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A Guide to Winter Holiday Travel Insurance

Are you heading home for a Christmas family vacation? Or are you escaping the January or February weather with a cheap all-inclusive vacation somewhere warm? If so you might want to protect yourself your family your pocketbook and your trip with winter holiday travel insurance. This will help you cover unexpected expenses or recoup costs in an emergency.

There are a few common types of winter holiday travel insurance:

  • Travel medical
  • Trip interruption
  • Trip cancellation
  • Baggage or luggage protection
  • Sports coverage

We’ll go through each one and explain how they may help as well as go over some frequently asked questions about travel insurance.

Travel Medical Insurance for Winter Vacations

If you get one type of travel insurance it should be travel medical coverage. This protection will help cover your expenses if you get sick or injured while on vacation. While no one plans on getting appendicitis or breaking an ankle it can happen. Navigating foreign health care and medical costs can be scary and expensive.

Travel medical insurance can help. This type of protection can cover expenses relating to:

  • Transporting you to medical services
  • Medical diagnostics and treatment
  • Essential medical supplies
  • Prescription medications
  • Getting you back home for further treatment if required
  • Transporting your dependents or a travelling companion with you
  • Related out of pocket expenses
  • Aid in navigating the health care system

Exactly what’s covered will depend on the insurance company and your individual policy. You can get a travel medical insurance quote here.

Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation Insurance for Winter Holidays

If you need to cancel your winter vacation or head home in the middle of a trip due to an unexpected emergency this type of insurance can help. Trip interruption and trip cancellation will help you get home and recoup some of your costs. It covers a variety of situations such as:

  • Unexpected sickness injury or death of you your travelling companion or a close family member
  • A new travel advisory for your destination
  • Cancelled flight or missed connection because of bad weather or a schedule change
  • A travel visa denial
  • You lose your job
  • Your home becomes unlivable because of a natural disaster or similar event (so you can’t go on vacation)

Precisely what is covered will depend on your individual policy and your insurer. Your broker can help explain which scenarios are covered and which aren’t. For example if you book a trip and there is already a travel advisory for your destination you won’t be covered if you cancel for that reason (unless there is a new advisory after you book). Cancellations or interruptions must be unexpected emergencies.

Trip interruption covers you while you’re on your trip. The following may be covered:

  • Emergency flights or transportation to get you home
  • Alternate flights or transportation to get you to your destination
  • Recouped costs for pre-booked pre-paid accommodation transportation and/or activities
  • Out of pocket expenses for accommodation food and other necessities while you’re delayed or en route home

Trip cancellation applies for when you cancel your trip before you depart. It can help you recoup costs for any pre-paid transportation accommodation and activities.

The scenarios and expenses that are covered will depend on your individual policy. There may also be individual limits – for example expenses for an emergency flight home may be limited to $1500 per person or a maximum of $3000 total.

Baggage Insurance for Winter Vacations

If your baggage or luggage is delayed stolen or lost this type of insurance will help cover the necessities or replace what was lost. This doesn’t usually just include air travel – it also includes boats buses and other water and ground transportation

Baggage insurance has two main benefits:Your expenses for getting the necessities right away are covered.You don’t need to make a home insurance claim which means your rates won’t go up.

If you’re travelling over Christmas and bringing presents with you in your baggage this coverage is especially valuable. Make sure you have a list of everything in your suitcase – it wouldn’t hurt to take a picture and have a copy of the receipts either.

Sports Coverage for Winter Holidays

Did you know that certain sports and activities aren’t covered by normal travel medical insurance or trip interruption insurance?

Here’s a list of activities that may not be covered by normal travel insurance:

  • Contact sports like rugby football and hockey
  • Back-country winter sports like back-country skiing snowboarding and snowshoeing
  • Bobsledding luge and skeleton
  • Downhill sports like mountain biking
  • Ice climbing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Parachuting paragliding or sky diving
  • Motorized sports
  • Rodeo activities
  • Scuba diving

If you plan on participating in any risky sports talk to your broker to ensure you’re covered. You may need to purchase additional sports coverage for your winter holiday travel insurance.

Travel Insurance Customized for Your Winter Vacation

You can purchase these different types of travel insurance as a package or as standalone coverage. For example you can opt to only get travel medical protection or you can get a package with travel medical trip interruption and cancellation and baggage protection.

When you buy travel insurance you can purchase it for a single trip or for a period of time in order to cover multiple trips. You may want to take out multi-trip travel insurance if you travel regularly to ensure you’re covered.

Winter Travel Insurance FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about winter holiday travel insurance.

Do I need travel insurance for my winter vacation?

We recommend at least having travel medical insurance protection for all holidays. Navigating foreign health care can be tough and medical costs can be high. Travel medical coverage makes it easier for you and your wallet.

Trip cancellation and interruption is particularly valuable for travelling over the winter holiday season as bad weather can often lead to delays and cancellations. This coverage is most valuable if you pre-book your vacation.

Insurance helps your peace of mind and can help cover expenses if the unexpected happens.

Is my credit card travel insurance enough to cover my winter holiday?

It depends on your credit card. There are often specific rules on credit card travel insurance (for example only parts of your trip that you paid for via credit card will be eligible) and limits may be lower. You may also only be covered for a certain number of days or only have one type of travel insurance (like trip cancellation) rather than a whole package. Check with your credit card company to see what your coverage is and determine if you need more coverage.

Generally we recommend you have a separate travel insurance policy that includes travel medical coverage to ensure you and your family are covered for your winter vacation.

When should I buy travel insurance for my winter vacation?

You should purchase your insurance when you book your trip but you can purchase it anytime up until your departure date.

Can I get travel insurance if I have a medical condition?

You can absolutely get travel insurance even if you have a medical condition however you may need to fill out a medical questionnaire or get documentation from your doctor.

You may not be covered for circumstances relating to your medical condition but you would be covered for other scenarios. It will depend on your condition its status and your insurer.

How much does travel insurance cost?

The cost of your travel insurance will depend on where you’re going how long you’re travelling for and how many people will be covered. It will also depend on your coverage options like what type of travel insurance you want. Get an online travel insurance quote here.

Contact your broker or leave a comment below if you have any more questions about travel insurance.