel insurance does, it helps you deal with the horrible, never –thought- of things that can and do happen. It’s there to help lessen the burdens placed on our families if things do go terribly wrong.
3. Taxi drivers and some cruise line captains are crazy drivers both at home and worldwide. Getting in an accident at home is a bummer but imagine how much worse it would be in a foreign country. Insurance sure comes in handy if you need to mend a broken body.
The recent nightmare faced by the Costa Concordia Cruise passengers when their cruise ran aground is another example where having travel insurance would be vitally important. Instead of waiting for Costa Cruise Lines to offer assistance, passengers with travel insurance had the option of accessing immediate assistance from their insurance provider. A basic insurance policy would cover things like relaying messages back home, replacing lost ID and getting on flights quickly.
4. Buy it and Relax Insurance is for the costly, unexpected experience that most of us, hopefully, will never have deal with while on holidays. It’s for the once in a lifetime experience that will destroy all your nominal assets. It’s Insurance for disasters.
At the end of the day, I certainly feel better traveling with insurance, I can relax knowing I’ve done my due diligence to protect myself and my family and I do believe that travel insurance is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Canadian Automobile Association. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of CAA.