Safe travels while you’re abroad!

Jun 1, 2015 4 minute read

Safe travels while you’re abroad!

Your bags are packed, and you’re ready to go. With the excitement of planning a short-term or extended trip abroad, we’re here to help you ensure you cover off necessary items to enjoy your holiday.

Travel insurance

It is important to have the right travel insurance in place, especially if you are leaving home for an extended period of time. In the event that you become ill or injured while you’re away, you could be faced with expensive medical bills. Be sure to select your travel insurance limits carefully. Your provincial medical coverage does not provide any coverage internationally.

Certain travel insurance policies can provide you with emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption insurance and even baggage coverage. Annual travel insurance policies cover travel for up to 30 days per trip, however if you are planning an extended holiday, extensions are available. Talk to your BrokerLink broker to find a travel insurance policy that’s right for you.

Travelling with documents and cash

Are you off to backpack Europe? Or see the sights in South America? When travelling, consider how much cash you are comfortable carrying. Having local currency is a good way of protecting yourself, but you should consider an alternative to carrying all of your cash in your wallet while sightseeing. Credit cards are accepted just about anywhere and travellers cheques are another safe option as they’re easy to replace if lost or stolen.

It is a good idea to create copies of important personal and travel documents such as your passport, driver’s licence, travel itinerary, ATM card and credit card. Leave a copy of this information with a trusted individual you can easily contact if needed. Keep another set with you in a safe place, separate from the originals. You should also consider storing digital copies of this information by emailing them to yourself. Having these copies on hand will allow you to access your important personal and travel information from wherever you have an internet connection.

When wandering the streets of Rome, or shopping the markets in Thailand, the safest place to keep your money and documents is in a money pouch or money belt. Money pouches are small, secure hidden pockets worn under your clothing. They are a safe alternative to purses or backpacks, which can be easily snatched or pocketed.

Whether travelling alone or with a companion, split your cash and credit cards between you or keep extra in a safe and secure place.

Hotel safe safety

Many travel blogs will recommend you store any documents or valuables in your hotel room safe. But what do you do when the hotel room safe doesn’t seem very safe or if your accommodation doesn’t offer one?

Always do your research. If you can, plan your accommodation in advance and always ask whether your hostel or hotel features an in-room safe. Knowing whether or not your room has a secure place for valuables can help you determine what to pack and how much cash to bring. Travelling light is always a good idea, so when packing be sure to leave expensive items such as jewellery at home.

If you encounter a situation where your room safe appears untrustworthy, your next best bet is to carry your cash and documents in your money pouch or a slash-proof bag. Slash proof bags are constructed with a hidden internal wire mesh and cannot be cut with a knife.

In the event you experience a theft from your in-room safe, it is important to know what your insurance covers. Discuss with your BrokerLink broker if you are worried about in-room theft and what coverage options are available to you with travel insurance. Some travel insurance policies will not cover a claim if there is no visible sign of forced entry. You should also ask whether or not your home insurance policy will provide coverage for any items lost or stolen while travelling abroad.

What to know about leaving your property unattended

Whether you’re heading out for one week or one month, you need to update your insurance policy and follow a few simple steps to protect your property.

  • If you are headed on vacation for a week, weekend or month with a set return date your property is deemed unoccupied.
  • If there is no longer someone who is consistently living on the property it is deemed vacant. If a property is deemed “vacant” it will be necessary to make arrangements for a vacancy permit, which outlines the limited coverage available for vacant properties due to the increased risk of potential damage. Policy conditions can vary but there is typically no coverage for vandalism, theft or water damage effective from the first day that the property is vacant.

Speak with your BrokerLink broker to advise them of how long you will be away and determine the requirements for your particular situation. Your broker can ensure you have the appropriate coverage and explain any conditions or limitations there may be under your policy.

Additionally, you should always have someone you trust check on your property while you’re away. Have them enter the property to make sure there is no damage to the property including vandalism, theft or burst pipes.

Your BrokerLink broker can answer any questions or concerns you might have before your take-off to help put your mind at ease while you enjoy safe travels.