BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

March 24, 2015 06:00 ET

Canadians Plan to Spend an Average of $1,800 on Spring Travel This Year: BMO Insurance Study

-Seventy-four per cent of Canadians plan to vacation this Spring

-Sixty-two per cent purchase supplemental travel medical insurance

-More than a third of travellers have required medical attention while on holiday

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 24, 2015) - According to a study issued today by BMO Insurance, Canadians are planning to escape the tail end of a harsh winter this year with 74 per cent indicating that they will be taking a vacation within the March-May timeframe. The study also found that they plan on spending an average of $1,800 on travel in this period.

The study also examined the top concerns of travellers while they are on vacation. These included:

  • Experiencing bad weather (50 per cent)
  • Needing medical attention while abroad (41 per cent)
  • Being a victim to a crime (32 per cent)

The study showed that due to the fact that needing medical attention is one of the top concerns for Canadians, 62 per cent purchase supplemental medical insurance when they travel however, 32 per cent rarely do. When those who do not purchase additional travel medical insurance were asked why, 53 per cent said they are covered in other ways such as through work benefits (41 per cent) or their credit card (16 per cent).

"Although over half of Canadians believe they are medically insured through other means when on holiday, it's important to check your insurance policy and know what is covered." said Rocco Casullo, Head, Direct to Consumer Insurance, BMO Insurance. "A robust travel medical insurance plan can help keep you and your loved ones financially protected in the event of a medical emergency. With adequate coverage you can cross one concern off your list and focus on having a safe, stress free holiday."

Claimed and Collected

According to the study, over one-third (36 per cent) of Canadians have needed medical attention while on vacation. As a result, many had to file a claim when they returned home in order to request reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses covered by their insurance policy. Among those with travel medical insurance, 76 per cent found the claims process to be 'easy'. Of those surveyed, none had rejected claims - 74 per cent received the full balance of what was owed and 26 per cent were partially reimbursed.

"Canadians should have confidence that the vast majority of claims do get paid," added Mr. Casullo. "Travel medical insurance is meant to help you when the unexpected happens on your trip. A quick call to your insurance company before traveling gives you the opportunity to ask questions about pre-existing medical conditions or any other situation that may potentially impact your coverage."

In the event of a medical emergency while abroad, a call to your travel medical insurance provider will guide you through the steps required to ensure you get the care and assistance you need. On the call, your provider can direct you to the nearest health care facility that best suits your health requirements and detail the various payment options available. In some instances, payment can be handled directly through the insurance provider or the individual can pay out-of-pocket and later be reimbursed. Overall, it is best to directly discuss with your provider to see what options are available to you.

Regional Breakdown:

Region Amount ($)
plan to spend
this Spring
on travel
% of travelers
that purchase
medical travel
(2015 vs. 2014)
% that are
worried about
% that have
needed medical
attention while
on holiday
National 1,777 62/61 41 36
Atlantic 1,882 51/51 31 35
Quebec 1,615 74/70 37 30
Ontario 1,841 56/60 46 41
Prairies 1,948 55/64 38 26
Alberta 1,727 53/57 40 38
B.C. 1,738 68/61 39 35

The survey was conducted by Pollara between March 9th and March 11th, 2015 with an online sample of 1,005 Canadians. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had total assets of approximately $672 billion and more than 47,000 employees at January 31, 2015.

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