Should you buy Travel Insurance?

Hey Travel Pandas!

This subject comes up often and I wanted to take some time to share my personal experiences and thoughts on Travel Insurance. *Disclaimer – We live in Canada so rates will vary and all opinions are based on how much we spend up here

Short Answer – YES

Why do I say YES? Well, first off I have a few credit cards that have that perk and benefit already built into them but I also pay $130 per year to BMO MasterCard for this benefit. If you have ever traveled to the United States, then you will know how incredibly expensive health care of any sort can be. How expensive? How about $250 per bag of IV fluid… ??? Do I need to even mention an ambulance ride to the hospital? It can be as costly as $10k to $20k per night or worse. This isn’t to scare you but rather it’s the undesired truth that is hospitals. If you travel more than twice a year, it’s a no brainer.

Long Answer – YES

I was asked to be the main photographer for a wedding in Maui back in 2011. This was my first time in Hawaii and had no idea what to expect in terms of activities. The day after the wedding, we split up into two large groups, one, remained at Ulua beach in Kihei and the other further away. While snorkeling, I thought it was a good idea to follow this sea turtle swimming nearby without my fins. Although the waters were incredibly calm, as soon as I got into tighter quarters and the reef was much shallower, I found that the current was trying to pull me into the sea. I got tossed around pretty good and tried to avoid the corals as best as I could when I suddenly got pushed towards one and instead of hitting my left rib cage into it, I managed to push off of it with my feet. This is where it gets interesting, I obviously felt a very sharp pain and thought I cut myself on the sharp rocks. When I got closer to my friends swimming in the shallow waters, they took a look at my foot and found out that I had actually stepped on a sea urchin with full force. 200 plus needles in my foot later, I got carried up to the beach then taken to the emergency room nearby. Lucky for me, it wasn’t busy and they took MasterCard! LOL So after several swear words, almost passing out, and large ass needles in my foot to numb certain areas, the bill was a heft $830USD…. (ish)

Post Maui trip – I came home, submitted the bills to MasterCard and within a week, I had receipt a full refund back onto the credit card. No cheque to cash, no going to the bank, nothing…. SIMPLE as that.

Lessons learned –

  1. If you swim deeper than 10 feet of water, wear fins.

  2. Turtles are freaking amazing swimmers so ya….

  3. Travel insurance saved me a ton of cash

  4. Keeping receipts is always important

So these are my thoughts, feel free to probe and see how much travel insurance will cost for you and/or your family. I also know that we have this feeling that it could be a waste because we are careful, safe, etc… but at the end of the day, you just never know. So you blew $30 on the 10 days individual policy, big deal. Anyways, that’s my opinion, tell me what you think in the comment section!

Cheers,

The Travel Pandas

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