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New study shows Canadians are willing to roll the dice when it comes to protecting themselves on vacation

Canadians are taking unnecessary risks when it comes to protecting themselves on vacation. A new study shows almost a third (27%) of Canadians still travel without proper insurance. Of those who do get coverage, less than a quarter (23%) actually read their policy thoroughly to know what they’re covered for.

Posted on Wed, Feb 5th, 2020 9:26 am by news services

According to the Winter Vacation Confidence Index conducted by Ipsos for Allianz Global Assistance Canada, a leading travel insurance and assistance provider, the biggest risk-takers are 18-34 year-olds, with 31 per cent opting for no coverage. Regionally, Atlantic Canadians, at 36 per cent, are most likely to travel uninsured. 


While 73 per cent of Canadians do in fact purchase travel insurance, a concerning finding of the study is that only 23 per cent take time to read their policy thoroughly. Some 38 per cent say they scan it, while 13 per cent say they don’t read it at all.


“Canadians are typically savvy travellers, but this lack of knowledge on the importance of travel insurance and what is covered, suggests we’re still taking unnecessary risks abroad,” says Dan Keon, Vice President, Market Management, Allianz Global Assistance Canada.


The percentage of Canadians who travel uninsured is even more surprising given that 37 per cent of Canadian travellers indicated that their main concern while abroad was safety and security, with that number climbing to 40 per cent among Boomers.

“When you consider that Canadians spend an average of $2,700 for an annual vacation, not having the protection of trip cancellation or interruption is a genuine financial risk,” adds Keon. “And if you are injured or fall ill, the cost of out-of-country healthcare can be devastating – easily in the thousands of dollars. For example, we know from our own claims experience that a broken ankle requiring surgery and admission to hospital in Florida could cost as much as $45,000.”


The study also indicates that Canadians obtain their travel insurance through a variety of means, led by workplace benefits plans (18%), purchasing when booking their trip (15%) and coverage through a credit card (14%). While only seven per cent of those surveyed indicated they buy travel insurance from a broker, which rises to 19 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and 14 per cent in B.C.


“It is encouraging that most Canadians purchase travel insurance,” says Keon. “But they need to understand that travel insurance doesn’t cover every situation. There are different types of insurance plans and levels of coverage so it is important that they review their policy thoroughly and speak to a travel insurance professional if they have questions.”


The results of the Winter Vacation Confidence Index, conducted by Ipsos, are considered accurate within +/-2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.  A vacation was defined as a leisure trip of at least one week outside the respondent’s home province.