Get travel coverage for less

Tips on how to pay less for travel medical insurance.

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From the April 2013 issue of the magazine.

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Don’t buy travel health insurance through a travel agent. It’s often cheaper elsewhere. For instance, an all-inclusive travel package for a 40-year-old on a $1,000 one-week trip to Cuba was $140 through a package tour operator, including up to $5 million in medical coverage. But TIC Travel Insurance offered a similar package for $80.

Get an overview at Kanetix.ca. This website provides competing quotes from leading Canadian travel insurance providers, based on various criteria, deductibles and special offers that can influence the rates charged. For a healthy individual going on a short trip, generally expect to pay up to $35 to $45 under age 40, $45 to $55 at age 55, and $60 to $70 at age 65.

Choose a family rate. “Couple coverage is typically a multiple (such as 1.8) of the premium for individuals,” says John Thain of THIA. “Family coverage, which includes dependent children, is typically two times the premium for individual coverage.”

Plan ahead. For those travelling outside the country more than once a year, annual plans may provide a better value. Joining groups like the Canadian Snowbird Association or the CAA (which offers tailored plans to members) is another way to save.

Increase your deductible. If you can afford a deductible of at least $100 that will get you a discount of several per cent, says Milan Korcok of travelinsurancefile.com.

Take shorter trips. Snowbirds travelling for extensive periods should consider breaking their trip into 60-day periods with an annual 60-day multi-trip plan, says Korcok. This allows you as many 60-day trips out of the country as you can fit into a year, and with lower premiums.

For more information on what type of coverage you should buy read, Are you really covered?

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