REPEAT: BMO Insurance Summer Travel Study: Eighty-three Per Cent of Canadians Plan on Taking a Vacation This Summer

REPEAT: BMO Insurance Summer Travel Study: Eighty-three Per Cent of Canadians 
Plan on Taking a Vacation This Summer 
- Canadians plan on spending an average of $3,073 on vacations
between May and September 
- Top vacation concerns include: requiring medical attention, bad
weather and losing something of value  
- Only half regularly purchase travel insurance before leaving home 
- Cost of a broken leg can cost up to US$20,000 in the U.S.; an air
ambulance trip from Florida to Ontario can run up to US$15,000 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/05/13 -- BMO Insurance
released the results of its Summer Travel Insurance Study which found
that 83 per cent of Canadians plan on taking a vacation between May
and September. The top international destinations include the U.S.,
Europe and Central and South America.  
The study also found that only half reported that they regularly
purchase travel insurance before heading on vacation, potentially
leaving themselves and their families vulnerable to spiraling costs
in the event they require medical attention.  
The study is the first of a 'Summer Series' from BMO Financial Group
that will examine personal finance issues and trends among Canadians
during the season. 
How much is being spent and what are our top vacation fears? 
While Canadians plan on spending an average of $3,073 on summer
travel this year, less than half will be using a portion of their
budget to purchase travel medical insurance. This is despite the fact
that requiring medical attention while on vacation is one of the top
worries of travelers, along with bad weather and losing something
"While it's great news that so many Canadians will be taking
advantage of the great weather to hit the road and get some rest and
relaxation this summer, it's a concern that so few will be protecting
themselves against the unexpected by purchasing travel medical
insurance," said Julie Barker-Merz, Vice-President and Chief
Operating Officer, BMO Insurance. 
Ms. Barker-Merz noted that medical care abroad can be daunting
without adequate travel medical insurance. For example, a broken leg
in the United States can cost up to US$20,000, an air ambulance from
Florida to Ontario US$15,000 and treatment for decompression sickness
in Thailand up to US$40,000. She also points out that, even within
Canada, Canadians may not be covered for all required medical
attention when travelling to another province. 
"Unless you and your family are covered through other means, it's
critical to make sure you have travel medical insurance because
emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime," said Ms. Barker-Merz.
"Just like packing sunscreen and stopping the newspaper before
leaving home, making sure you have travel medical insurance should be
a high-priority item on any traveler's 'vacation to-do list'." 
BMO offers insight when selecting a travel insurance policy: 

--  Get enough coverage: Look for a travel medical policy that includes
    medical and dental coverage, air ambulance, private duty nurse expenses
    and airfare and lodging for a family member to fly out to be by your
--  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
--  Read the fine print: Make sure your insurance policy covers you for all
    your trip activities and is valid for the duration of your trip. 

Regional Breakdown: 

                        Going on a       Average Amount                     
                   Summer Vacation             Spent on     Always Purchase 
                           in 2013      Summer Vacation    Travel Insurance 
Atlantic                        88%              $2,523                  38%
Quebec                          70%              $1,978                  62%
Ontario                         85%              $3,016                  44%
Prairies                        92%              $6,030                  45%
Alberta                         92%              $2,986                  46%
B.C.                            89%              $3,572                  51%

For more information on BMO Travel Insurance: 
Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia. 
The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a random sample of
1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over, between May 9 and May 13,
Media contacts:
Rachael McKay, Toronto
Ronald Monet, Montreal
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
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