The back of a woman wearing a toque and winter jacket while walking to the gate at the airport.

The holidays are here with their excitement, emotion, and winter weather. If you're planning to visit your family or friends over the holidays, you need not add extra worries to your trip. Getting gifts together, making your connections on time, and keeping everyone healthy and on a relatively even keel is challenging enough. Whether you're travelling within Canada or going abroad for the holidays, travel insurance can protect you and your family in several ways.

Are there special insurance considerations for winter holiday travel?

According to Huffington Post Canada, many travellers are astonished to learn that the only thing they'll receive if their flight is delayed due to inclement weather is a seat on a future flight. You'll receive no reimbursement or other assistance from the airline if your flight is delayed significantly or cancelled by the weather. Each winter, Canadian airports as well as airports in international destinations, have significant flight delays and cancellations.

Although airports and airlines work continuously to improve their tracking and delivery of baggage, inclement weather makes the process more challenging. If your bags are significantly delayed, all-inclusive travel insurance can help make the process easier, including deliveries of clothing and toiletries. A 24-hour emergency number can also help smooth travel rough spots over the holidays.

Do I need travel health insurance for holiday travel?

First, let's clear up the idea that your provincial health plan will pay for medical costs you may have while travelling abroad. While some provincial health plans offer reimbursement at varying levels, none pay up front for your care. Especially if you're travelling to the United States with their high-cost medical care, provincial health plans won't come close to covering costs. Colds and flu also circulate more during the winter and you may fall ill despite taking all the right precautions. A pressurized airplane cabin can lead to infections. If you need health care after you've arrived at your destination, travel health insurance can help.

We know you're experienced with snow and ice at home, but you can experience rough weather while you're on your holiday visit. If you're injured while travelling, you may need medical evacuation. Look for a travel health insurance policy that provides this benefit when needed. If you have a pre-existing condition, make sure that the insurance provider is aware of it and will offer a written agreement that if care is needed while you're travelling, it will be covered.

What kinds of travel insurance can we choose for holiday travel?

All-inclusive travel insurance offer protection for emergency medical and healthcare and other services that include trip cancellations or travel interruptions. All-inclusive insurance can offer benefits if your luggage is lost in transit or significantly delayed.

Trip interruption insurance can offer reimbursement for necessary expenses if your trip is interrupted for a specific period of time, usually three to six hours. Trip cancellation insurance can offer coverage in case you're forced to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, including illness that prevents your travel, sudden death and bereavement, or job considerations.

If you're driving instead of flying, you should also consider rental car insurance—this includes travel within Canada and abroad. Find the travel insurance that fits your holiday plans so you can focus on the important part of the holiday season: being with your loved ones and sharing warm holiday experiences together.

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