You like to travel, right? But, what if you are involved in an accident or serious illness, who will pay the bills? It might be a good idea to get some travel insurance.
Since we’ll be leaving on an extended trip soon, I’ve been busy doing some research on insurance companies, which I’m sharing so that it can hopefully save you some of the time I already wasted on it. My criteria for a good travel insurance policy, besides being cheap, is: 1. it covers outdoor recreation, specifically hiking, cycling, climbing, scuba diving, white water rafting, etc. 2. it has adequate medical coverage, and covers accidents, illness and evacuation. 3. would cover us for a few months at a time. Also, I prefer a policy that can be extended while overseas. In order to keep insurance costs down, we don’t get baggage or trip interruption coverage, since these are losses we can afford.
Typically, these policies require you to have a valid BC health plan (BC MSP) and will not cover you in areas where there is a travel warning (except for IMG, which is considerably more expensive). For comparison, I include the quotes we got for two Canadian residents of age 32 on a five month trip, and the approximate cost per person per day. In some cases one can buy a cheaper policy with a deductible (typically $250-300), and the policy would also typically be more expensive if it includes travel to the US, and cheaper if you are younger. A key finding was that many so called insurance providers (such as BCAA) actually outsource their insurance policies, and you can contact those companies directly to (usually) get a better deal.
This is not a comprehensive list and is meant as a starting point only: read your policy carefully before buying, prices might change, and your results might vary. Have a great trip!
1. Travel Underwriters (since re-branded as TuGo). My choice for our trip – almost the cheapest and good coverage with a $5M policy. Cost for two for 152 days: $391.56, or $1.29 per person per day (with $0 deductible).
2. Bon Voyage (from Travel Cuts). Their budget option is the cheapest by a small margin, but has a smaller coverage at $1M. Cost for two for 152 days: $382, or $1.26 per person per day. Interestingly this policy appears to be provided by RBC Insurance which doesn’t offer a better deal.
3. BCAA. Use Travel Underwriters as their insurance provider, but have a slightly higher coverage at $10M (overkill, we feel). 5% discount online. Cost for two for 152 days: $513.92 (with $0 deductible) or $424.54 (with $250 deductible), so $1.41-$1.69 per person per day.
4. TIC. Need to get a quote through an insurance agent such as Westland Insurance. $491 or $1.62 per person per day for a $5M policy.
5. The Co-Operators. Use TIC as their insurance provider, MEC members get a 15% discount. $534 or $1.77 per person per day, $5M policy.
6. World Escapade, $541 or $1.79 per person per day (includes US travel).
7. World Nomads $704 or $2.33 per person per day, $5M coverage.
8. IMG – expensive, but the only option I found that covers traveling to a country or region with a travel warning, in which case their coverage holds fully, except for political evacuation and claims due to terrorism acts. $1145/$1007/$916 for $0/$100/$250 deductible, giving $3.79/$3.33/$3.03 per person per day, for a $1M policy.
If you have any relevant information, please post a comment!