7 Things Every Manitoban Needs to Know About Travel Insurance

Family in airport with luggage ready to travel
May 3, 2022

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About to book your next trip? Ready to decompress? What do you say we make sure your vacation is exciting and memorable for the right reasons first—by getting the right insurance in place before your flight takes off! In this article, we break down what you need to know before you pack your bags, so you can rest assured that you, your health, and your finances are covered.

What Manitobans Need To Know About Travel Insurance

Buying travel insurance should always be part of your vacation planning checklist. Sure, you may already be partially covered through your employers’ group benefits plan or credit card, but this coverage is often not enough. So what’s a travel-loving Manitoban to do?

We know buying travel insurance can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to decide if you actually need it. Don’t worry; we’ve done the work for you! We’ve chatted, checked, and created a list of six things every Manitoban needs to know before they head out on their next trip. So you can get back to choosing if you want an ocean or jungle view.

Travel Directly To The Info You Need Most

#1 How Much Travel Health Insurance Manitobans Need

All Manitobans need basic travel insurance, but depending on your health, your itinerary, and your idea of holiday fun, you may want to look into extended insurance, too.

Basic travel health insurance plans only cover emergency medical expenses. That means pre-existing or chronic conditions aren’t covered. Neither are trip-related issues like cancellation and lost baggage. Think of these plans as a carry-on suitcase: they’re cheaper, but they’ll only take you so far.

Extended travel health insurance plans are more like a checked bag. It’s got everything you know you need to have plus a few things you want to have for peace of mind. (Like the backup hair dryer you pack just in case the one at the hotel is no good.) 

This insurance is much more extensive and covers things like:

  • Trip interruption/cancellation
  • Accidental death & dismemberment
  • Baggage insurance
  • Rental car insurance
  • Insurance for sports & activities

…and more, depending on which policy you get and which add-ons you choose.

Travel Insurance Add-Ons We Recommend for Manitobans

If these past two years taught us anything, it’s that things change fast. So instead of hoping nothing goes awry, let’s just prepare you in case it does.

Trip Cancellation & Interruption

We always recommend interruption and cancellation policies. Especially while COVID-19 is still a part of our everyday lives because we just don’t know if, how and when details like travel plans, testing, and vaccine and quarantine requirements will change. Better to insure your trip and give yourself room to make changes if you need them rather than being stuck with a trip that costs you WAY more than you planned for!

Related: What Canadians Need To Know About Travel Insurance as COVID-19 Restrictions Lift

Baggage Insurance

Sitting at the conveyor belt waiting as fewer and fewer bags come down the drop—and feeling a little like the last kid to be picked up at school—is not the most exciting way to kick off a vacation! Insuring your baggage lets you breathe easy knowing that even if your bag gets lost, you’ll be able to buy what you need and still enjoy your trip.

Travel Health Insurance Start & End Dates

No matter what plan you choose, you’ll want to make sure your coverage extends the whole duration of your trip including the day you leave and the day you come home.

To find the policy that fits you as well as that brand new outfit you bought for your trip—one that considers any coverage you already have, where you’re going, and what you’ll be doing—get in touch with us! We’ll help you sort out your options and make the best choice.

#2 Insurance For Manitobans Travelling Within Canada

There’s no doubt that we’re lucky to have access to a universal healthcare system in Canada. We can rest easy knowing that most of the illness or injury expenses we incur while visiting another province would still be covered under our provincial health plans. But many travellers are surprised to learn that our public health system doesn’t cover everything that happens to us—or everywhere we go. Certain prescription drugs, dental emergencies, and even ambulance services aren’t always covered and could cost you a pretty penny if you need them. For this reason, even if you’re just travelling within Canada, we recommend buying an additional travel insurance policy!

#3 Why Credit Card Travel Insurance Doesn’t Always Cut It

Sure, most credit cards offer some form of travel insurance, but often, it’s just not enough. Be sure to read your policy details in depth before you take off, and as you do, be wary of the limitations and maximums of the coverage your card offers. There may be exclusions or fine print that, if missed, can leave you without the reimbursement you need. 

Bottom line: While it’s great to have a credit card that offers travel insurance benefits, be sure you know and understand what it covers and get additional insurance to fill in the gaps!

#4 The Best Time For Manitobans To Buy Travel Insurance

Travel insurance must be purchased BEFORE you leave on your trip. Even 30 minutes before while you’re driving to the airport will work! Once your plane goes wheels up or you drive over a border, sadly, it’s too late (in most cases) to get insured. Doing your research and buying early can help you truly unplug during your time away!

Can You Buy Travel Insurance When You Are Already Abroad?

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to purchase travel insurance once you’ve left. However, you are usually able to extend the coverage you’ve already purchased if your trip ends up being longer than you’d planned for. Every policy and insurance company is different though, so just make sure to ask about this while buying your travel insurance.

