That’s what I often hear.  It will never happen – I am going on this vacation no matter what.  They’ll have to carry me up the stairs to the flight with my leg in a cast – I am going and that’s it and NO THANK YOU – I don’t need insurance.

insurance cartoon

Yep – and then you see the newspaper headlines about people stranded in hospitals outside of Canada with sky-high medical bills that are climbing every day and guess what?  They don’t have the insurance to cover these expenses.  Because if they did then it wouldn’t be news.  They would simply call the insurance company who would step in and take over the whole process.  Of course, travel insurance policies vary from company to company.  That’s why it is up to the traveller to be responsible for themselves and to make sure that they are properly covered.  The best policies will include a generous amount of medical coverage – at least $5M – as well as coverage for cancellation and interruption.  What does interruption mean?  It means that if you are travelling and you miss a connection due to bad weather or mechanical failure you are protected. 

Yes – I can hear you.  Some people say travel insurance is a scam.  From personal experience I can say that every time I travel I take insurance.  And yes, I have made claims.  And yes, I have been paid out.  I have probably paid more in insurance premiums than I have received back from the insurance company in claims because fortunately my claims so far have been fairly small.

But I would never travel without insurance because I don’t want to leave my family and friends feeling that they have to bail me out.

This Go Fund Me business makes me mad.  People make stupid mistakes, travel to a foreign land, maybe have an accident and now the whole world has to pay for them just because they didn’t have the sense to take care of themselves.

Stuff happens – we know that.  That is why companies have to pay Workmens Compensation Insurance or Errors and Omissions Insurance to protect themselves and their employees.  It is the same reason that people buy insurance to cover their homes against fire or flood.  It is what sensible people do.

Reading the heart breaking stories on various Go Fund Me campaigns is hard – even more so when you consider that a little pre-planning could have avoided all of this.  Here is an extract from a campaign where a young girl was injured in a car accident in Bali

“XXXXX  was critically injured in an accident on 10/12/17 whilst overseas and is currently in a foreign hospital where the medical bills to save her life are mounting.
Her parents are retired and the medical bills are causing a huge stress on top of the fact their daughter (our niece) is in a foreign country so badly injured. Distance is so hard under these circumstances. We now have some of her family members bedside updating us on her progress.
Her injuries are substantial and we would appreciate any help towards getting her well enought to come home to her loving family.
Her parents are heart broken to say the least and it is christmas time as well so even harder. This is our way of helping to get her back home to her family and we would be so truly grateful if you can help in anyway through our Go Fund Me page

The funds we are raising will be used for the current medical expenses approx $150000 incurred overseas to date.  Her parents are retired and are currently using all retirement funds and resources to get their daughter home, their funds are being exhausted to save the life of their daughter and this is why we are helping them.”

Now how sad is that?  Can you imagine the stress and worry her parents are going through.  What is so frustrating about this is it could have all been avoided.

But how much does it cost?

Let’s say we have a young person (under 30) going away for just over two months (62 days)  – they can get a policy giving up to $5M medical expenses for $301.94.  That works out to $4.87 per day Cdn $.   But let’s say that same young person is going to Vegas for 3 nights – the same medical insurance offering cover up to $5M is just $19.  Why would you take the chance?  There are a number of Go Fund Me campaigns on the go for Canadians injured in the Vegas shooting.

So instead of Go Fund Me – why not Go Take Care of Yourself – and don’t rely on others to pay for your mistakes.


By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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