The summer sunshine is finally here and you’re ready to take-off on your long-awaited vacation. Time to kick back, relax and explore that amazing place on your bucket list. But are you ready if you experience a medical emergency away from home?

No one ever plans to need medical care while away, much less end up in a foreign emergency room, but for experienced motorcycle rider and Interior Savings member Joe, this very thing happened while on a trip to Las Vegas. His trip was cut short when an unexpected accident left him in the hospital in critical condition.

Luckily for Joe, he had travel insurance. His travel medical company not only set aside $250,000 for his medical expenses and travel home, they also took care of coordinating all his coverage, including any provided through his credit card, extended health and BC medical plan. Joe’s insurance saved him hundreds of thousands of dollars that would otherwise have been his to pay while also recovering from a near fatal accident.

Ultimately, having travel insurance is about your peace of mind and preventing life’s twists and turns from taking a toll on your finances. But there are so many options out there! Not to worry, we’re sharing four tips to help you find the right insurance.

Review Your Existing Coverage

Before starting your search, don’t forget to take a look at what coverage you might already have. Credit cards often provide a small amount of insurance for things like lost luggage and flight cancellation. Your BC Medical Services Plan may also insure part (but not all) of your travels. Once you know what coverage you have, you can focus on what you still need.

Get “First Pay” Insurance

The last thing you want in an emergency is to worry about how you’re going to pay for the care you require. When considering travel insurance, make sure the provider is “first pay”. This means that they’ll pay for expenses upfront, rather than reimbursing you after the fact.

Don’t Overlook Emergency Air Transportation

You don’t have to be hiking the Himalayas to need an airlift. Sometimes the nearest hospital doesn’t offer the right specialized treatment or it’s better to transport you closer to home. That’s why making sure your travel insurance covers emergency air transportation is so important. Otherwise, getting the care you need can add up fast.

Consider Multi-Trip

Taking more than two vacations this year? Consider multi-trip insurance. If your trips meet the required trip duration these annual travel insurance plans cover you for any number of trips you take within a one-year period. This type of coverage can offer better value than buying insurance for each trip separately.

In the end, someone who’s lounging on a Caribbean beach isn’t going to need the same insurance as someone deep sea diving off the coast of Thailand. The important thing is that you have the travel insurance designed to fit your specific needs. So get out there and compare your options. And if you need a little guidance along the way,  get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

Safe Travels!