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Fact or fiction? 9 popular travel insurance myths debunked

Knowing when you need to buy travel insurance and what kind of policy you need can seem confusing at times. Did you know you should have travel insurance whenever you travel outside of Ontario? Or that you may need additional coverage if you’re going on a helicopter tour?

We recently asked CAA Members about some common travel insurance myths. Check to see if you know fact from fiction.

Myth 1: I can wait to buy travel insurance until right before my trip.

Almost 40 percent of CAA Members think you don’t need travel insurance until a few days before you go. But you shouldn’t wait until you’re packing your bags to get coverage. For some policies, like trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you’ll need to buy as soon as you book. Not only will you have more choice for your plan, but you’ll have a longer window for trip cancellation benefits. If your flight gets rescheduled and you can’t make it, you’ll be protected even if it’s months in advance.

Myth 2: Travel insurance won’t cover me if I have a pre-existing medical condition.

Don’t let a pre-existing health condition keep you from travelling protected. 55 percent of CAA Members know you can purchase a Pre-Existing Conditions rider1 through CAA Travel Insurance which will help protect you, if your health conditions are stable before you go. We cover pre-existing conditions if your health has remained stable for three months prior to travelling. If you’re 70 or older, you’ll need stable health conditions for six months before travelling.

Myth 3: I don’t need travel insurance when travelling in Canada, because I’m covered under OHIP.

The majority – 82 percent to be exact – of CAA Members know that travel insurance is an important purchase whenever you’re travelling outside of Ontario. Even if you’re travelling within Canada, not all medical expenses are covered under OHIP, like ambulances and prescription drugs supplied outside of a hospital. So, it is a smart idea to have travel insurance which covers:

  • Hospital stays, lab tests, nursing, and ground ambulance
  • Emergency dental expenses
  • Reimbursements for vision care, hearing aids, pet care and kennel stays

Myth 4: Travel insurance only covers medical emergencies.

22 percent of CAA Members think travel insurance only protects against medical emergencies. Truth is, CAA Travel Insurance also offers coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel accidents, baggage loss, and more. Our comprehensive coverage exceeds benefits offered through group or credit card plans. 

Myth 5: If I go on a helicopter tour, getting added coverage is unnecessary.  

Did you know a basic travel insurance plan might not cover activities like helicopter tours or hot air balloon rides? CAA Members are split on this myth, with 47 percent believing added coverage isn’t necessary. But it’s true. If one is included in your itinerary, make sure you add an Adventurous Air Activities rider to your CAA Travel Insurance policy. It supplies peace of mind and medical coverage if you’re parasailing, hot-air ballooning or taking a helicopter tour.

You can add Adventurous Air Activities rider to all emergency medical and vacation package plans. It includes optional medical coverage up to $5,000,000 CAD for death or injury sustained.

Myth 6: It’s cheaper to buy a single-trip insurance plan if I’m a frequent traveller.

Only 15 percent of CAA Members don’t realize a multi-trip insurance plan2 can save them time and money if they’re a frequent traveller. This plan protects against the cost of unexpected medical emergencies for multiple individual trips (up to 4, 8, 15, 30, or 60 days each) throughout the year. The more you travel with a multi-trip plan, the more you’ll save. Your multi-trip plan starts each time you leave Canada and if you stay longer than the days included in the plan, a top-up can be purchased. For travel within Canada, your number of travel days is unlimited with a multi-trip plan and a top up is not necessary.

Myth 7: My credit card or group benefits plan has all the coverage I need.

Even though 23 percent of CAA Members believe credit cards and group benefits have everything you need, not all credit card companies include travel insurance. You may need to top up your group benefits plan ahead of your trip. Ask a CAA Travel Consultant to review your policy and travel plans, we’ll make sure you’ve got the coverage you need.

Whatever policy you get, the most important thing is to make sure it fits your individual needs.

Myth 8: There are no insurance plans that cover car rentals.

Only 19 percent of CAA Members believe travel insurance won’t cover car rentals. But the fact is, you can keep all your insurance in one place with CAA. CAA Travel Insurance now offers Rental Vehicle Damage Insurance, so if you get in an accident, it will not count against your personal auto policy.

Myth 9: It’s difficult to buy travel insurance online.

Most CAA Members – 80 percent – know it’s super easy to get coverage online. In just a few simple steps, you can get your quote and CAA Member savings (up to 20% off3) without having to wait. We’ve listened to feedback from our CAA Members and simplified the online process, making it easy to travel safely.

If you’re vacationing soon, start your quote online. You can save your quote for up to 30 days, so you don’t need to commit right away.

Get CAA Travel Insurance

CAA is here to help you get comprehensive coverage for your next trip. You can quickly get a quote online. For more information, visit a CAA Store, or call 1-800-267-8713

CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire may be required to purchase travel insurance. Quotes are valid for 30 days.

  1. All pre-existing medical conditions must be stable within 7 days prior to departure. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Age 59 and under: three months stable prior to each departure date (excludes coverage for lung conditions treated with Prednisone three months prior to departure). Age 60-69: three months stable prior to each departure date. Age 70 and over: six months stable prior to each departure date.

  2. Medical Multi-Trip Plans cover 4, 8, 15, 30, or 60 days per trip depending on the plan you purchased. Top-Up coverage is available for longer trips. Coverage cannot extend beyond 365 days from departure date or effective date.

  1. Applies to CAA Members in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by Membership expiry date). Up to twenty percent (20%) savings applies to the total premium excluding applicable taxes. Minimum premium applies. Subject to change without notice. Excludes Visitors to Canada Insurance. CAA Everyday, Classic®, and Plus® Members save 10%. CAA Premier® Members save 20% at CAA Stores or by calling 1-800-267-8713. CAA Premier Members save 10% and earn 10% in CAA Dollars® when booking online.

®CAA trademarks are owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association.

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