Most Canadians don't buy travel insurance, study finds



QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:43 PM ET

A majority of Canadians plan on vacationing this summer, but shockingly, only half say they regularly purchase travel insurance before leaving home.

A survey conducted by BMO Insurance found that 83% of us plan on leaving town between May and September, and that we're likey to head to the U.S., Europe and Central and South America.

While Canadians plan on spending an average of $3,073 on summer travel, less than half will be using a portion of their budget to purchase travel medical insurance, the survey found.

"While it's great news that so many Canadians will be taking advantage of the great weather to hit the road and get some rest and relaxation this summer, it's a concern that so few will be protecting themselves against the unexpected by purchasing travel medical insurance," Julie Barker-Merz, vice-president of BMO Insurance, said in a statement Saturday.

Barker-Merz says a broken leg in the U.S. can cost up to $20,000 U.S. and an air ambulance from Florida to Ontario could set you back $15,000 U.S. Even within Canada, Canadians may not be covered for all required medical attention when travelling to another province, she says.

"Unless you and your family are covered through other means, it's critical to make sure you have travel medical insurance because emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime," said Barker-Merz. "Just like packing sunscreen and stopping the newspaper before leaving home, making sure you have travel medical insurance should be a high-priority item on any traveler's 'vacation to-do list'."