Canadian Underwriter

Canadian travelers concerned about safety, but many don’t purchase travel insurance: Desjardins survey

June 12, 2012   by Canadian Underwriter

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About 66% of Canadians surveyed by Desjardins Financial Security expect to travel within Canada in 2012 and yet almost one-quarter of these travelers aren’t planning on purchasing travel insurance.

The 2012 Desjardins Financial Security national health survey surveyed 1,529 Canadians across the country. The survey found 57% of respondents expected to travel to the United States in 2012. One third of Canadians traveling within Canada planed to visit outside their province of residence.

A substantial number of these Canadians planned to forego purchasing travel insurance, despite affirming their commitment to personal safety.

A full ninety-one per cent of respondents agreed that personal safety is an important consideration when they travel. And yet, only 52% of respondents intended to buy travel insurance for their next out-of-province or international trip (such respondents were based entirely in Ontario and Quebec).

“While safety is obviously an important factor for Canadians, it’s clear that many are not taking steps to prepare for the unexpected when they travel,” said François Morel, insurance sales consultant with Desjardins Financial Security. “For example, treating an uncomplicated lower leg or arm fracture in a U.S. hospital could cost well in excess of $10,000 for an uninsured patient. Removal of the appendix, another common and unpredictable procedure, costs an average of $33,000.”

Young travelers aged 18 to 24 were much less likely to make sure they always carry travel insurance. Among those respondents, only 42.1% reported that they always carry travel insurance when they travel out of province, compared to 63.2% overall.

Young people were also much more cavalier about the need for insurance when traveling south of the boarder. They were over 20% less likely than the average respondent to disagree with the statement: “Travel insurance is unnecessary when traveling to the U.S.” While traveling, young people were more likely to take part in risky sports or activities (57.7% compared to 37.2% overall).

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