Pour éviter qu’une séance de magasinage aux États-Unis vous coûte (beaucoup) plus cher que prévu, prenez une assurance-voyage!Accidents can happen at any time. Even if you’re visiting the United States for a short period, think about buying travel insurance.

Are you planning a little getaway south of the border? Organizing a one-day trip or a weekend camping expedition to the United States? Great idea... as long as you have travel insurance that will cover you in the event of a health problem or accident.

The numbers tell the story: according to a survey conducted by RBC in the spring of 2016, more than 4 in 10 Canadians have found themselves in a predicament when travelling and more than half of Canadians leave the country without travel insurance.

Very brief, but very expensive, stay

We often think travel insurance is useful only for long trips, but an accident or illness can happen to anyone, no matter how long the trip – even during an afternoon shopping jaunt!

Having medical care coverage is necessary for a short trip, as soon as we leave the province. The main reason: the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) covers only a tiny portion of medical costs outside the province. And as you are doubtless aware, medical care in the U.S. is very expensive. That’s why being protected by travel insurance is so important as soon as you leave Quebec: it will pay the balance of medical costs not covered by the RAMQ if you need care while abroad.

And don’t forget about the exchange rate: insurance coverage sold in Canada is in Canadian currency. For example, if you have purchased a policy that provides you with $1 million CAN of emergency medical coverage, it’s worth about one-fifth less across the border.

You think you’re already covered by your group insurance or credit card?

Among the limits of these kinds of insurance is the coverage amount. It’s important that you check this, and especially the emergency medical care coverage amount. For instance, coverage of $100,000 CAN is clearly insufficient for a trip to the United States, in light of the high medical costs south of the border and the currency exchange rate. Read our Tips & Tricks instalment on this topic.

You decide to leave at the last minute, on a sudden impulse?

You can buy travel insurance online any time.

Are you planning on crossing the border regularly this year?

Choose an annual insurance policy! You’ll save money by making a single payment and be protected for all your adventures, without having to worry for the whole year about being covered!