Can You Buy Travel Insurance At The Airport?

It’s relatively easy to purchase travel insurance nowadays. There are websites you can access wherever you have data and wifi, and even travel insurance companies inside airports. So long as you haven’t started your trip, you can buy insurance at the airport!

#5 Tips For Manitobans Buying International Travel Insurance

If you’re travelling soon, keep these things in mind:

Cover Your Whole Trip

Make sure to purchase coverage for the entire duration of your trip. This way, you’ll be covered right up until you get home. Remember, you can usually extend your coverage once you are away. If you need to do this, be sure to extend it before your coverage runs out.

Purchase Before You Go

Once you leave the country, most insurance companies can no longer offer you travel insurance for your trip. Make sure getting travel insurance is on your pre-trip checklist so you know you have the protection you need.

Make Sure You Have The Right Coverage

Unless you’re certain it’s enough for you, don’t settle for a basic travel health insurance plan. Discuss where you plan to go and what you plan to do while you’re there with your Insurance Consultant who will help you make sure you’ve got all the coverage you need.

Don’t Rely On Extended Coverage

Your employer’s group insurance package or your credit card travel insurance may offer travel insurance, but don’t just assume it will be enough. Read the fine print and look specifically for limitations and exclusions so you’re never surprised by insufficient coverage.

This rings true for other types of insurance as well. Don’t assume that because you are young and healthy or because you have coverage through another source– like your work or spouse– that you are covered.

If you’re young and don’t hold your own insurance outside of group plans, we recommend you check out our free Guide To Insurance For Manitobans in their 20s and 30s and start to familiarize yourself with the insurance options you have. Insurance is the cheapest and easiest to get when you’re young, so what are you waiting for?

#6 Tips When Buying Travel Insurance For Trips Within Canada

Our best advice for travel within Canada doesn’t change that much. You’ll still want to:

  • Make sure you’re covered for the entire duration of your trip
  • Purchase your insurance before you hop on a plane or cross a border
  • Ask questions while booking to make sure you pick the right plan for you
  • Investigate coverage exclusions and limitations before relying on the coverage offered through your employer’s health plan or credit card

Also, when travelling within Canada, don’t depend on your universal health insurance alone without reading the specifics and the limitations of your coverage first. Each province is different, and there may be some things that are not covered you’re unaware of while travelling!

#7 Travel Insurance Essentials For Different Destinations

Different vacation spots feature different landscapes, activities, and lifestyles. So they often require different insurance coverage, too! Here are some specific, location-based insurance tips for Manitobans:

Travel Insurance For Manitobans Going To Australia

Playing with the kangaroos is fun, but getting an unexpected kick to your mouth that ends with you needing emergency dental services isn’t! Be sure you have emergency medical and dental coverage before heading down under.

Travel Insurance For Manitobans Going To Italy

Those narrow, cobblestoned roads are romantic and Insta-worthy, but they can also lead to accidents while travelling. Consider buying some extra rental car insurance!

Travel Insurance For Manitobans Going To Costa Rica

The jungle is magnificent—but you won’t be alone in it. A nasty bite or ziplining incident could land you in the hospital and extend your trip. Get emergency medical and trip interruption insurance to ensure your extra stay doesn’t cost you all of next year’s vacation fund!

Travel Insurance For Manitobans Going To Cuba

The water in Cuba is so beautiful and clear! It’s the perfect place to sea (ha!) fish and marine life while scuba diving. Just make sure you have sports and activities insurance! Accidents that occur while you engage in extreme sports like scuba diving aren’t typically covered by basic insurance.

Manitoba Travel Insurance FAQs

You’ve got travel insurance questions, and we’ve got answers!

You sure can! If you come back early or end up not going, you can cancel the policy. Just be aware that you may or may not receive a refund for any premiums already paid, so best to ask before booking.

Yes, all of your vehicles and vehicular equipment need to be insured when travelling! Be sure to speak with an Insurance Consultant about your specific needs, and they’ll set you up with the appropriate coverage.

When you’re young or young-at-heart, being on vacation is a great time to explore and say yes to bucket-list activities you don’t get to do at home (bungee-jumping, anyone?). Having the right coverage in place in advance lets you be spontaneous without the fear of financial hardship!

 

That’s why we recommend that young people opt for these travel insurance add-ons:

 

  • Emergency medical coverage
  • Trip interruption and cancellation coverage
  • Extreme sports and activities coverage

 

Related: A Guide to Extreme Sports Insurance 

Booking The Trip? Get The Insurance!

Whether you’re travelling domestically or internationally, for one week or six, making sure you’re adequately covered is the best way to keep you, your family, and your finances safe while you’re gone.

Ready to get this to-do off your list? Get in touch with us! We’ll answer your questions, address your concerns, and help make sure you have the protection you need for your trip. But be warned, we may live vicariously through you, too. (What can we say? Winnipeg winters are tough!)