Canadian travellers take risky retreats

By Staff | September 5, 2012 | Last updated on September 5, 2012
2 min read

Investors avoid major risks to protect their wealth and portfolios. It seems Canadian travellers, though, have no problem with taking chances.

A new survey by American Express Canada says most Canadians forgo travel insurance when planning a trip.

Read: Have a safe trip with travel insurance

It finds only 59% of those travelling this year will purchase insurance prior to taking off. Worse, only 30% regularly look into it when planning a getaway, preferring to research their chosen destination’s attractions and hotels.

“People don’t realize their provincial health care may not cover their entire medical expenses abroad, leaving them vulnerable while away from home,” says Jeff Gladwish, director of insurances at American Express Canada.

Read: Canadians don’t understand insurance products

Canadians travelers are also naïve about the costs of medical care around the globe. Only 2% say they have the means to pay even $10,000 for health expenses while travelling—an amount that wouldn’t cover the most basic costs in many countries.

For instance, one Ontario resident recently shelled out more than $300,000 after suffering a sudden heart attack abroad, for instance.

So, what’s deterring your clients from purchasing insurance?

The majority says they’re not sure if they’re getting a good deal (72%), it’s complicated to compare products (65%), and they don’t understand what coverage includes (66%). By addressing these concerns, advisors can not only assist in their clients’ planning, but help them protect their families and wealth.

Read: Travel insurance protects net worth

Additional findings:

  • 43% have travelled alone
  • 15% have travelled off resort
  • 1 in 10 say they’ve travelled to countries with known travel warnings
  • 14% travel to a remote locations removed from medical assistance
  • 10% drive scooters or motorcycles without a helmet while travelling

Also read:

Protect clients going to volatile countries

Insuring children

Planning succession before your next vacation staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.