BMO March Break Travel Study: One-in-Four Canadians Have Required Medical
Attention While Travelling
- Six-in-ten Canadians do not regularly purchase travel medical
insurance before leaving home
- Older Canadians more likely to buy insurance
- Half of Canadians unclear about who covers health costs when away
- Average cost per hospital stay in the U.S. for adults ages 45-84
was over $12,000 in 2010
- BMO Insurance offers tips on how to select the right travel
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/12/13 -- With March Break upon
us and thousands of Canadians heading to the slopes or beaches, BMO
Insurance reminds travelers to make sure they have travel medical
insurance before leaving home. According to a BMO study, one-quarter
of Canadian travelers have needed medical attention while travelling,
but only 41 per cent purchase travel medical insurance on a regular
"Checking to see whether you have the right travel medical insurance
should be one of the first things you cross off your list before you
pack," said Julie Barker-Merz, Vice-President and Chief Operating
Officer, BMO Insurance. "Whether it's a broken leg or the stomach
flu, health issues can arise while on holiday. Canadians should
secure themselves with the right kind of insurance."
Highlights of the study include:
-- Forty per cent of Canadians have reported that they have travelled with
someone who has required medical assistance.
-- More than 60 per cent of Canadians, 65 years and older usually or always
purchase travel insurance, while only 49 per cent of those under 30 do.
When asked about the specific costs associated with medical treatment
while abroad, the study found that the majority of Canadians do not
realize how much money is at stake. As well, only 50 per cent of
Canadians correctly identified that, for those travelling without
medical insurance, they themselves are primarily responsible for
covering their medical expenses.
According to the U.S. Government's Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality, the average cost per hospital stay in the U.S. for adults
ages 45-84 was over $12,000 in 2010.
"A medical emergency can turn into an unfortunate financial situation
given the high cost of medical ser
vices that can be incurred while
away, including medical consultations, ambulances, hospital stays or
emergency air transport," said Ms. Barker-Merz. "Before you head out,
be sure to check with your insurance provider to ensure you will be
covered adequately. That way you can rest easy and enjoy your
BMO offers insights on what Canadians should consider when selecting
a travel insurance policy:
-- Get enough coverage: Basic travel insurance will cover things like lost
luggage, trip cancellation and missed connections, but may not include
medical coverage. Look for a travel policy that includes medical and
dental coverage, air ambulance, private duty nurse expenses, trip
interruption and airfare/lodging for a family member to be by your side.
-- Make it cost-effective: "Pay-as-you-go" medical travel insurance can be
purchased before each trip. However, those who are out-of-province or
out of Canada more than once during a 12-month period should consider a
policy with an annual premium. For example, BMO's 10-Day Annual Travel
Medical Insurance offers emergency medical coverage for the first 10
days of a trip for an unlimited number of trips each year, with coverage
options available for individuals or families. This option can be
extended for trips that exceed 10 days for an additional premium.
-- Understand who pays: Some insurers pay the doctor directly while others
require the traveler to pay up front and then get reimbursed at a later
date. Find this out beforehand to avoid confusion at your time of need.
-- Read the fine print: Make sure your insurance policy covers you for all
your trip activities and is valid for the duration of the trip. Be sure
to clarify any issues with the insurer before leaving home. Keep a copy
of the policy for your records and the contact information of your
The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a random sample of
1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over, between June 14-18, 2012.
For more information on BMO Travel Insurance:
Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia.
Rachael McKay, Toronto
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
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