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Travel insurance: Why it can be crucial to have it before a trip

Whether you are going across the border for a quick day of shopping or you make regular trips to work or visit family, travel insurance may not be something you think about. However, for reasons we explain below, it can be one of the most important things to carry with you.

Benefits of carrying travel insurance across the border

Whether you drive or fly across the border, there is a wide range of losses that travel insurance can cover, including lost luggage or trip cancellation.

But medical expenses are perhaps the most important. 

Getting hurt or sick in another country can be difficult enough without the added expense of receiving care. You can be delayed, coping with pain and stuck in a hospital. But if you don’t have travel insurance, you could wind up paying off the cost of care for years. 

Most insurance companies and policies will not cover medical care abroad. So, you could be responsible for paying for any care you need after a car accident, slip-and-fall accident or emergency like a heart attack. These expenses, including testing, hospital stays and ambulance rides, can add up quickly. 

However, travel insurance, in addition to your regular policies, can cover these costs. 

Isn’t it expensive?

Every policy and company is different, but the average cost of travel insurance is between 4-8% of the cost of your trip. Some estimates put the average cost of travel insurance at $248 per trip, though it will likely be less for people taking short trips between the U.S. and Canada.

Calculations will take into account the following:

  • The length of your trip
  • The destination
  • Your age

Travel insurance is indeed an added expense. However, the cost can be minimal compared to the tens of thousands of dollars you can rack up after an accident. 

Other options to consider

Whether you have travel insurance or not, you could also consider pursuing legal claims against negligent parties after an accident. These can help you recover financial damages to supplement or cover costs that insurance did not cover.

A trip across the border shouldn’t end in a hospital. However, if it does, knowing your options is crucial.