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Are you over-insured for your next trip?
Buying travel insurance can be confusing, and as CTV Consumer Reporter Lynda Steele found out, you may not necessarily need extra insurance for a trip.
When Rob Stewart went on his honeymoon in paradise he decided to buy an extra $150 in travel insurance. It's a good thing he did. A serious ear infection delayed his trip home and the insurance covered $4,200 worth of medical and travel expenses.
But you may be already insured and not know it. The Better Business Bureau warns consumers not to pay for travel insurance you might already have through other sources.
"With home and auto insurance, it's good to look at those policies to see what you've got on there. A lot of these documents that are attached to the insurance that you've got, there's quite a bit of verbiage there. You want to take the time and read it and really see what you've got so you're not doing some overlapping," said Lynda Pasacreta of the Better Business Bureau.
Some credit cards also offer limited travel protection, including medical, lost baggage and even rental car insurance. Check your life insurance policy, auto club membership and employee benefits plan.
Fortunately, Rob Stewart did his homework. He knew his Visa only covered him for 14 days. Without the extra coverage he bought his vacation medical woes would have cost him thousands of dollars.
"Get your insurance for after that period of time and just know your insurance inside and out," said Stewart.
The bottom line is to do the legwork before you leave on holidays. Find out what you are and are not covered for, then fill in the gaps with extra insurance. Not being covered can be a nightmare when you consider that a two-day stay in a U.S. hospital could cost you about $11,000 U.S.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are out of pocket for vacation expenses that you think you're not responsible for, there is a place to go to in B.C. as a last resort. It's called the Travel Assurance Fund. Claims have to be filed within six months of the vacation gone bad. But your holiday must have been booked through a licensed B.C. travel agent. For more information go to www.travelrightsbc.ca. The fund has paid out nearly $1 million to 1,200 B.C. consumers since 2004.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele