It’s an alarming reality that over half of Canadians don’t purchase travel insurance when leaving the country. That’s a scary fact when the daily average for a hospital stay in the U.S. can cost over $1,000 a day and can easily reach $10,000 a day for intensive care. Bills reaching into the hundreds of thousands is common. What’s even scarier is something as simple as a broken arm (slipping on some ice) or getting into a car accident are all real possibilities when crossing over the border whether you do it daily or only a few times a year.
For those people that live close enough to the border or frequently jaunt across to save on U.S.-only deals, getting travel insurance should be a high priority. When you factor in the total amount of time you spend across the border, even if it’s only for a few hours at a time, the chance of something going wrong increases significantly.
Unfortunately, purchasing traditional travel insurance every time you skip across isn’t convenient or the most economical.
That’s why multi-trip insurance (sometime known as annual insurance) was created. It’s usually a yearly plan that covers frequent small trips out of the country. It’s also one of the best deals for the frequent border crosser.
Ranging from a few days at a time all the way up to 60 days in length there’s usually a policy that will work for everyone. As well, a lot of companies allow you to add additional days at a reduced cost. So not only can a multi-trip policy work for the frequent crosser but also for the snowbird or long term traveller who also likes the security of knowing they’re covered anytime they leave the country.
If you’re a consistent cross border shopper or are fortunate enough to live in or near a U.S. border town, definitely look into multi-trip insurance. With some plans available for under a hundred a year for a family of four, it’s a small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind.
Where can I get multi-trip insurance?
We think that the Canadian online quote comparison site Kanetix.ca is a great place to start, as it allows you to compare quotes for travel insurance from several different companies at once. You can also compare the prices and policies of multi-trip and single trip policies side by side.
You can get multi-trip insurance almost anywhere you buy single trip insurance.
Many Canadian credit card companies offer multi-trip policies as a perk (click here for our review). Coverage often includes the cardholder’s spouse and children (and sometimes even a travel companion). As always, read the insurance policy carefully, so you know exactly what you’re getting. We like the Capital One Aspire Cash™ World MasterCard®, which offers a suite of travel insurance (including medical travel insurance) at no annual fee.
Tip! Check your wallet – one of the credit cards you’re carrying may already have travel insurance coverage as a perk.
*As always, the information on this page is from one Canadian traveller to another. We have spent years abroad and have gotten to know the ins and outs of the industry however we are not travel insurance agents. If you have any travel insurance questions, please talk to a qualified travel insurance agent or broker. Finally, policies and plans can and do change all the time, without warning, so always consult your insurance policy since that is the legal document to which you are agreeing to.
*This article is only intended as general advice. Please check your own policy carefully.